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n. a poisonous greyish metallic element producing the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cramps, convulsions, and coma when ingested in large doses. Drugs used as antidotes to arsenic poisoning include dimercaprol. Arsenic was formerly readily available in the form of rat poison and in fly-papers and was the poisoner’s first choice during the 19th century, its presence in a body being then difficult to detect. Today detection is relatively simple. Arsenic was formerly used in medicine, the most important arsenical drugs being arsphenamine (Salvarsan) and neoarsphenamine, used in the treatment of syphilis and dangerous parasitic diseases. Symbol: As.

Subjects: Medicine and Health — Chemistry.

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