Throwback Thursday: Don’t Know What to Do With Dad? Drug Him!

A 1959 mag ad for Thorazine

Headshot of Robert Klara

How do you calm grandpa down when he gets in one of his moods? Well, in the 1950s, you cooled him out with some heavy-duty amphetamines. This 1959 magazine ad heralded the wonder drug Thorazine, a failed malaria cure later found to have major sedative effects. This ad also marked the start of the age when consumers began expecting cures for nearly anything from a pill bottle. In fact, later ads for Thorazine promised more than just peace for the cantankerous elderly, but relief from pain, anxiety, insomnia, stress, mania, menopause and even alcoholism. Unfortunately, Thorazine was never more than a wicked chill pill, and one that sometimes caused heart failure. But doctors still prescribe the stuff—cautiously.

@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.
Publish date: June 4, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT