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April 28, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(17):1147. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860170059023

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To the Editor:—  Morphine is frequently used to supplement pentothal sodium in the production of anesthesia. It is definitely synergistic with and potentiates the action of pentothal. One frequently observes that administration of morphine during the course of a pentothal anesthetic will decrease the required pentothal dose.Occasionally it has been overlooked not only that morphine potentiates the action of pentothal but that pentothal will potentiate the action of morphine. When morphine is administered to a patient postoperatively it is important to know whether such a patient has received a pentothal anesthetic. If he has, and the fact is disregarded, the morphine administered may produce a clinical narcotic effect far greater than was desired or anticipated. Such a situation will exist when a high concentration of pentothal persists for several hours after surgery, a situation to be suspected when a patient has received several grams of pentothal or when prolonged

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