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February 6, 1937


Author Affiliations


From the Laboratory of Applied Physiology, Yale University.

JAMA. 1937;108(6):471-475. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.92780060004010

This is one of a series of articles written by eminent authorities for the purpose of extending information concerning the official medicines. The twenty-four articles in this series have been planned and developed through the cooperation of the U. S. Pharmacopeial Committee of Revision andThe Journal of the American Medical Association.—Ed.

Normal respiration is closely coordinated with other functions, such as the liberation of energy, combustion of carbonaceous materials, consumption of oxygen, and particularly the production of carbon dioxide. Any drug that disturbs this relation of respiration to metabolism for more than a brief period seriously upsets the economy of the body. This is the fundamental consideration that must always be kept in mind in choosing and using respiratory stimulants. Only such drugs as are free from this objection are permissible.

Recognition of this limitation properly excludes many substances from use as respiratory stimulants, although they may be used for

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