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September 1955

Combined Reserpine-Chlorpromazine in Treatment of Disturbed Psychotics

Author Affiliations

Orangeburg, N. Y.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(3):280-286. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330150046006

Great interest has recently been centered on two new drugs for the treatment of mental disorders, chlorpromazine and reserpine. The former, a synthetic, was used in Europe for several years before it was finally introduced into this country. Reserpine is a crystalline alkaloid extracted from the root of the plant Rauwolfia serpentina Benth. This plant was used for centuries in India for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases, including mental disorders. It was introduced into this country for its use in the management of hypertension. In 1952, Müller, Schlittler, and Bein1 identified reserpine, which appeared to be the chief active principle of Rauwolfia. We have reported elsewhere * our experiences with reserpine alone in the treatment of disturbed psychotics.

Chlorpromazine also has the property of potentiating the effects of hypnotics and sedatives. Because of this, we decided to investigate the effect of combining reserpine and chlorpromazine. At first