Meprobamate ( Equanil, Meprospan and Miltown )

Meprobamate, more widely known as Miltown, Equanil and Meprospan, is one of the most widely known drugs from the 1950’s. Originally synthesized 1950 by Wallace Laboratories, Meprobamate was launched officially to the public in 1955 and quickly became the first real ground breaking psychotropic drug in American History.

Meprobamate is a Schedule IV drug that has sedative, anti-anxiety and anticonvulsant properties. Classified as a tranquilizer, Meprobamate slows activity in the brain allowing for relaxation. The exact way Meprobamate works is not completely understood but research shows it having multiple effects on the central nervous system including the thalamus and limbic system. It is also known that Meprobamate binds to some GABA receptors which interrupt communication between neurons in the spinal cord which produces a sedative effect as well as an altered perception of pain.

Used to treat anxiety and anxiety disorders, Meprobamate comes in tablet or long releasing capsule form. It is taken orally usually one to two times per day.

Side effects associated with Meprobamate include:

  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Rash/itching
  • Weakness
  • Excitement
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Impaired Coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Easy bruising/unusual bleeding
  • Small purple skin spots
  • Drowsiness

Anyone taking Meprobamate who experiences any of these side effects should consult with their health care provider.

Not everyone is a candidate for Meprobamate. People with certain medical conditions should not take Meprobamate or should use caution if they do so.

Medical conditions that may be contraindicated with Meprobamate include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Epilepsy
  • History of alcohol or drug addiction

In addition anyone who is over 65, scheduled for surgery including dental surgery, is pregnant, breastfeeding or considering pregnancy, is taking other medications either prescript ion or non-prescription, or operates machinery should not take Meprobamate without discussing possible interactions with their health care provider. Because drowsiness is one of the side effects of this medication people taking Meprobamate should avoid driving as well.

Meprobamate contains properties that may make it habit forming for some people who use it. It is important that it is taken only as directed and under supervision of a health care professional.

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