E. L Vermillion, M.D., and George E. Stafford, M.D.

Salina, Kansas

The treatment of whooping cough has been a major problem particularly to those interested in the illnesses of children and to the general practitioner for at least the past four centuries. The disease is at times difficult to diagnose and usually difficult to treat. Many of the recommended procedures seem to be effective in a few cases, but few if any give constant results in all cases. One who has tried the various forms of treatment recommended is still searching for an effective agent.

Otani 1 in 1936 treated eighty-one cases of whooping cough with large amounts of vitamin C intravenously and found that thirty-four were greatly benefited, thirty-two moderately benefited, and fifteen unaffected.

Ormerod and Unkauf 2 of Winnipeg, working without knowledge of Otani’s findings reported ten cases treated with ascorbic acid given orally; confirming the work of Otani and concluding that ascorbic acid definitely shortened the paroxysmal stage of the disease if large amounts were used early in the course of the disease. In a later report by Ormerod, Unkauf and White 3 nineteen additional cases were reported with similar findings.

These papers stimulated us to use cevitamic acid in our own cases. We are reporting the following twenty-six cases, all of which had a definite clinical picture confirmed in most cases by a high leucocytosis and lymphocytosis.

The first sixteen cases were given fifteen mg. tablets of cevitamic acid, ten tablets daily the first three days, eight tablets daily the next three days, and six daily until symptoms entirely subsided.

This medication is palatable, dissolves readily, can be given in food or drinks, is non toxic and has no objectionable features.

Case No. 1. Baby B. Age four months, coughing ten days. Definite exposure. Symptoms free after ten days of treatment.

Case No. 2. Baby F. Age six weeks. W B C 22,500. Lymphocytes fifty-two per cent. Coughing two weeks, whooping and vomiting. Symptoms subsided rapidly, disappearing in ten days.

Case No. 3. M. I. Age three years. Coughing three weeks. W B C 10,950. Lymphocytes fifty-six per cent. Whooping and vomiting disappeared within seven days.

Case No. 4. M. 11. Age five years. Coughing two weeks. W B C 16,000. Lymphocytes fifty-two per cent. Whooping and vomiting subsided gradually disappearing in two weeks.

Case No. 5. D. K. Age four years. Coughing, whooping and vomiting for four weeks. W B C 12,000. Lymphocytes thirty-eight per cent. Symptoms subsided gradually for three weeks. The cevitamic acid not being considered very effective in this case.

Case No. 6. J. E. Age six years. Coughing for two weeks. Occasional whooping and vomiting. W B C 14,650. Lymphocytes sixty-six per cent. Complete disappearance of symptoms in seven days.

Case No. 7. F. E. Age four years. Coughing, whooping and vomiting for fourteen days. W B C 21,300. Lymphocytes forty-five per cent. Symptoms disappeared in ten days.

Case No. 8. J. E. Age two years. Coughing, vomiting and whooping for ten days. W B C 28,3302. Lymphocytes sixty-two per cent. Symptoms subsided gradually during fourteen days.

Case No. 9. E. J. Age six years. Cough, no whooping or vomiting but with definite exposure. W B C 9,600. Lymphocytes sixty-two per cent. Cough disappeared in six days.

Cases No. 10. B. O. Age eight years. Coughing and vomiting eight days. W B C 17,200. Lymphocytes sixty percent. Cough subsided in two weeks.*

Case No. 11. M. W. Age two years. Coughing, whooping and vomiting ten days. W B C 7,700. Lymphocytes sixty per cent. Symptoms subsided abruptly on the fourth day.

Case No. 12. Baby S. Age two and one-half years. Coughing ten days. Definite exposure. W B C 9,500. Lymphocytes forty-three per cent. Cough subsided abruptly on the sixth day.*

Case No. 13. H. H. Age two years. WBC 24,000. Lymphocytes forty-eight per cent. Severe whooping cough for seven weeks. Symptoms disappeared completely on the fifth day.

Case No. 14. J. C. Age seven years. Coughing, whooping and vomiting for two weeks. W B C 19,950. Lymphocytes forty-four per cent. Symptoms subsided gradually for ten days.

Case No. 15. Baby S. Age ten months. Coughing, whooping and vomiting for two weeks. Definite exposure. Symptom-free at the end of four days.

Case No. 16. W. O. Age seven years. Night cough for two weeks. Occasional vomiting. W B C 6,600. Lymphocytes sixty-two per cent. Symptom-free in six days.

*These cases had previously had Sauer’s whooping cough vaccine.

The succeeding ten cases were treated with different individual dosage using twenty-five mg. tablets. ***(Cevitamic acid used in the last ten cases was Parke, Davis & Company brand, twenty-five mg. tablet.)

Case No. 17. Baby P. Male, age two and one-half years. Ten days cough. W B C 26,400. Lymphocytes seventy-three per cent. Given one tablet t. i. d. Symptoms fifty per cent ameliorated in four days. Then developed an acute bronchitis with high fever. Subsequent recovery slow but no spasmodic coughing.

Case No. 18. Baby Z. Female, age two and one-half years. fourteen days cough and whooping three or four times a night waking for one hour each time. W B C 13,400. Lymphocytes sixty-six per cent. Given one tablet t. i. d. On third night of treatment cough not severe enough to awaken the patient. Free from cough in two weeks.

Case No. 19. Baby F. Age nine months. Cough two weeks, whooping. No blood count. Three tablets daily and completely symptom free by the fourth day.

Case No. 20. D. J. L. Female, age six and one-half years. Coughing and vomiting for three weeks. One tablet t. i. d. Vomiting for two weeks but not so often. Then symptoms rapidly cleared.

Case No. 21. B. W. Female, age four years. Coughing six days. W B C 13,200. Lymphocytes fifty-one per cent. One tablet t. i. d. Symptoms improved by third day, almost gone on the eighth day, completely gone few days later. Never whooped or vomited.

Case No. 22. D. J. L. Female. Age five years. Coughing four weeks, last two weeks of which she showed improvement on large amounts of orange juice. W B C 10,800. Lymphocytes fifty-one per cent. One tablet t. i. d. Gave almost immediate complete relief.

Case No. 23. M.. B. Male. Age twelve years. Two weeks coughing. W B C 13,400. Lymphocytes fifty two per cent. Given three to nine tablets daily. After three days of treatment cough almost completely checked having nine paroxysms in the next ten days where previous to treatment had had nine to twelve paroxysms daily.

Case No. 24. B. L. Female. Age eleven years. Coughing two weeks. Eight to ten paroxysms daily. W B C 12,000. Lymphocytes sixty per cent. Three to nine tablets daily, after three days one paroxysm at night and one daily. Continued an occasional cough for three weeks.

Case No. 25. C. D. Female. Age nine years. Sister to above two cases. Had similar symptoms. No blood count taken. Given three to nine tablets daily. Showed little improvement, running usual course of six to seven weeks.

Case No. 26. D. C. Male. Age three years. Whooping and coughing for five weeks. Had had x-ray treatments with little success. Given one tablet four times a day. Showed immediate remarkable relief. No cough at the end of one week.


In this small series of twenty-six cases of whooping cough, cevitamic acid seemed to be strikingly effective in relieving and checking the symptoms in all but two of the cases which apparently received little if any relief. It is our opinion that it should be given further trial in all cases of whooping cough regardless of the age of the patient, or the length of time already elapsed since the original symptoms.


  1. Otani, T.: Vitamin C Therapy of Whooping Cough. Klin. Wochnschr. 1936, 15: 1884 (Quoted by Ormerod & Unkauf.)
  2. Ormerod, K. J. and Unkauf, B. K: Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C) Treatment of Whooping Cough. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1937, Page 134.
  3. Ormerod, K. J., Unkauf, B. M. and White. F. D.: A Further Report on the Ascorbic Acid Treatment of Whooping Cough. Canadian Medical Association Journal September 1937, 268.

From The Journal of The Kansas Medical Society, Volume XXXIX, November 1938, Number 11, pp. 469, 479

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