Cardiazol is the trade name for the drug Pentylenetetrazol, a circulatory and respiratory stimulant, manufactured by Knoll A.G. Chemical Works, circa 1950. It was stocked in the pharmacy of a mental health hospital in Victoria. Cardiazol (also known as Metrazol) was prescribed for a number of uses: it was injected intravenously to rouse patients from comas, to diagnose comatose states, to reverse narcotic poisoning, and as a form of shock therapy by inducing convulsions. Shock therapies (including insulin coma, Cardiazol/Metrazol, and later ECT) were used in the treatment of schizophrenia - the effect of seizures or convulsions was thought to re-set the patient's brain and relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Physical Description

The drug Cardiazol is contained in 30 x 5ccm glass ampoules, shaped like tiny wine bottles with tear-shaped necks. They are packed in a brown cardboard box with lift-off lid. Box is divided into compartments for each ampoule. Box also contains manufacturer's instruction leaflet.


Example of pharmaceuticals used in psychiatric hospitals in Victoria, Australia.

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