Ammoniated mercury ointment: outdated but still in use

Contact Dermatitis
W AbererH Pehamberger


Although severe mercury-associated side effects, such as poisoning and high irritant and allergic potential, as well as the weak potency of mercury as an antiseptic or antipsoriatic agent, are well-known, topical mercury preparations are still listed in several pharmacopoeias, including that of the United States, UK and several other European countries. Thus, topical mercurials are still in use, even though more effective and less toxic drugs are now available. We report 2 cases of severe allergic reaction to ammoniated mercury and hope, in agreement with the pertinent literature, to contribute to its removal, and that of most other mercurials, from the therapeutic armamentarium.


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