Thursday, April 15, 2010

I just took rat poison.

Heard this story from my doctor the other day. In the early part of the 20th century, cows were unexplainably bleeding to death in Wisconsin. It turns out they were eating mouldy sweet clover, and that was causing the hemorrhaging. In the 1930s, researchers at the University of Wisconsin isolated the agent in the mouldy clover that was responsible for the bleeding. Warfarin was the result (better known under its brand name Coumadin). The WARF in warfarin stands for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the University of Wisconsin organization that makes gazillions of dollars from warfarin.

The first use of warfarin was as rodent pesticide. It was used to kill rats.

After an army recruit tried to commit suicide by ingesting large amounts of rat poison in the early 1950s and survived, warfarin was tested as a therapeutic anticoagulant, and approved in 1954 for that use in humans. President Eisenhower was one of the earliest recipients of the drug, after a heart attack.

You never know where beneficial medicines may come from....


Rachel said...

Ahhhh. Can't wait to see what I'll be on. LOL.

I'm a Pioneer!!