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Original laboratory sample of 'M and B 693', England, 1938

M & B 693 was one of the first generation of sulphonamide antibiotics, pro-duced for the first time in 1938. The first chemical cure for pneumonia, it was hailed as a wonder drug. M & B 693 could also prevent the growth of the blood-poisoning bacteria in wounds and was used to protect against gan-grene. It could either be taken in tablet form or the powder could be placed in wounds. It was used so widely during the Second World War that May & Baker had difficulty keeping up with demand. It was later largely superseded by penicillin and sulphonamides.

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    Glossary: bottle

    Vessels having a neck and mouth considerably narrower than the body, used for packaging and containing liquid and dry preparations

    Glossary: sulphonamides

    Antibacterial drugs used to treat diseases like bronchitis and pneumonia, derived from sulphanilamide

    Glossary: antibiotic

    A substance that is used to treat infections.