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ARTICLE |

VALUE AND HAZARDS OF INTRAVENOUS PROCAINE AMIDE ("PRONESTYL") THERAPY

Norman S. Stearns, M.D.; Edmund J. Callahan III, M.D.; Laurence B. Ellis
JAMA. 1952;148(5):360-364. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930050032007.
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Procaine amide ("pronestyl") was recently introduced as an agent for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias. Procaine amide (p-amino-N-[2-diethylaminoethyl] benzamide hydrochloride) differs from procaine by the presence of the amide grouping (. CO. NH. ) instead of the ester grouping (. CO. O. ) present in the latter.1 Available data indicate that this drug, unlike procaine, is not readily hydrolyzed by plasma enzymes and that plasma procaine amide levels persist for several hours rather than for a few minutes, as in the case of procaine. These data imply a longer duration of action for procaine amide than for procaine. Procaine amide, unlike procaine,2 can be administered rather rapidly by the intravenous route to conscious unanesthetized patients without, as a rule, producing convulsions or other signs of central nervous system stimulation. In addition, it may be administered in effective antiarrhythmic doses by the oral route.3

Our study concerned the immediate clinical effects

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