Even the ancient and the Middle Ages knew opium as an anesthetic.

Boccacio in his mid-14th century in his "Decamerone" recounted a surgeon who wanted to remove a throbbing leg from a patient. Before surgery, he prepared a sleeping draft (presumably from opium and mandrake), which he placed in a window niche. However, the young surgeon's wife was visited by her adolescent lover, who was too thirsty - the night of love and surgery failed.

Hermann SAHLI (1857-1933), head of the Medical University Clinic Bern, dealt intensively with opium and morphine. At his suggestion, Carl Schaerges, the first head of research in the history of Hoffmann-LaRoche, developed the Pantopon. 1909 product launch.

PANTOPON was an H2O-soluble, injectable opium preparation and was used to combat severe pain, colic, spasms, cough, anxiety and tension. It contained the total alkaloids of opium freed of fiber in standardized form. Pantopon met with great demand and was in this country until 1985 in the trade. Despite numerous addictions, the drug is still available in some countries today; so it's on sale longer than any other Roche product.
Prices set in Luxembourg in 1918, when Pantopon could only be purchased by our pharmacists for an extra charge in the German Reich because of the war-related export taxes (Memorial G.-H. Luxemburg n ° 27 of 2 June 1918 p. 568):

Pantopon ....... 0,01 g .......... 05 (Mark and Pfennig)
......................... 0,1 ............... 35
......................... 1 ............... 2,80


A prominent patient was Franz Kafka - his therapist was the young Hungarian medical student and later litterat Robert KLOPSTOCK (1899 - 1972). Kafka had met him in 1921 in the sanatorium Matliary in the High Tatras. Like Kafka, Klopstock, "a tall, strong, broad, red-cheeked, blond man," as Kafka described to Max Brod, suffered from tuberculosis. The suffering and the Jewish origin had caused his exclusion from studies in Budapest. Kafka's last earthly station became the Sanatorium. Hoffmann in Kierling near Klosterneuburg. Shortly before, he had summoned the alerted friend not to visit him: "Robert, dear Robert, no violence, no sudden trip to Vienna." Naturally, Klopstock nevertheless appeared in Kierling at the beginning of May 1924 - fortunately and blessing for Moribunden Kafka. For a long time it was merely a matter of making it easier for the dying person to die. The consumptive weighed only 45 kilos. As the pain had become unbearable, Kafka implored the friend, "Kill me, or you are a murderer!" Pantopon was given to him. As Klopstock rose from the bed - he wanted to clean the syringe, Kafka asked: "Do not go away." On Klopstock's answer "I'm not leaving," he replied, "But I'm leaving." Franz Kafka closed his eyes - he died of heart disease. It was June 3, 1924."

A US veteran reports on the use of the drug in the Vietnam War:
It's a mixture of the alkoxylids of opium, as hydrochlorides, with any impurities removed ... it's a beautiful pink color ... it's fucking great ... it's big in Viet Nam with the American soldiers; quite a bit of it, back to the states, in powder form ... probably the best high I've ever had, and if you're following these forums for very long. "

Posthumous it became famous in 1994 for the CD-Rom "Pantopon Rose" (Music: Serrano Rosino), in which the biography of the writer William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) was presented.

An unpatented clinic pack (dimensions 135 x 135 x 52 mm), originally containing 100 1.1 ml ampoules and now (unfortunately) empty, is presented. Each vial contained 20 mg of pantopone corresponding to 10 mg of pure morphine. Released around 1995 at "Anno Tubak" in L.-Cents. Similar boxes are traded in the US as a cult object - in the double-digit dollar amount:
"100 dollars. The box contains a glass tube (although originally issued with 4) with cork stopper and a large printed label that unrolls from the tube: "hypodermic tablets / powdered opium," with detailed instructions on how to dissolve and inject them. These tablets, because they were pure and easy to use, were "a recurring character in William Burroughs' books".