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March 12, 1960


Author Affiliations

Galveston, Texas

Chairman and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Texas Medical Branch.

JAMA. 1960;172(11):1162-1163. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.63020110010011

A new drug, with a broad range of pharmacological activity, gives promise under current clinical testing of having diverse therapeutic applications. Methaminodiazepoxide (7-chloro-2-methylamino-5-phenyl-3H-1,4-benzodiazepine-4-oxide hydrochloride), one of a new class of compounds, exerts three primary actions, namely, (1) tranquilization, (2) muscular relaxation, and (3) anticonvulsant effect. According to Randall1 it is unlike other tranquilizers in that it calms laboratory animals without inducing sedation or motor inhibition. While possessing the tranquilizing properties of chlorpromazine and reserpine, it lacks their autonomic blocking effects. It is more active than meprobamate, chlorpromazine, and phenobarbital in antagonizing pentylenetetrazol (Metrazol)-induced convulsions; more potent than the first two in preventing electroshock convulsions, and different from phenobarbital in that it does not induce hypnosis. It blocks spinal reflexes at lower dosages than meprobamate, a property which accounts for its stronger muscle-relaxant effects.

Its unique action on vicious, agitated monkeys, dingo dogs, and other wild animals stimulated the first

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