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July 19, 1965

Meprobamate Sedative or Tranquilizer

JAMA. 1965;193(3):249. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090030071033

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To the Editor:—  A news item in this morning's New York Times reported that meprobamate has been dropped from the US Pharmacopoeia. The decision was based upon a ruling that the drug is a sedative, not a true tranquilizer, and could cause addiction "at dosage levels not much above recommended."These actions and statements unfortunately tend to discredit a drug which I consider to be one of the finest sedatives introduced to medical practice within several decades. When first introduced it was called a tranquilizer as were several other drugs introduced at the same time. The term tranquilizer should be reserved for those drugs which exert a therapeutic effect in certain types of schizophrenia and mania. Such a definition applies to the antipsychotic phenothiazines and to reserpine as well as to a few other compounds. It does not apply to meprobamate, to chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride, or to diazepam.Meprobamate has in

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