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Medical News
April 27, 1964

Paregoric and Tripelennamine ('Blue Velvet') Addiction Increasing, Claims Detroit Pathologist

JAMA. 1964;188(4):34. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060300074034

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Abstract

"Blue velvet" addiction is quite common in the United States today, Henry Puro, MD, assistant professor of pathology at Wayne State University College of Medicine and Detroit Receiving Hospital, told the International Academy of Pathology in Chicago, April 5-8. Puro reported on a study done in conjunction with Paul C. Wolf, MD, associate professor of pathology, and Vernon Wendt, MD, associate professor of medicine. The blue velvet mixture consists of concentrated paregoric and tripelennamine ( Pyribenzamine ) tablets—the blue coloring coming from the tripelennamine. Puro said that there were ten paregoric addicts in Detroit in 1959 and 397 in 1962. "According to the statistics of the Narcotics Bureau of the Detroit Police Department," Puro said, "a marked rise in paregoric addiction has occurred in Detroit and throughout the nation."

Intravenous use of narcotics is characterized by certain complications —hepatitis, septicemia, bacerial-endo-carditis, and tetanus. Puro added the "grave and increasing complication" of pulmonary

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