Three page leaflet for drug Novarsenobillon (Neoarsphenamine), manufactured by May & Baker Ltd., Dagenham, England, 1945. Stocked in the pharmacy of a mental health hospital in Victoria Australia. Novarsenobillon was the trade name under which the drug was marketed by May & Baker, the active ingredient being neoarsphenamine. Neoarsphenamine was used in the treatment of syphilis. Tertiary syphilis was a common cause for mental health conditions. Also known as Neosalvarsan, it superseded Salvarsan due to its lower toxicity. Both arsenicals still carried significant risk of side-effects and were themselves replaced by penicillin in the 1940s. Prior to the use of arsphenamine and neoarsphenamine, syphilis was treated with the malarial fever cure developed by Austrian psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg.

Physical Description

Small paper leaflet folded in half with blue text entitled NOVARSENOBILLON. The first page describes Neoarsphenamine and its indications. The second page advises on administration, local application, dosage and deduced tolerance. The third page continues reduced tolerance and bears the May & Baker trademark symbol and company details. The back page is blank. Front page has a red stamp with the letters NAB diagonally from bottom left to top right.


Example of pharmaceuticals prescribed at mental health hospitals in Victoria, Australia.

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