Louis Lewin

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Louis Lewin (born in Tuchel, West Prussia, November 9, 1850; died December 1, 1929 in Berlin) was a German pharmacologist. In 1886, he published the first methodical analysis of the Peyote cactus, a variant of which was named Anhalonium lewinii in his honor.

He received his education at the gymnasium and the University of Berlin (M.D. 1876). The two years following his graduation he spent at Munich, in the laboratories of von Voit and Pettenkofer. Returning to Berlin in 1878, he became assistant at the pharmacological institute of the university, and in 1881 he was admitted to the medical faculty as Privatdozent. In 1897 he was finally appointed professor.

In Berlin, a street and the nearby underground train station were named in his honor.

Drug classification[edit]

One of Lewin's most enduring tasks was to create a system of classification of psychoactive drugs and plants based on their pharmacologic action. His original categories were:


Lewin was a prolific writer. Among his many essays may be mentioned:

  • "Über Morphium-Intoxication" -- On Morphium intoxication (in "Deutsche Zeitschrift für Praktische Medizin", 1874)
  • "Experimentelle Untersuchungen über die Wirkungen des Aconitin auf das Herz" -- Experimental analysis on the effects of Aconitine on the heart (in "Centralblatt für die Medizinische Wissenschaft", 1875)
  • "Über die Verwertung des Alkohols in fieberhaften Krankheiten" -- On the application of alcohol with feverish maladies (in "Deutsches Archiv für Klinische Medizin", 1876)
  • "Über maximale Dosen der Arzneimittel" -- On maximum doses of medicaments (in "Transactions of the International Medical Congress", 1887)
  • "Über allgemeine Hautvergiftung durch Petroleum" -- On the broad eczema caused by petroleum (in Rudolf Virchow's "Archiv,", 1888)
  • "Über Anhalonium Lewinii und andere Cacteen" -- On Anhalonium lewinii and other cacti (in "Archiv für Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie", 1894)
  • "Die Behandlung der Lepra" -- The treatment of leprosy (in "Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift", 1898)
  • "Die Untersuchungen von Blutflecken" -- Analysis of hemangioma (in "Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift", 1899)
  • "Die Vergiftungen in Betrieben" -- Intoxications at business (in "Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift", 1890)

Lewin is also the author of the following books:

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.