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December 1965

Efficacy of Tranquilizing and Antidepressant Drugs

Author Affiliations

From the Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, now at the Adult Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(6):552-572. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730060070010

THERE IS considerable controversy about the efficacy of the tranquilizing drugs. Many psychiatrists and psychoanalysts rarely, if ever, use the tranquilizing drugs and feel that if they are useful at all, it is merely for sedation. Since they do not write about tranquilizers, their viewpoint fails to find expression in the psychiatric literature. In contrast, there are many psychiatrists who are enthusiastic about the tranquilizing drugs. The present literature on the tranquilizers exceeds 5,000 references.

Although a variety of factors are involved in the decision to use a particular drug in the case of a given patient, we feel it would be of interest in thinking about drugs to have a quick review, a sort of box score, of the efficacy of various drugs as determined by controlled studies. Another purpose of giving such a review is that it allows the gaps in existing literature to be seen