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December 6, 1958


Author Affiliations

New York

From the departments of medicine, psychiatry, and physiology and pharmacology, New York Medical College.

JAMA. 1958;168(14):1839-1843. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000140001001

Despite prolonged use of clinically effective doses of meprobamate, no evidence of dependence, physical or psychic, manifested itself on sudden withdrawal of the drug and substitution of a placebo. The patients studied were elderly, and their reactions to central nervous system depressants were expected to be somewhat exaggerated. Dependence or habituation is not predicated solely on the prolonged administration of clinically effective doses. The personality of the subject, his previous drug history, and the size of the dose are important deciding factors in the development of addiction. The elimination of excessive anxiety, insomnia, or depression may be considered as a proper indication for the use of either stimulants or depressants. However, the sense of well-being engendered by these drugs may lead to their use far beyond the period necessary for the obtaining of symptomatic relief.