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August 1956

Habit-Forming Properties of Meprobamate(Miltown or Equanil)

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(2):205-206. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330260091009

The increasing demand for meprobamate (Miltown or Equanil) medication by the general public is without parallel in modern pharmacological history and has been the subject of much lay editorial comment. The manufacturing of tranquilizing drugs has become big business, and there is even talk of selling meprobamate over the counter without a prescription.1

Because of this, and because meprobamate has been advertised as being non-habit-forming, I would like to modify a preliminary report in which I also stated that meprobamate was not habit-forming.2 Further clinical experience has convinced me that this is by no means always the case and that a few patients do form a harmful habit for this drug.

Habit formation or addiction to a drug is characterized by (1) a psychic craving for the drug based on its euphoric effects, (2) a build-up of tolerance requiring increasingly larger doses to produce the same effect, and