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January 25, 1965


JAMA. 1965;191(4):333-334. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080040075025

For more than a decade, phenothiazine drugs have been used to treat a variety of disorders and have proved particularly effective in the treatment of schizophrenia. Clinical experience indicates that initial extremely high dosages are necessary to effect improvement of patients with schizophrenic illnesses.

During 1964, several sequelae have been reported following prolonged high dosage of these drugs. These recent reports refer to side effects which are apparently permanent, in contrast to earlier communications of transient deleterious effects. For example, it has been known for several years that extrapyramidal disorders occur frequently in patients taking phenothiazines; however, a reduction in dosage or cessation of medication appeared to produce a return to the normal state. Hunter et al1 have recently suggested that such extrapyramidal side effects are not always reversible. They found 13 of 250 chronically ill female patients in a mental hospital to have an irreversible syndrome of dyskinesias affecting

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