Clinical Evaluation of a Cobalt Chelate with Iron in Pregnancy Anemia
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Christiansen, Thomas C.
Cobalt-iron therapy has been widely used in the prevention and treatment of iron deficiency in pregnant women. Thorough evaluations have shown this combination to be more effective than is the administration of iron compounds alone.(1,2) The discovery that cobalt exerts its erythropoietic action through the increased formation of an erythropoietic hormone, erythropoietin, (3,4) has placed cobalt-iron therapy on a rational basis and provides a logical explanation of the superiority of the results obtained. | The therapeutic use of simple salts of heavy metals such as cobalt, however, is subject to the possible appearance of excessive concentration of heavy metal ions in the blood stream. Thus, rapid intravenous injection of cobaltous chloride produces, as is also the case with other heavy metal salts, a series of toxic symptoms grouped together as the "heavy metal effect."(5) The appearance of excessive temporary concentrations of cobalt ion in the blood after oral administration may, in fact, explain the occasional reports of cobalt toxicity and side effects which have appeared in the literature.
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