Vintage ads for prescription drugs


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It wasn’t a prescription drug, but my wife’s great-grandfather, Béla Réthy, produced horehound drops in Hungary as a remedy against coughing and horse throat, and which also had this gorgeous art nouveau-style ad:


The creators of those must have been toasted. Nicely toasted.


It’s for haloperidol, an antipsychotic.


Just Look At It.


We have/had? a small booklet for this stuff in the house at one time. It was quite amusing.


So Bayer was deeply into heroin, antipsychotics and gonorrhea? Old Man Bayer was really getting busy with it.


“Often preferable to other forms of Amphetamine” caught me off guard and I laughed out loud in the office.

I’d forgotten in the bad old days that stimulants were just another drug you could get anywhere.

“Is your wife fat and unproductive during the day? Why not try Furfenorex (furfurylmethylamphetamine)? It comes in convenient red-and-yellow pills and will get her motor running, and then some!”

Man, better living through chemistry must’ve been a trip. And then Ronald Regan.


Diamorphine is still legally available in some nations. Up until a few years ago, it was manufactured by ViroPharma SPRL, until they were acquired. Now, I suppose Shire PLC has a hand in it. Shire is known for making speed for kids..

Drug companies manufacture a wide array of legal drugs. News at 11.


The season finale of “Call the Midwife” had Dr Turner prescribe Thalidomide for morning sickness. Given that the program is, shall we say, melodramatic, I suspect that series 5 will touch on the effects of those prescriptions. And TEARS WILL BE JERKED.


Speed has arguably had a pretty good uptick in reputation of late. We still aren’t back to the good old days, when you could just buy all sorts of crazy stuff at the corner store; but, by some mystical alchemy, virtually all of the fear and disapproval surrounding amphetamines and variants has fallen on meth; the amphetamine of criminals, hicks, and filthy poor people; and left most of the rest of them as a something you need a prescription for; but will encounter little difficulty, little or no disapproval, surprisingly little talking-to about ‘risk of habit formation’(as we politely call addiction to legal drugs, along with ‘cessation syndrome’, which is withdrawal for people from the right side of the tracks); and so forth.

If anything, the only real downer for amphetamines has been the invention of modafinil, which doesn’t put nearly as much pep in your step; but stacks up pretty favorably compared to stimulants when it comes to avoiding sleep for productivity purposes. Most of the other classics that still have some medical foothold are confined to the OR(depending on jurisdiction and type of surgery, neither cocaine nor heroin are quite off the table; but getting a little orange bottle from the pharmacy is less likely) and there is a much stronger sense of social unease, a sense that basically everyone taking opiate pain pills is dabbling with being a junkie; which you don’t hear with a few wholesome amphetamines.

Unfortunately, you still run the risk of hearing about Reagan, so it isn’t all good news.


I’m actually very interested in Modafinil/Armodafinil. I’ve been on methylphenidate-based stuff for over a decade now, and it’s no secret between me and my doctor that if I don’t get it on time I’m going to have a seriously bad day. Yeah, I know it’s what powers my brain these days, and I’m addicted to it.

So I’ve been talking with my psychologist about transitioning over to Modafinil, Armodafinil, or possibly even an ampakine like piracetam (although the literature is much less promising for the racetam class).

The doc keeps suggesting I try Wellbutrin, but I’ve had really bad reactions to it in the past, and really shy away from trying it again. Usually inattentiveness is my problem, but Wellbutrin made my hyperactive and impulsive and I was inattentive still.


That speed sure is keeping that kid focused on his banana, I tell you what.


That’s a seriously frightening ad. I’d be happy to take whatever pills will make that image go away.


Won’t make the image go away. But you probably won’t remember seeing it anyway.


Not exactly prescription, but still my favorite:

All the goodness of opium without the deleterious effects!


Heroin, like aspirin, was originally a Bayer trademark that has since become generic.


I have the impression there are a lot of people trying to finagle heavy opiates out of General Practitioners.

Whilst recovering from severed tendons in my hand I developed CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) which I would describe like a cross between the worst possible, deep-cavity toothache and a badly broken, major bone. The doctors over here in the UK baulked at giving me anything stronger than dihydrocodeine, which really didn’t do shit for the pain and which they were continually reticent to re-up.

“Anything stronger and we start to get into the heavy opiates and we don’t want to go down that road. People think we have access to magic pain medication but that just isn’t the case.”

I felt like a junkie every time I asked for a refill on my (admittedly free) prescription.


I guess I’m lucky-ish when it comes to opiates. Every one I’ve been given for various things both didn’t work, and caused an allergic reaction.

So while there appears to be no good pain meds for me in current DEA approved chemistry, my addictive-personality (I have the feeling it’s called something else these days) won’t get indulged by opiates.


creative spelling of Dr. Emmons?