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July 7, 1962

Additional Evidence of the Addiction Liability of Glutethimide in Man

Author Affiliations

Detroit; Ann Arbor, Mich.

JAMA. 1962;181(1):46-48. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050270048014

SINCE ITS INTRODUCTION into clinical medicine 8 years ago, glutethimide (Doriden) has been widely accepted as a sedative-hypnotic drug. It has been promoted as a nonbarbiturate sedative, although it is obvious that it is chemically related to barbiturates. Structurally, it resembles phnobarbital, but it differs from it in certain respects as is illustrated in the figure. These slight differences in chemical structure do modify the pharmacological effects of glutethimide compared to phenobarbital and other barbiturates. Nevertheless, the principal pharmacological effects of these agents are similar in both animals and man. The differences in pharmacological effects of glutethimide compared with barbiturates are related to the duration of effect, reduced potency, ease of arousal, and relative lack of paradoxical hyperexcitability. Glutethimide should be thought of pharmacologically as an agent producing barbiturate-like effects especially in overdosage and with regard to addiction liability. Even a cursory review of the literature reveals that a number

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