Analeptics can increase the rate and depth of ventilation of the lungs and, in higher doses, cause convulsions. In previous articles we concluded that they are of limited clinical help in acute respiratory failure despite their pharmacological actions,1 and probably harmful in acute barbiturate poisoning.2 Micoren, a mixture of cropropamide and crotethamide, is an orally active analeptic which the makers present as a big step forward in the management of ‘chronic hypoventilation and respiratory insufficiency, with particular regard to chronic bronchitis’, claiming that it will increase the depth of ventilation, improve gaseous exchange, increase arterial oxygen levels and reduce carbon dioxide levels, so enabling the patient to become more active.
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