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September 23, 1961


Author Affiliations

Memorial Hospital of Long Beach, Calif.

JAMA. 1961;177(12):881-882. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040380059017

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To the Editor:—  The report by Shanbron commenting favorably on the use of procaine in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia (JAMA176:1041-1043 [June 24] 1961) may be the occasion for renewed interest in the intravenous use of procaine. Consequently, it seems appropriate to recall some previous publications on the subject. These publications may offer an explanation for the paradox pointed out by Shanbron, that in spite of the varied therapeutic claims on behalf of procaine, its use has seldom been proposed among the many measures employed in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia.In his paper, Shanbron twice states that all patients in his series experienced some side effects (with due regard for Dr. Modell's invocation of "a plague on both sides of side-effects" [JAMA176: 945-946 (June 17) 1961]). Notwithstanding their rapid reversibility, a 100% incidence of side effects is a significant occurrence. It would consequently have been in

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