Nikethamide is a drug used for stimulating the brain. Its chemical name is nicotinic acid diethylamide. Nikethamide is a cerebral stimulant and a good analeptic.
It stimulates respiration due to an effect on respiratory center and not through the chemoreceptors of the carotid and aortic bodies.
It has a vasoconstrictor effect on the peripheral circulation. It has been for long a popular analeptic drug, used as 25% solution.
Nikethamide Analeptic has little effect on myocardium but larger doses may increase cardiac output and coronary blood flow. It has a low therapeutic index with a convulsant to respiratory stimulant ratio of 18:1.
Duration of action of Nikethamide
Action of this drug is usually short, 10-15 min following intravenous injection.
The usual dose is 1-4 ml of 25% solution i.v. (0.25-1 g). It is rapidly destroyed in the body. It is metabolized to nicotinamide and after methylation it is excreted in urine. A dose of 0.5 to 1 g is usually effective for up to 30 min.
It is also absorbed when given by mouth, but its stimulant action is not appreciable by oral route.
It is indicated in cases of respiratory depression in general anesthesia. The drug is now seldom used. It may cause convulsion following overdose. As it is a derivative of nicotinamide, it can also cure pellagra.
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