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April 1955

Effects of Parenterally Administered Reserpine

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;95(4):538-539. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250100044003

Reserpine is being widely used for the control of hypertension * and as a tranquilizing agent.4 Its use in the management of the acutely disturbed patient is limited by the delayed action following oral administration. In an effort to obtain more rapid onset of action, large doses of reserpine were administered parenterally to nine acutely disturbed subjects. This method of administration has been discontinued because of complications and lack of therapeutic response. Our observations are presented in this report.


Case 1.  —A 50-year-old white male chronic alcoholic was admitted to the hospital with tremors and hallucinations which developed after heavy drinking of 10 days' duration. One year previously he had been treated for delirium tremens. Physical examination revealed a blood pressure of 130/90 mm. Hg; pulse rate, 100; respirations, 25, and temperature, 99 F. There were no abnormal physical findings. Reserpine, 15 mg., was administered intravenously. The