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Article
February 7, 1925

BARBITAL (VERONAL) POISONING

Author Affiliations

LOS ANGELES
From the Medical Service of the Los Angeles General Hospital.

JAMA. 1925;84(6):434-436. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660320026009
Abstract

The use of barbital (veronal), or diethylbarbituric acid, as a hypnotic has constantly increased since its discovery in 1903. It is an effective drug with a considerable margin of safety, may be obtained in most localities without a physician's prescription, and the possibility of its producing a habit is not generally appreciated. These reasons have been partly responsible for its popularity with both the laity and the profession. Medical literature, however, particularly in Germany and England, contains many reports of severe poisoning and fatal results from its use in excessive doses or in long continued administration. Its action is quite rapid, ordinarily producing sleep in from one-half to one hour, and in moderate doses is seldom followed by distressing after-effects. From 70 to 90 per cent, of the ingested drug is eventually eliminated in the urine; but its excretion is slow and is often extended over a period of from

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