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Bottle of iron, arsenic and digitalin tablets, London, 1916-1940

The combination of iron, arsenic and digitalin was used as a heart stimulant to treat heart conditions. ‘Tabloid’ was the brand name patented by Henry Wellcome in 1884 to describe compressed tablets of drugs. The trademark was later extended to other products such as first aid kits.

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Glossary: digitalin

Any plant from the Digitalis genus. Its dried leaves and seeds are used to treat some forms of heart failure. Its acts by stimulating the nervous system.