Benzedrine (beta-phenylisopropylamine) is a chemical compound related in structure and action to ephedrine and epinephrine. Barger and Dale1 described this drug in 1910 as a member of a group of similar substances to which they gave the name sympathomimetic. The interest of investigators was centered on ephedrine until 1930, when benzedrine first received consideration.
At that time this compound was used in pharmacologic studies conducted on animals by Piness, Miller and Alles,2 Hartung and Munch,3 Alles,4 Tainter5 and Alles and Prinzmetal.6 At first their attention was focused on the peripheral effects of the drug, but a marked action on the higher centers of the central nervous system was also noted. About the same time benzedrine was given prominence as an astringent to the human nasal mucosa, chiefly through the work of Bertolet,7 Byrne,8 Scarano9 and Wood.10 It was observed that
DAVIDOFF E, REIFENSTEIN EC. THE STIMULATING ACTION OF BENZEDRINE SULFATEA COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE RESPONSES OF NORMAL PERSONS AND OF DEPRESSED PATIENTS. JAMA. 1937;108(21):1770–1776. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780210010003