Tranquilizing drugs in adequate dosage tend to lessen anxiety and tension. They reduce overactivity, hostility, and destructiveness. They may, however, have certain undesirable side-effects, such as excessive weight gain, persistent drowsiness, a reduced capacity for motor functioning, and a reduced capacity for intellectual and emotional release.1,2 They are also ineffective in depressions, suicidal trends, and feeding problems. They may even increase these latter mental symptoms.
We began studies with iproniazid ( Marsilid) and deserpidine, a Rauwolfia alkaloid, in 1955 in chronic schizophrenia.3 Iproniazid is an inhibitor of the brain enzyme which metabolizes serotonin,4 and it decreases the depressant effect of deserpidine or reserpine in schizophrenic patients. It was observed then that a greater weight gain occurred with this drug combination than with either drug alone. Therefore, iproniazid was used alone or with reserpine in depressed feedingproblem patients in our Acute Hospital Di