You might think you were hallucinating if you walked into a pharmacy today and saw LSD, strychnine, and heroin on the shelf.
However, there was a time when these and many other products now considered either illicit or poisonous were manufactured by drug companies and considered safe.
Now, thanks to advancements in science, medicine, and unfortunately, some human trial-and-error, most of these products are no longer available for medical use,although some still are. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about 10 drugs, chemicals, or products once sold as medicines that have since become social taboos.
While not used as the active ingredient, diethylene glycol served as the primary solvent used by the S.E. Massengill Company in its Elixir Sulfanilamide, a solution comprised of sulfanilamide dissolved in diethylene glycol, water, and flavoring agents including caramel and raspberry. The concoction’s major side effect? Death. In what became known as the infamous “Sulfanilamide Tragedy of 1937”, 71 adults and 34 children died following their ingestion of the solution. The national catastrophe ultimately spawned new FDA safety laws.