The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library

Smith, Kline, and French - Thorazine

Thorazine in Pediatrics

Thorazine (Chlorpromazine) secured FDA approval in 1954 as one of the first psychiatric medications. At a time when mental illness was treated largely with electroshock therapy, institutionalization, or through lobotomy, the pill was considered a “magic bullet” and was used in therapy for a large spectrum of mental illnesses.

With a strategic marketing plan for physicians of every trade, the drug gained popularity and was given to patients with any sign of nervous disorder, such as common anxiety. This led to high levels of dependency and disturbances of normal brain activity in people who did not actually need antipsychotic medicine.

By the late 1960s, the use of Thorazine fell with the discovery of less habit forming antidepressants and the increased popularity of therapy. However, Thorazine is still considered a benchmark drug for the treatment of schizophrenia and other antipsychotic disorders.

Click Page 2 below to view a gallery of pamphlets on Thorazine.