IN THEIR study of quaternary ammonium compounds, Burns and Dale1 found that tetraethylammonium chloride (TEAC) had a nicotine-like action but was void of either a curare-like or muscarine-like action. The more recent studies of Acheson and Moe2 showed the action of tetraethylammonium chloride to be one of blockade of the cholinergic ganglions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. After administration of tetraethylammonium chloride the effects of preganglionic stimulation are abolished but not the effects of postganglionic stimulation or of drugs with a peripheral action. According to Loewi,3 the mechanism of autonomic blockade by tetraethylammonium chloride still remains to be explained.
The generalized autonomic ganglion blockade produced by this drug results in a transient fall in systemic blood pressure and an increase in both peripheral blood flow and skin temperature. These effects, due to the removal of vasoconstrictor tone by action on the sympathetic ganglions, suggested the
HILL EJ, HAMMER JM, SALTZSTEIN HC, BENSON CD. TETRAETHYLAMMONIUM CHLORIDE IN EXPERIMENTAL VASCULAR INJURIES OF LIMB, BOWEL AND HEART. Arch Surg. 1949;59(3):527-541. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1949.01240040535017