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April 25, 1959

Psychotherapeutic Drugs

JAMA. 1959;169(17):2078. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000340110031

In a period of only five years tranquilizers have been produced and consumed at an alarming rate, probably exceeded in volume of total sales only by antibiotics and vitamins. A new language has been developed concurrently: ataraxic, normalizer, calmative, neuroleptic, psychic energizer, antiphobic, and phrenotropic are among the new terms constantly found in lay and medical literature. While in many instances these psychotherapeutic agents induce an improved mental state, they frequently produce undesirable subjective responses, toxic side-reactions, and objectionable effects when given with other drugs.

The principal groups of these drugs are the phenothiazines, the rauwolfia alkaloids and fractions, the substituted propanediols, the diphenylmethane derivatives, the ureides, and the amides. All of these categories contain drugs more familiar to practitioners under such popular names as Thorazine, Sparine, Compazine, Serpasil, Miltown, and Atarax. Each is listed in this useful book by generic as well as proprietary name, accompanied by details or

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