IN RECENT times there has been a decided increase of interest in and study of the action of the autonomic nervous system in relation to the skin. Paralleling this upswing, the pharmacologists have made available a group of synthetic materials that have the capacity to intrude on the action of this part of the nervous system. One member of this group which has received especial attention is tetraethylammonium. It has the ability to block the transmission of impulses through autonomic ganglions, both sympathetic and parasympathetic.
Tetraethylammonium is a quartenary ammonium compound structurally similar to acetylcholine. It is hygroscopic, readily soluble in water and stable to heat. It is a specific ganglionic blocking agent, which fact accounts for the various effects of its use. It is capable of reducing the systolic and diastolic blood pressures, but less in normotensive than in hypertensive persons. In addition, postural hypotension is
CORNBLEET T, MUSGRAVE DP, BARSKY S, FUHRMAN DL. USE OF TETRAETHYLAMMONIUM FOR CERTAIN ITCHING STATES. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1950;61(3):413–419. doi:10.1001/archderm.1950.01530100057007