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Acute Barbiturate Intoxication

Fred Plum, M.D.
JAMA. 1961;177(4):276. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040300048017.
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To the Editor:—  The paper by Dobos et al., "Acute Barbiturate Intoxication," in the April 29 issue of The Journal, pages 268-272, again and rightly emphasizes the excellent results which accrue when patients with barbiturate poisoning are treated carefully with attention to their physiological needs. Dobos et al. cite the conclusion of Shaw et al. (Nature174:402-403 [Aug. 28] 1954) that bemegride (β,β-methylethylglutarimide; Megimide, Mikedimide) is a specific barbiturate antagonist. There is evidence that this may be a misleading statement, since in humans (Plum, F., and Swanson, A. G., JAMA163:827-835 [March 9] 1957) and in animals (Lavenson, G. S., Jr.; Plum, F.; and Swanson, A. G., J Pharmacol Exper Ther122:271-280 [Feb.] 1958) bemegride was found to act similarly to other nonspecific analeptics in subjects deeply anesthesized with barbiturates.


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