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A TWO-YEAR EVALUATION OF CHLORPROMAZINE IN CLINICAL RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
SIDNEY MALITZ; PAUL H. HOCH; STANLEY LESSE
Am J Psychiatry 1956;113:540-545.
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The New York State Psychiatric Institute, 722 W. 168th St., New York City. N. Y.

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Abstract

In conclusion, we believe that chlorpromazine has established itself as a useful therapeutic tool in the treatment of mental illness. It is a relatively safe drug, and although the side-effects are many, serious or permanent sequelae are almost unknown. In regard to its therapeutic effect in our case material much is left to be desired. Its range of application appears to be narrow, being most effective in agitated, hyperactive, and overtly anxious patients, with much more limited value in depression, or with obsessive patients manifesting little or no increase in motor function. It is palliative rather than curative. It can intensify anxiety and precipitate depression and psychotic symptoms as well as alleviate them. Its major advantage lies in its tranquilizing action without accompanying marked drowsiness or confusion. Its value as an adjunct to psychotherapy is still to be evaluated.Chlorpromazine has been a major force in firmly launching us into the era of psychopharmacology. We are still suffering, however, from all the uncertainties and hesitation of a pioneer venture. This should not deter us from continued investigation and progress.

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