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Article
March 1915

THE USE OF STRYCHNIN AND CAFFEIN AS CARDIOVASCULAR STIMULANTS IN THE ACUTE INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the East Medical Service of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1915;XV(3):458-478. doi:10.1001/archinte.1915.00070210119009
Abstract

For decades many physicians have relied, with unquestioning faith, on strychnin in the treatment of certain grave symptoms occurring in pneumonia, typhoid fever and other acute infectious diseases. Within the last twenty-five years some physicians have preferred to use caffein (and other drugs) when confronted with these symptoms. The symptoms referred to are those which are thought to signify an approaching or an already existing failure of the circulation, and strychnin and caffein are often believed to be powerful and rapid stimulants for the cardiovascular apparatus in such a state.

It is the object of this communication to discuss briefly the question whether failure of either the heart or the vasomotor apparatus is the chief cause of death in the infectious diseases ; and to examine, with the aid of new data, the pharmacological and clinical evidence for and against the use of strychnin and caffein as cardiovascular stimulants

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