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February 19, 1955


JAMA. 1955;157(8):665. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950250039012

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Several drugs have been developed within recent years that appear to be valuable in the treatment of patients with emotional disorders. These include reserpine, other extracts of rauwolfia serpentina, and chlorpromazine ( 10-[γ-dimethylaminopropyl]-2-chlorophenothiazine hydrochloride), all of which are reported to have a sedative effect without clouding consciousness. Pipradrol (α-[2-piperidyl]-benzhydrol hydrochloride), another drug recently introduced, is being prescribed for its beneficial effect on feelings of depression. These drugs appear to offer advantages over drugs of long-standing usage, such as the barbital compounds, amphetamine, and methamphetamine, and to have somewhat different indications. Their use by both psychiatrists and nonpsychiatrists has been encouraged through circulars from pharmaceutical firms. Patients sometimes ask for them as a result of enthusiastic but uncritical attention these drugs have been given in the lay press. Any measure that can help patients suffering from emotional disorders is very welcome to the psychiatrist and general practitioner; however, a word of caution

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