Since 1947, almost 50 publications have appeared which report that many varieties of pain as well as edema, muscle spasm, itching, symptoms of asthma, and certain eye diseases have been relieved by intravenous procaine. Most observers have reported that the side-actions are minimal and of little consequence. Despite the necessity of controls in investigations of this type, no observer (known to the authors) in studying the beneficial effects of this drug has treated a comparable group either with a placebo or with a standard therapeutic agent. Both kinds of comparison are essential. In addition, the known rapid hydrolysis of procaine in the blood stream1 and the slight or absent analgesic effects of its break-down products2 (paraaminobenzoic acid and diethylamino ethanol) are not in accord with the prolonged pain relief reported. For these reasons, a controlled study of pain relief by intravenous procaine was undertaken.
The method of
Keats AS, D'Alessandro GL, Beecher HK. A CONTROLLED STUDY OF PAIN RELIEF BY INTRAVENOUS PROCAINE. JAMA. 1951;147(18):1761–1763. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.73670350005011
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