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March 1959

A Clinical Comparison Study of the Effects of Reserpine and Placebo on Anxiety

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(3):392-398. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340150124016

Within recent years considerable attention has been directed toward the therapeutic effects of reserpine (alkaloid of Rauwolfia serpentina) on a large variety of emotional disorders, and many favorable reports have appeared in both medical and lay publications. Noce et al.,1,2 Barsa and Kline,3 Kline and Stanley,4 and Hollister et al.5 were among the first to report on its effects on mentally ill patients. These studies were limited to hospitalized patients who manifested psychotic disorders of varying duration, type, and degree.

More recently, Hare, Seager, and Leitch6 reported a study of the effects of reserpine as compared with those of amobarbital and of an inert control substance on 42 neurotic inpatients. These authors concluded that amobarbital produced much improvement in a great majority of their patients, whereas the results with reserpine were no better than those with the placebo. They suggested the need for caution in

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