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February 1939

THERAPEUTIC USE OF CURARE AND ERYTHROIDINE HYDROCHLORIDE FOR SPASTIC AND DYSTONIC STATES

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Hospital for Joint Diseases, the Service of Dr. Leo Mayer.

Arch NeurPsych. 1939;41(2):307-327. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270140093008
Abstract

The specific effect of curare was demonstrated by Bernard1 in 1857. It is agreed that the peripheral paralysis caused by curare is due to block of nervous impulses at the myoneural junction. The demonstration of this specific effect led to the use of curare from 1857 to 1867 in the treatment of convulsive conditions, such as epilepsy, rabies, tetanus, chorea, strychnine poisoning and various tics.2 Curare was quickly discredited because of ignorance of action of the drug, timidity in its use, improper dosage and spacing of doses (since the effect of the drug is transient) and the fact that unassayed curare or curare of poor quality was used.

The aforementioned conditions do not constitute the field of indication for curare. The medicament has a specific place in drug therapy, in which its specific action is utilized. This is the reduction of spasm and plastic muscular rigidity in patients

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