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April 22, 1944

Current Comment

JAMA. 1944;124(17):1204-1205. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850170040011

CRITICAL SHORTAGE OF QUINIDINE  For some time an acute shortage of quinidine has existed in the United States. Consumption has been high and replacement of present supplies practically negligible. As a result of its critical status, the Committee on Drugs and Medical Supplies of the National Research Council and its Subcommittee on Cardiovascular Diseases recommended that quinidine be limited to prescription use for the treatment only of heart disease. The suggested criteria for use are:

  1. Ventricular tachycardia diagnosed electrocardiographically.

  2. Congestive heart failure that appears definitely to have been precipitated by the sudden onset of auricular fibrillation (if not adequately controlled by digitals).

  3. Persistent premature ventricular contractions in patients who have acute coronary artery occlusion.

  4. Chronic disease of the heart associated with paroxysmal auricular fibrillation, paroxysmal auricular tachycardia or auricular flutter.

  5. A history of systemic embolization in a case of paroxysmal or established auricular fibrillation.

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