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August 14, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(7):508-509. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780330036013

Barbituric acid and the various compounds derived from it by alteration of the molecule are now widely used. Extensive employment by qualified practitioners and also by the public has grown to proportions that indicate lack of knowledge of the side actions of these drugs. Even more blameworthy is the practice of introducing new and more potent barbitals without reliable investigation of their pharmacologic actions.

Koppanyi and his co-workers1 at Georgetown University School of Medicine have extensively investigated the side actions of these products. More recently Hanzlik2 of the department of pharmacology at Stanford University School of Medicine has summarized them. The recent report of the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry on evipal sodium3 points out the apparent lack of careful pharmacologic study before the introduction of such products.

Hanzlik indicates three experiments which illustrate depression and paralysis of peripheral neuromuscular elements in the autonomic system caused by