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April 1955

Parenteral Reserpine in treatment of Hypertensive Emergencies

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas

From the Cardiac Clinic of the Jefferson Davis Hospital and the Department of Medicine, Pharmacology, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics, Baylor University College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;95(4):563-577. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250100069007

The treatment of hypertensive emergencies usually requires a potent drug which will promptly reduce the blood pressure. The condition of the patient and the necessity for a rapid response usually make the oral route of drug administration inappropriate. As a result, the primary problems in therapy are those related to the parenteral route of drug administration and to the use of potent compounds which may produce an excessive reduction in blood pressure. These aspects have heretofore necessitated close supervision of the administration of these drugs. Veratrum alkaloids when administered intravenously are probably the most potent agents for reducing blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Their effect is as marked in the recumbent as in the upright position, a characteristic which makes them particularly suitable for the unconscious or bedfast patient. It is always possible to reduce a markedly elevated blood pressure within 10 to 20 minutes with an intravenous infusion of