President's Address: Cardiac Stimulants

Proc R Soc Med. 1928 Nov;22(1):27-33.


An attempt is made to systematize our knowledge of certain drugs which are supposed to exercise a direct or indirect stimulating action on the heart. The actions on the circulation of strychnine, alcohol, camphor, adrenaline and pituitrin, which have been taken as representative examples, are briefly reviewed, with the object of separating out points in their actions in regard to which clinicians and pharmacologists are in general agreement, and of suggesting explanations for some of the dissensions that remain. The suggestion is made that much of the prevailing confusion in regard to the actions and uses of such drugs is due to the fact that we have as yet no sufficiently accurate classification either of "cardiac stimulants" or of "cardiac failures," wherefore it is difficult to bring a disorder and its remedy into proper alignment.