10-7. EXAMPLE OF AN ANALEPTIC AGENT
Doxapram (Dopram) is an analeptic agent used for postanesthetic arousal and
drug-induced central nervous system depression. It has the ability to arouse the patient
after surgery without reducing the analgesia produced by opiates (for example,
morphine). Thus, it is used to hasten recovery time. The faster the patient becomes
aware of his or her surroundings, the faster nursing personnel are relieved of intensive
care responsibilities. Doxapram is also used to stimulate respiration and hasten arousal
in patients who have mild to moderate respiratory and central nervous system
depression because of overdose. The most common side effects associated with this
drug are headaches, nausea, and vomiting. The usual dose of the drug is 0.5 to 2.0
milligrams per kilogram of body weight. It is supplied as an injectable containing 20
milligrams per milliliter of solution.
Section IV. CONVULSANTS (SPINAL CORD STIMULANTS)
Some chemical substances can so stimulate the motor areas of the central
nervous system that a person's muscles begin to powerfully convulse (begin
uncontrollable violent contractions). Some natural and manmade chemicals are
capable of producing such reactions. For example, tetanospasmin, a chemical
produced by the bacteria Clostridium tetani, is such a natural agent. Strychnine, a
poison, once was used as a respiratory stimulant; however, its medicinal use has been
stopped because of its toxicity.
10-9. THERAPEUTIC USE OF CONVULSANTS
Drugs in this classification have little clinical usefulness. Some drugs in this
class have been used in the treatment of some types of psychotic agents.