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March 1974

Treatment of Phobias by Systematic Desensitization: Comparison of Standard vs Methohexital-Aided Desensitization

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Temple University Health Sciences Center, Philadelphia. Dr. Razani is currently with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(3):291-293. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760090011002

In a controlled (crossover) study a group of phobic neurotic psychiatric outpatients were treated with standard systematic desensitization aided by intravenously administered methohexital sodium (Brevital Sodium). Results show that desensitization is effective in reducing the severity of phobic symptoms. Methohexital-aided desensitization may be significantly superior to conventional systematic desensitization in causing greater improvement of the phobic symptoms during an equal time period. The dosage range of intravenously administered methohexital sodium used in this study (up to 60 mg per 50 minute session) was found to be extremely safe and practical for outpatient use.

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