THE USE OF STRYCHNIN AND CAFFEIN AS CARDIOVASCULAR STIMULANTS IN THE ACUTE INFECTIOUS DISEASES

L. H. NEWBURGH
1915 Archives of Internal Medicine  
use caffein (and other drugs) when confronted with these symptoms. The symptoms referred to are those which are thought to signify an approaching or an already existing failure of the circulation, and strychnin and caffein are often believed to be powerful and rapid stimulants for the cardiovascular apparatus in such a state. It is the object of this communication to discuss briefly the question whether failure of either the heart or the vasomotor apparatus is the chief cause of death in the
more » ... of death in the infectious diseases ; and to examine, with the aid of new data, the pharmacological and clinical evidence for and against the use of strychnin and caffein as cardiovascular stimulants in infections. THE ALLEGED FAILURE OF THE CIRCULATION A normal flow of blood is brought about chiefly by two factors \p=m-\a heart which pumps a sufficient amount of blood, and a peripheral resistance maintained by the partial contraction of the small arteries. The tone of the arteries depends, in its turn, on the normal activity of the vasomotor nervous system. The Heart.\p=m-\Itis one of the axioms of clinical medicine that the heart-muscle may be so seriously damaged in the acute infections as to be an important source of death. The symptoms which are alleged to signify approaching heart failure of this type are rapid pulse, irregular pulse, dyspnea, cyanosis, increased area of cardiac dulness and weak heart sounds. Space does not permit a discussion of each one of these symptoms. Occasion will, however, be taken to point out
doi:10.1001/archinte.1915.00070210119009 fatcat:whqxrd4obzhbtbyspxwewkckbu