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July 8, 1950

TREATMENT OF CHOICE IN BARBITURATE POISONINGSeries of Twenty-Nine Cases of Barbiturate Poisoning Treated with Pentylenetetrazole (Metrazol®) and Supportive Therapy

JAMA. 1950;143(10):884-888. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910450024007
Abstract

In a series of 29 cases of barbiturate poisoning observed on the medical service of the Knickerbocker Hospital, the treatment of choice proved to be pentylenetetrazole (metrazol®). In spite of increasing difficulties that various state and local laws have placed in the way of persons desirous of obtaining barbiturates, these drugs are still, as a group, among the poisons most commonly used with suicidal intent. Sollman1 stated that only carbon monoxide is more commonly used, as one seventh of all cases of poisoning (excluding those due to carbon monoxide) treated in hospitals of the large cities of the United States in recent years were due to barbiturates. Goldstein2 placed this figure even higher, stating that one fifth of drug-poisoning cases in fourteen hospitals having a total admission rate of 1,060,275 patients during 1940 to 1945 was due to barbiturates. Over one and one-quarter billion grains (75 million grams)

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