The increasing use of the sphygmomanometer in physical examinations has shown that elevation of the blood pressure is a common finding, especially in persons past middle age. Consequently, large numbers of patients with hypertension are seen by every medical practitioner; and since it has been estimated 1 that approximately 140,000 persons in the United States die each year from the consequences of high blood pressure, the problem of how to treat these patients assumes a good deal of importance. In the past, innumerable forms of therapy have been tried. These may be grouped under the heading of (a) general hygiene (including rest and relaxation); (b) dietetic measures; (c) physical agents, and (d) drugs. Thus far none of these measures have met with any real success. Recently, however, potassium thiocyanate has been hailed as the drug for reducing the blood pressure level.
The thiocyanate ion [CNS—] was first used therapeutically in
FINEBERG MH. POTASSIUM THIOCYANATE IN THE TREATMENT OF PATIENTS WITH HYPERTENSION. JAMA. 1930;94(23):1822–1824. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02710490012004