[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 24, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(17):1879-1886. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980170019004

• The effectiveness of combining reserpine with mecamylamine in treating hypertension was tested in 75 patients, all of whom had sustained blood pressure levels above 150/100 mm. Hg before treatment. A comparison was made between one group of 17 patients receiving mecamylamine alone and another group of 58 receiving mecamylamine with reserpine. The reserpine was given in amounts of 1 mg. daily by mouth in four equally divided doses. The optimal dosage of mecamylamine was determined by a set dose titration procedure for each patient, beginning with 2.5 mg. twice a day; the average dose of mecamylamine for those patients who did respond to the drug alone during prolonged treatment was 34 mg. daily. There were some patients who did not respond satisfactorily to double this dose. The data include the average of all blood pressure levels and pulse rates obtained weekly or biweekly for a period of three months approximately one year after beginning therapy with mecamylamine. The patient was described as responding to the treatment if it brought about a fall of 20 mm. Hg or more in his mean blood pressure or a reduction to the normotensive level, taken as below 150/100 mm. Hg. The over-all response rate for the group receiving mecamylamine alone was 57%; the corresponding figure for the group receiving the combination of drugs was 92%. The combination was therefore more effective than the mecamylamine alone. The most frequent side-effects of prolonged administration of mecamylamine were xerostomia, general weakness, and constipation; the most frequent complaints when the combination was taken for many months were impotence, excessive sedation, and blurring of vision.