Since the introduction of chlorpromazine into psychiatry in 1952, many other phenothiazines have been promoted. These compounds are undoubtedly active in many psychiatric disorders, but few controlled comparisons have been made between them. In general, the trials that have been done tend to show minimal differences.1 2 Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin consultants prefer to base their judgements on adequate trials, but in the absence of such trials are prepared to argue that a really superior drug would make itself known in the course of clinical practice, even despite the advantage possessed by older drugs of having been first in the field. For these reasons it seemed appropriate to survey the usefulness of this group of drugs in a way that was rather different from that usually adopted in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.
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