Certain disadvantages of previously known potent analgesics have led investigators to search for new drugs which possess good analgesic properties but lack undesirable side effects. Following World War II knowledge of a new group of compounds prepared by German chemists was disclosed in a report by the United States Department of Commerce.1 Scott and Chen2 have recently reported pharmacologic studies of members of this series. They found one of these compounds, methadon (6-dimethylamino-4, 4-diphenyl-3-heptanone), to be outstanding. The following study deals with a comparison of the analgesic properties of this drug3 with those of morphine and meperidine hydrochloride ("demerol hydrochloride").
The side effects and analgesic properties of methadon in combination with atropine and scopolamine were studied to determine the possible value of methadon as a premedication agent for anesthesia. Because these two agents altered the threshold effect of methadon, similar combinations were used with morphine and meperidine.
CHRISTENSEN EM, GROSS EG. ANALGESIC EFFECTS IN HUMAN SUBJECTS OF MORPHINE, MEPERIDINE AND METHADON. JAMA. 1948;137(7):594–599. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890410016004
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