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Tube of 'Penicillin Snuff', Liverpool, England, 1942-1943

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‘Penicillin Snuff’ was a formulation of the antibiotic used to treat infections in the nose, throat and trachea (windpipe). It was also used to treat the common cold, although it is now known that antibiotics are not effective against such viruses. The drug was formulated by Clay & Abraham Ltd, manufacturing chemists who in the previous century had also supplied Queen Victoria with medical treatments.

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    Glossary: penicillin

    The first antibiotic drug to treat infections which is made from the mould penicillium. Its discovery is attributed to Alexander Fleming in 1928.

    Glossary: trachea

    The windpipe: the part of the air passage between the larynx and the main bronchi.

    Glossary: common cold

    a widespread infectious virus disease causing inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and bronchial tubes. Symptoms include a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headache, cough, and general malaise.

    Glossary: virus

    A tiny particle made up of DNA/RNA and a protein coat. Viruses infect animals, plants, and micro-organisms and cause many diseases, including the common cold, influenza, measles, chickenpox, AIDS, polio and rabies. Many viral diseases can be controlled by means of vaccines.

    Glossary: antibiotic

    A substance that is used to treat infections.

    Glossary: phial

    No description.