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August 1958

Use of Tranquilizers for Mentally Deficient Patients

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(2):159-164. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060161005

In a recent article by Tarjan et al.1 the use of chlorpromazine in mentally deficient patients was reviewed, possible complications from its use were well outlined, and the need for a double-blind research study to measure its objective effectiveness was indicated.

Timberlake et al.2 reported a double-blind study on the effects of reserpine on 200 mentally retarded children. These authors felt that the two-month period of treatment with the drug followed by two-months' use of a placebo was "too brief to determine how well improvement will be sustained."2 They did not attempt to compare the effectiveness of chlorpromazine with that of reserpine. The comparative drug study by Sprogis et al.3 did not utilize the doubleblind technique but did suggest that, while reserpine appeared more effective initially, chlorpromazine appeared to have a more-lasting effect after the drugs had been withdrawn. They suggested the use of a combination

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