To the careful reader of the medical literature of the United States it is a matter of no small surprise to find so many articles dealing with the pharmacology and clinical applications of digitalis, as contrasted with the small number of paper: published on the strophanthins and especially on ouabain.
This same silence or oblivion is noted as one visits clinics and hospitals. Digitalis is not only the favorite but practically the sole drug employed in the treatment of heart failure,1 whereas ouabain is looked on by specialists with disdain, and one might even add with distrust. Ouabain is generally considered to be imperfectly studied as regards its physiologic effects, uncertain in its clinical applications and dangerous in its results. At least, it is said that there is no reason for using ouabain when one has at hand such a sure agent as digitalis. This viewpoint was recently upheld