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Mogadon and mandrax for insomnia


Nitrazepam (Mogadon - Roche) is announced as the ‘successor to the hypnotics’: it is a new substance, chemically related to the ‘successors to the tranquillisers’ chlordiazepoxide (Librium - Roche) and diazepam (Valium - Roche). Mandrax (Roussel) is not a new substance, but a combination of two old ones: methaqualone 250 mg (marketed in 150 mg tablets as Melsedin - Boots) and diphenhydramine 25 mg (Benadryl - PD). Though their indications are the same (insomnia - ‘especially’, for Mogadon, in ‘middle-aged or elderly patients’) and warnings about unwanted effects similar (avoid alcohol with both; severe liver disease (Mandrax); pregnancy (Mogadon), they present different problems of pharmacological evaluation.

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