oa South African Medical Journal - Curare in the shock treatments for mental disorders*
*Read at the S.A. Medical Congress, Durban, October, 1946. Curare in the form of Intocostrin (Squibb) has been used in 14 cases enumerated above and has been found a most useful adjunct in shock treatments for these psychoses. Not only does it prevent fractures and painful spasm of muscles, but also in those cases where painful spasm already exists curare can be used to allow treatment to proceed. It was quite common formerly to drop treatments owing to painfulness as the distress was too great for the patients. With care and slowness in administration of the drug, the dangers associated with its use are reduced to a minimum. Alcoholics do not respond so well to this treatment. Cyanosis and respiratory -difficulties are greater. Hence prostigmine should be used to neutralize the curare immediately convulsions are over. With curare there is less recollection of the treatment and less fear. I believe that there is less recollection because in many cases it is towards the end of series of convulsant treatments that the patients recollect the convulsions. I imagine that it would be useful to use curare in those clonic twitchings and convulsions of prolonged (and sometimes fatal) insulin comas, as long as these comas are dry, so that no mucus or mucopus can be sucked into the lungs.
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