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September 1946

TOXICITY OF QUINACRINE (ATABRINE) FOR THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: III. An Experimental Study on Human Subjects

Author Affiliations

MEDICAL CORPS, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES; MEDICAL ADMINISTRATIVE CORPS, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES

Arch NeurPsych. 1946;56(3):284-299. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1946.02300200041003
Abstract

A METHOD of detecting and measuring the toxic effects of drugs on cerebration and its use in a preliminary investigation of the toxicity of quinacrine (atabrine) are presented. The procedure is simple and consists in principle in comparing the intellectual functioning of subjects while taking the drug and when free of the drug. Groups of subjects receiving different doses of quinacrine hydrochloride and with varying serum levels of the drug were tested to gain an approximate estimate of the dose which tends to be toxic for human subjects.

The study was undertaken when it was observed, during the treatment of many thousands of patients for malaria, that the most serious toxic effect of quinacrine was the occurrence of toxic psychoses. This complication was seen most often after excessive doses. Massive quinacrine therapy had been instituted on the island on which we were stationed to determine whether the production and maintenance

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