THE NEED for an effective intestinal antiseptic was evidenced as early as 1874, by Billroth1 in his work on intestinal antisepsis. But no significant advance in this direction occurred until Poth2 introduced succinylsulfathiazole as an adjunct in the preparation of the large bowel for surgery. Despite the use of new antibiotics within the past five years, including streptomycin, chlortetracycline (Aureomycin), chloramphenicol, and oxytetracycline (Terramycin), no single agent has proved completely satisfactory for all cases. A variety of unfavorable reactions, including diarrhea, proctitis, pruritus ani, pseudomembranous colitis with fatalities,* and outgrowth of resistant organisms has been noted with the use of certain antibiotics as intestinal antiseptics.
For effective use in the preparation of the colon or rectum, Poth5 has set forth the properties of an ideal intestinal antiseptic. It is unlikely that any single antimicrobial drug will be found which fulfills all of these criteria, but it is