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ASK THE TIMES

When and why were the once-popular medications quinine and merthiolate removed from the market? How about mercurochrome? Ann Parrish

Merthiolate, also known as thimerosal, was removed in 2001 from children's vaccines in the United States. It was a preservative but contained mercury, which can impair neurological development in children. The antiseptic Mercurochrome also contained mercury and was banned by the FDA in 1998. Quinine, the drug of choice to treat malaria until the 1940s, is still used occasionally in certain critical situations, by prescription only.

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