(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Health Ministry has adopted the policy of the European Medicines Agency by
gradually halting the marketing of the tranquilizer/sleeping pill known to
generations of Americans and others as Milltown.
Its generic name is
meprobamate, and there are numerous commercial names for it.
medication is a carbamate derivative and was the best-selling minor tranquilizer
for a time, but has largely been replaced by the benzodiazepines.
developed in the early ’50s and became the first blockbuster tranquilizing drug
in the US. It was later synthesized and called meprobamate to overcome
shortcomings, including the short period that it has an effect.
European Medicines Agency said that the drug, which is also used as a sleeping
pill, should no longer be used because it caused confusion and unconsciousness
(especially in the elderly) in some patients abroad and may be addictive. It is
made in Israel by Rekah Pharmaceutical Industry Ltd and not widely used here, as
there are better pills for its purposes.
The ministry announced on
Thursday night that it would phase out its use over a period of 15 months. No
such step has yet been taken in the US.
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