Meprobamate ( 2-methyl-2-n-propyl-1,3-propanediol dicarbamate), marketed in the United Kingdom as Equanil, Miltown, and Mepavlon, is in common use as a tranquilizer in psychiatric states characterized by anxiety and tension. Berger, from whose laboratories it comes, describes three pharmacological properties: a muscle-relaxant action, an anticonvulsant action, and a tranquilizing action. He states that it acts on the central nervous system only, without affecting autonomic functions; it seems to have a unique selective action on the thalamus.
Clinical evaluation is far from complete, but meprobamate seems to be more effective in neurotic than in psychotic conditions. It seemed to us to have two advantages over chlorpromazine: It acted much more quickly when given orally, and it was reported to have no troublesome complications, such as jaundice or agranulocytosis. Berger stated that drowsiness, seldom inconvenient, and infrequent allergic reactions were the only side-effects. More recently, however, Friedman and Marmelzat have described cutaneous, muscular, gastrointestinal,