Interesting facts from local literature: Historical celebrity cases

Within the scope of our services, at Medistyl we read thousands of medical articles per year. Although these are always specialized medical articles, considering the subject it is sometimes sad, but sometimes also quite funny. We would like to share some curiosities with you. This time we selected historical articles from our archive.

It is still possible to see half of an aspirin tablet in the medical case of Archduke Franz Ferdinand d’Este at Konopiště Castle. The heir to the throne took first half of the pill before departure to Sarajevo. In this light, assassination was an adverse event and it could be an excellent example for pharmacovigilance training. In the same article, the author discusses the causes of death in relation with the Spanish flu in 1918-1919. More than 20 million victims were attributed to the disease. At that time, acetylsalicylic acid was administered in daily doses of 3-30 g. Today, the maximum dose is set at 1.5 grams, in addition to the simultaneous administration of GIT-protective drugs. Therefore, the author of the article asks a rhetorical question, how many victims can really be attributed to the flu itself and how many could have been caused by excessive treatment? [1]

Adolf Hitler „was undeniably a hypochondriac”, vegetarian, abstainer, non-smoker, not even a coffee drinker. He loved sweets. He suffered from gastrointestinal problems of neurotic origin. His doctor Theodor Morell treated him mainly with a combination of vitamins, hormones, phosphorus and glucose, all in extreme doses. Hitler’s insomnia was treated with bromides and barbiturates. In addition, the doctor also administered pervitin, extracts from the pineal gland and pancreas, estradiol, testosterone, hydrocortisone, cocaine, iodine and nitroglycerin. Hitler, with high blood pressure, also forced the administration of Cardiazol, a drug that helped the hypotonic Hermann Göring. During the deterioration of Hitler’s condition in 1943, when he suffered from severe tremors, the therapy with multivitamins, pervitin, iodine and testosterone can be dated. A temporary improvement occurred after the failed assassination attempt on 20 July 1944. Some experts concluded from contemporary film footage from 1945 that Hitler suffered from Parkinson’s disease. [2]

In the literature, you will also learn interesting facts such as the successful and famous path of warfarin began thanks to the successful administration to the U. S. President Eisenhower after his myocardial infarction in 1955, after warfarin was launched in the USA in 1954 under the name Coumadin. [3]

The „actuality” of the selected articles might lead to reflection on the need for a strict setting of day 0 in the local literature…


Authors: Marika Dognerova, Sona Prochazkova


[1] Polach A. Zmeny telesnej teploty. In vitro. 2021; 9(3): 36-9.

[2] Jilkova J. Hitleruv osobni lekar. Zdravotnictvi a medicina. 2020; (7-8): 28-9.

[3] Martinaskova J. Trnite cesty vyvoje leku XV. – Historie heparinu a warfarinu. Casopis ceskych lekarniku. 2021; XCIII(1):32-3.