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July 1964

Heterophoria Reaction to Barbiturates as Function of Initial (Habitual) Phoria

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the Pharmacology Laboratory, University of California Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;72(1):32-33. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970020034008

It has been demonstrated that barbiturates influence the oculomotor functions.1 A turning in of the eyes with fusion disrupted at 5 meters was one of the more notable effects. A reduction in the fusional range of binocular vision and a recession of the near point of convergence were also shown to occur while accommodation remained unaffected.2

A further investigation of this phenomenon led to the observation that the extent of the heterophoria reaction varied considerably between various subjects. This suggested the hypothesis that it is the initial divergence of the eyes that determines the extent of the reaction. To test this, eight healthy students were given 120 mg of sodium secobarbital (Seconal) orally after fasting. The phoria at

6 meters was measured by a maddox rod before ingestion of the drug and then at intervals not exceeding one-half hour. Placebo runs were carried out on all subjects. The