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June 16, 1962

Severe Respiratory Depression: Role of a Respiratory Stimulant, Ethamivan, in the Treatment

Author Affiliations

Dallas, Tex.

Associate Professor of Medicine (Dr. Miller), Formerly Clinical Research Fellow (Dr. Archer), Research Fellow, Internal Medicine (Dr. Taylor), and Formerly Resident in Internal Medicine (Dr. Ossenfort).; From the Cardiopulmonary Laboratory, Department of Internal Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and Parkland Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1962;180(11):905-911. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050240001001

Respiratory depression and alveolar hypoventilation require establishment of an airway and mechanically assisted ventilation. A selective respiratory stimulant, vanillic acid diethylamide, produced effective increases of ventilation in 95 of 119 patients with various types of hypoventilatory states. The depth of respiration was increased. The rate was increased also, but to a lesser extent. Prolonged respiratory stimulation was achieved by continuous intravenous therapy in cases of acute depression and by oral administration in convalescent or chronic hypoventilatory states, particularly where aggravated by sleep or by oxygen therapy. This agent was found to be a most valuable adjunct to the management of the patient with severe chronic pulmonary disease and depressed respiration. Side effects were minimal with a wide margin of therapeutic safety demonstrated.