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Article
March 21, 1959

PROLONGED ADMINISTRATION OF CHLORPROMAZINE (THORAZINE) HYDROCHLORIDECLINICAL AND LABORATORY SURVEY OF FIFTY PATIENTS

JAMA. 1959;169(12):1296-1301. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000290022006
Abstract

Since chlorpromazine strikingly improves the adjustment of many psychiatric patients without being truly curative, administration in many cases must be continued for years. In order to detect possible adverse effects of such prolonged medication, a study was made in 50 patients who took it for two to four years. The total amounts taken by individual patients ranged from 54 to 1,078 Gm. All patients gained weight. No evidence of renal or hepatic dysfunction was found. Amenorrhea occurred in two-fifths of the women, but sometimes menstruation was resumed without interruption or reduction of the dosage. In some patients the white blood cell count dropped as low as 3,000 per cubic millimeter of blood; but it was not necessary to interrupt the medication, because the counts returned to normal while chlorpromazine therapy continued. Three patients manifested photosensitization each year from May to October but were desensitized by repeated limited exposures to the sun. Chlorpromazine enabled these patients to remain outside of the hospital, to work, and to be reasonably comfortable in spite of the persistence of their basic illness.

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