As the alphabet soup or ice the cake, had its golden age in the home country, but, over time, eventually overthrown by modern antiseptics.

Mercurochrome arrived in Spain in the 30's by the hand of the chemist Jose Antonio Serrallach Julia, who knew the benefits of the product during his stay at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). He soon became one of the company's flagship drug-Lainco that still sells the drug in our country, and in a few years, the brand name with which Serrallach had baptized the product (the active ingredient is called Mebromin) is used generically throughout the country.

"Even 70 is used a lot," says Jordi Ballesta, the current technical director Lainco. From that date, he says, sales began to decline and, although until the mid-80 was easy to find between the home arsenal of drugs, the decline was already unstoppable.

According to Crossbow, the introduction of povidone-iodine in hospitals in the country marked the beginning of sunset. "Until then used their own centers prepared as antiseptics, but with the arrival of this product stopped doing and started to buy directly. People always ask how to proceed with the priests in the house and began to bet on the same drug they had seen in hospital, "he says.

Zaragozá for Francis, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Alcala de Henares, "business strategy and the availability of many forms of iodinated product presentation" without doubt contributed to the expansion of these antiseptics. But it also helped to change the properties of new drugs.

"The antibacterial spectrum of povidone-iodine is much higher," agrees Miguel Angel Hernandez, head of the Drug Group of the Spanish Society of Family and Community (semFYC). "In general, a greater number of fighting germs, its action is longer and cause fewer skin reactions, so you have gained," he adds.

In the reign of the new antiseptic, says Pilar Gómez Pizarroso, nurse Preventive Medicine at the Hospital Ramon y Cajal de Madrid, chlorhexidine also has won a major gap. "Besides being more powerful, this product and iodine derivatives do not mask the color of the fabric, so you can better see its evolution," he says.

Both the specialist and Dr. Hernandez agree that Mercurochrome that contains some amount of mercury in their formulation has also contributed to his forgetfulness. "Mercury has been phased out of our lives. Mercurochrome is safe, no problem in using it as an antiseptic, but it has helped his replacement," he says.
A story repeated

In our country, Mebromin still a licensed product and, as technical director Lainco still used in some areas as "the treatment of diabetic foot or stomata," but in other countries like the U.S., has been withdrawn the market.

In 1998 the U.S. Drug Agency (FDA in its English acronym) decided to put an end to the history of the drug in the country permanently removing it from its list of products recognized as "safe and effective." However, according to Juan Jose Ballesta, Professor of Pharmacology at the University Miguel Hernandez in Alicante, this decision was due more to administrative issues rather than a problem of patient safety.

"As a very old and had not been subjected to modern controls, asked manufacturers to conduct tests similar to those required of new drugs to enter the market. At the time the product was no longer profitable for pharmaceutical, so nobody took the tests and ended up retiring, "says the specialist, who says that history is full of Pharmacology glittering career ending in the forgetting.

"It's a rapidly changing area. The manuals are constantly replaced because they no longer appear improved drugs to drown their predecessors," he says.

Mercurochrome was marked as the destination in its tincture. And while there managed to stop the more modern options, perhaps there would not be able to break into a world where, as Jordi Ballesta says, "no longer bear children because every time scabs play less on the street".