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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 19, 2004

THE USE AND ABUSE OF HYPNOTICS.

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(19):2386. doi:10.1001/jama.291.19.2386

W. BLAIR STEWART, A.M., M.D.

"Take a trional powder when you retire and you will not be troubled with insomnia." This is a too common advice given to the laity and patients when either time or lack of interest prevents a thorough examination for the cause of the insomnia. Before falling into the rut of routine hypnotics, it is well to take more time to study every case of insomnia and ferret out the cause, remove it if possible, and little sleep-giving medicine will be needed. It should be remembered that insomnia is a condition or symptom dependent on some disturbing influence in or out of the body. Why give a hypnotic if acute indigestion is the cause; if high or moderate fever is present; if there is an earache, toothache or severe neuralgia; if a brass band is playing next door; if some unusual noise is disturbing? Do we always stop to consider and inquire into these and many other possibilities before we prescribe?

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