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October 1955

Drug Therapy (Rauwolfia) of Hypertension: II. A Comparative Study of Different Extracts of Rauwolfia When Each Is Used Alone (Orally) for Therapy of Ambulatory Patients with Hypertension

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas

From the Departments of Medicine & Pharmacology, Baylor University College of Medicine, the Veteran's Administration Hospital, and the Cardiac Clinic of the Jefferson Davis Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;96(4):530-543. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250150104011

Rauwolfia has been used for many years in India for treating hypertension, nervous disorders, and as a sedative.1 Since the introduction of the first Rauwolfia serpentina preparation to American clinics,* a large number of Rauwolfia derivatives have been investigated regarding effectiveness in treating arterial hypertension. A standardized alkaloidal extract (alseroxylon) was introduced into this country in 1952.4 Since this time, a number of other preparations have been made available, including at least two isolated active alkaloids, reserpine6 and rescinnamine.7

Although the Rauwolfia bibliography is quite large, there have been relatively few reported studies in which the efficacy of the various derivatives of Rauwolfia have been compared. This report is a comparative study of Rauwolfia in treating hypertension and has two major objectives, (1) to compare the clinical results obtained with single, pure alkaloids of Rauwolfia serpentina (e.g., reserpine and rescinnamine) and those obtained with preparations containing

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