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[Marsden's paste consists of arsenous acid, i; powdered acacia,
2 parts.] Arsenous acid, i ; charcoal, i ; red [mercuric] sul-
phide, 4 parts ; and water, [sufficient to make a paste,] is a
formula once very popular. It must be used strong enough to
make the mass of dead tissue slough out quickly, or else the
patient becomes poisoned, for the arsenic is rapidly absorbed.
Arsenous acid, i ; calomel, 8 ; vermilion antimony [sulphide, 8
parts ;] make a caustic powder. Liquor [potassii arsenitis] has
been recommended by Ringer as an application for corns.

Internal. Alimentary canal. Arsenous acid is useful to
destroy the tooth pulps before [filling] teeth.

In some forms of dyspepsia small doses of Liquor Potassii
Arsenitis are occasionally given to stimulate the appetite. Arsenic
is so liable to cause sickness, diarrhcea, and other symptoms of


poisoning, that it is a rule always to begin a course of it with
small doses, say 3 or 4 minims [.20 to .25 c.c.] of Liquor
[Potassii Arsenitis,] or ^ to ^ gr. [.ooi to .0015 gm.] of
arsenous acid as a pill, and to gradually increase the quantity.
Arsenic in any form should always be taken immediately after
meals, so as to dilute it by the contents of a full stomach.
Children bear it well ; old people do not. Very small doses
sometimes check vomiting, especially that form in which the
food simply regurgitates, and in exceptional cases it may suc-
ceed in checking diarrhoea when other drugs have failed.

Remote effects. Arsenic is of great value in chronic super-
ficial skin diseases not owing their cause to an irritant. It is,
therefore, largely used for psoriasis, pemphigus, and sometimes
for chronic eczema. It is of no use in the acute stages of these
maladies, nor if cutaneous inflammation is deep-seated.

Cases of anaemia which cannot be cured by iron, and which
fall under the heading of primary anaemia, may be occasionally
much improved by arsenic. Such are pernicious anaemia, splenic
leucocythaemia, and Hodgkin's disease ; but often no drug is of
any avail. In other forms of anaemia, such as chlorosis, arsenic
may be tried, but not often with benefit, when iron compounds
disagree. It often improves the metabolism, the appetite, and
the weight in those whose general health is feeble. Arsenic is,
next to quinine, the best antiperiodic we have ; but it is not
nearly so efficacious. It may, however, in the absence of qui-
nine, be used for ague, and is especially valuable for the anaemia
which follows ague, and for neuralgia due to the same cause. It
often does distinct good in rheumatoid arthritis if given for a
long while. It is frequently prescribed for chorea, [particularly
in rapid increasing doses] ; but it is difficult to prove that the
[patients] get well more quickly than they would without any
drug. Arsenic has been strongly recommended in asthma and
in hay fever. For asthma it may be given by the mouth, or
smoked as cigarettes, made by saturating bibulous paper in a
solution of fifteen grains [i. gm.] of [potassium] arsenite to an
ounce [30. c.c.] of water. It has been given in phthisis, but
without benefit. [There appears to be good evidence that arsenic


in large doses restrains the growth of sarcomata, particularly of
the fusiform -cell variety.] The springs of Levico and La Bour-
boule contain arsenous acid. Strong Levico contains ^ gr.
[.005 gm.] of arsenous acid and 30 gr. [2. gm.] to the pint
[480. c.c.]. Weak Levico ^ gr. [.0005 gm.] and 8 gr. [0.5
gm.] respectively. La Bourboule contains T ^ gr. [.005 gm.]
of arsenous acid and a trace of iron to the pint [480. c.c.].
These waters should always be drunk at meals.

[Cacodylic acid (AsO(OH)O(CH 3 ) 2 , (not official), and so-
dium cacodylate (AsONa(CH 3 ) 2 , (not official) have recently
been proposed as eligible methods for the administration of ar-
senic. The former contains 58 per cent, of arsenic. Their
solubility, relatively small toxicity and the diminished local irri-
tation which they produce are advantages to be borne in mind.
The best form of administration is as sodium cacodylate given
hypodermatically in daily amount of from ^ to 2^ gr. ; .05 to
.15 gm., in solution. By this method the arsenic is fully effi-
cacious, no alliaceous odor is given to the breath or perspiration,
and gastric and intestinal disturbances do not supervene. Pro-
longed use may set up albuminuria. By the rectum it produces
less irritation and the odor of garlic is not so pronounced as after
the use of Fowler's solution. This method is preferable in the
treatment of tuberculosis, diabetes, Basedow's disease and



Acute Poisoning. [Arsenous acid] is frequently used as a poison.
[The forms most employed are Scheele's and Paris Green (cupric arsenite),
and Schweinfurth's Green (a compound of cupric arsenite and arsenate).
Symptoms.} Soon after taking it the sufferer experiences faintness, nausea,
sickness, epigastric pain and tenderness. These symptoms quickly increase.
The vomit is brown, and often streaked with blood ; the pain is very severe ;
there is profuse diarrhoea, with much tenesmus ; and there are cramps in the
calves of the legs. The vomiting becomes violent and incessant ; there is a
burning sensation in the throat, with intense thirst. Soon severe symptoms set
in ; the skin is cold, the pulse small and feeble, and the patient dies [in col-
lapse]. The symptoms frequently bear a close resemblance to those of cholera.
Post-mortem. The stomach is intensely inflamed, even if the arsenic has not
been taken by the mouth, but has been applied in large quantities to cancerous
growths. This shows that arsenic is excreted from the blood into the stomach.
The small intestines are also acutely inflamed.


Treatment. Wash out the stomach. Give emetics (see p. 139), choosing
the least irritating and least depressing. The stomach must be completely
emptied. Give unlimited quantities of freshly prepared humid [ferric hydrate]
(see p. 193) or dialyzed iron. If neither of these is handy, give magnesia in
large amounts, or large doses of castor oil and water. Give brandy or ether
subcutaneously ; apply hot blankets and bottles to the feet and the abdomen.

Chronic Poisoning. Often, when arsenic is taken as a medicine, slight
symptoms of poisoning are seen. They are loss of appetite, nausea, perhaps
vomiting, slight abdominal pain, and mild diarrhoea. The eyelids become a
little puffy, the conjunctivas injected, the eyes and nose water, and there is
slight headache. These symptoms, of course, show that the dose given is too
large, and that it must be decreased.

Arsenic is so often used in the manufacture of all sorts of articles, espec-
ially wall papers and fabrics, that chronic poisoning by it is frequently seen.
[The evidence in regard to chronic poisoning from occupancy of rooms deco-
rated with arsenical wall paper is somewhat contradictory, but the facts point
towards its probability. Quite as often the poisoning is due to the arsenic
which is a contamination of aniline dyes as it is the arsenical pigments, so that
the color should not be depended upon, but rather a chemical examination.] It
is also met with in workers of arsenic, and in persons to whom it has been
given with intent to murder. The symptoms produced are those already men-
tioned as present when large doses of arsenic are taken medicinally.

Long-continued use of arsenic may induce peripheral neuritis ; the chief
symptoms of arsenical neuritis are herpes zoster, paralysis of the muscles of the
limbs, especially the extensors of the hands and feet, ataxic gait, severe darting
pains in the limbs, and rapid muscular atrophy. Several cases are recorded in
which arsenic has caused general brown pigmentation of the skin. It may
also give rise to brown pigmentation of patches of psoriasis, and in quite ex-
ceptional cases cause eczema or urticaria. After death from chronic poisoning,
in addition to the gastro-intestinal and nervous lesions, there is widespread
fatty degeneration of most of the organs of the body. It is well seen in the
liver, kidneys, stomach and muscles, including the heart.

Repeated doses given to animals abolish the glycogenic function of the
liver, so that puncture of the floor of the fourth ventricle no longer causes gly-
cosuria. In frogs poisoned with arsenic the epidermis peels off very easily.
This is due to degeneration of its lower cells, the degeneration proceeding
from the lowest layer outwards.

[The tests for arsenic are so simple that every physician should be able
to make use of them. They are: (l) Reinsch's. Hydrochloric acid and a
clean slip of copper are boiled in the suspected liquid. Bluish spots indicate
the poison. (2) Marsh's. Diluted sulphuric acid and zinc are introduced
into a flask with the suspected liquid. The gas issuing from the tube is
ignited and the flame allowed to impinge upon a clean porcelain plate forming
a steel-white mirror if arsenic be present ; or the delivery tube may be heated
when the mirror will be deposited upon it. This mirror is distinguished from


that produced by antimony by its solubility in potassium hypochlorite if arsenic
is the cause. ]



i. ANTIMONII [SULPHIDUM. Antimony Sulphide. Sb 2 S 3 =
335.14. Synonym. Antimony Trisulphide.

SOURCE. Native Antimony Sulphide purified by fusion, as free from
Arsenic as is possible.

CHARACTERS. Steel-gray masses of a metallic lustre and a striated crys-
talline fracture, forming a black or grayish-black, lustreless powder without
odor or taste. Solubility. Insoluble in water or Alcohol.


I. Antimonii Sulphidum Purificatum. Purified Antimony
Sulphide. Sb 2 S s =335. 14. Synonym. Purified Black Antimony.

SOURCE. Antimony Sulphide, loo; purified by Ammonia Water,
50 ; decanted and dried.

CHARACTERS. A heavy, grayish-black, lustreless powder, without
odor or taste.

IMPURITY. Silica.]

2., Antimonium Sulphuratum. Sulphurated Antimony. [Chiefly
Antimony Sulphide (Sb 2 S 3 ) and with a small amount of Antimony
Oxide (SbjO s ). Synonym. Kermes mineral.

SOURCE. Boiled Purified Antimony Sulphide, loo ; and Solution
of Soda, 1200. Sb 2 Sj+4NaOH=NaSbO 2 +Na s SbSj. Precipitate
with Sulphuric Acid, wash and dry. NaSbO r fNa 3 SbS 3 -}-2H,SO 4
=Sb 2 S 3 -f2Na.,SO 4 +2H 2 O.

CHARACTERS. An amorphous reddish-white powder, becoming
lighter in color on exposure to light. Solubility. Insoluble in water
or Alcohol.]

Sulphurated Antimony is contained in Pilulse Antimonii Com-
posite. See Mercury, p. 212.

Dose, \ to i gr. ; [.01 to .06 gm.]

a. ANTIMONII OXIDUM. [Antimony Oxide. Sb 2 O 3 =287.o7.
Synonym. Antimony Trioxide.]

SOURCE. Pour a solution of Antimony Chloride into water. Antimony
Oxychloride is precipitated. SbCl,-}-H a O=SbOCl+2HCl. The precipi-
tate is treated with Sodium Carbonate, washed, and dried. 2SbOCl-j-Na.,COj
=Sb 1 O,+2NaCl+CO,.

CHARACTERS. [A heavy grayish-white powder, without odor or taste.]

IMPURITIES. Higher oxides.

Dose, i to 4 gr. ; [.06 to .24 gm.]



Pulvis Antimonialis. [Antimonial Powder. Synonym, James'
Powder. Antimony Oxide, 33 ; Precipitated Calcium Phosphate, 67.
Dose, 3 to 15 gr. ; .20 to i.oo gm.j

Potassium Tartrate. 2K(SbO)C 4 H 4 O 6 -f-H 2 O=662.42. Synonyms. Tartar
Emetic. Tartrated Antimony.

SOURCE. Make a paste of Antimony Trioxide (Sb 2 O 3 ) with Acid Potas-
sium Tartrate and water. Let it stand twenty-four hours, boil in water, and
crystallize. 2KHC 4 H 4 O 6 4-Sb 2 O 3 =2K(SbO)C 4 H 4 O 6 +H. i O.

CHARACTERS. Colorless, transparent crystals of the rhombic system, be-
coming opaque and white on exposure to air ; or a white granular powder,
having a sweet, afterwards disagreeable metallic taste. Solubility. In 17
parts of water; insoluble in Alcohol].

INCOMPATIBI.ES. Gallic and tannic acids, most astringent infusions, alka-
lies, and lead salts.

IMPURITY. Acid Potassium Tartrate.

Dose, y 1 ^ to YT. gr. [.006 to .03 gm.] (diaphoretic), ^ to i gr. [.03 to
.06 gm.] (cardiac depressant), i to 2 gr. [.06 to .12 gm.] (emetic).


1. Vinum Antimonii. [Wine of Antimony. Antimony and
Potassium Tartrate, 4 ; boiling distilled water, 65 ; Alcohol, 150 ; White
Wine to 1000.

Dose, 5 to 60 m. ; .30 to 4.00 c.c.

2. Syrupus Scillse Compositus. Compound Syrup of Squill.
Synonym. Hive Syrup, so called from hives, the old name of croup.
Fluid extract of Squill, 80 ; Fluid extract of Senega, 80 ; Antimony and
Potassium Tartrate, 2 ; Sugar, 750 ; Precipitated Calcium Phosphate,
10 ; water to looo.

Dose, 5 to 30 m. ; .30 to 2.00 c.c.]


External. Antimonial compounds are powerful external
irritants. [The Liquor Antimonii Chloridi of the B. P., which
is a solution of antimony chloride in hydrochloric acid is a
severe caustic.] Tartar emetic produces a pustular eruption
at the point of application.

Internal. Alimentary canal. All compounds of antimony
are powerful irritants, internally as well as externally ; the
action of tartar emetic is best known. The first result of


swallowing this is vomiting. The early acts of vomiting are
due to the direct action of the drug on the wall of the stomach,
but it is quickly absorbed, and by its action on the medulla it
also produces sickness, but this action is slight. It will produce
vomiting when injected into the blood, partly by its action on
the medulla for it will act if the stomach is replaced by a blad-
der but also because some of it is excreted into the stomach
and intestines, and thus the vomiting is continued for some time.
In large doses tartar emetic is irritant to the intestine. [A
round mass of metallic antimony was formerly known as the
" family pill," because it could be repeatedly used as a laxative.]

Heart. Antimony acts upon man as upon the lower animals.
It is a powerful cardiac depressant, diminishing both the
frequency and the force of the beat of the heart. Experiments
on animals have shown that the final stoppage takes place in
diastole, and that the chief action of antimony is that of a direct
depressant to the cardiac muscle itself. Of course, the cardiac
depression causes the arterial pressure to fall ; but part of this
effect is due to a coincident action upon some portion of the
vaso-motor system ; the probability being that antimony, by
paralyzing the muscular coat of the arteries, relaxes them.

Respiration. Respiration is depressed, the movements be-
come weaker, and inspiration is shortened, but expiration is
prolonged. Finally, the pauses become very long and the move-
ments very irregular. The cause of this is not known ; probably
it is very complex.

Nervous and muscular systems. Here also antimony acts as a
powerful depressant, especially to the spinal cord, and to a
less extent to the brain ; hence moderate doses cause a feeling of
languor, inaptitude for mental exertion, and sleepiness. Experi-
ments on animals show that, after the administration of large
doses of antimony, reflex movement is soon lost, and that this is
due to a depressing effect on the sensory part of the spinal cord.
This depressant influence is felt also in the muscles, and hence
antimony will relieve spasm, but whether it does so by direct
action on the muscles or by acting on the nervous systero is


Temperature. Moderate doses of antimony have little influ-
ence on the temperature, but large doses cause a considerable
fall, due, no doubt, in the main to the circulatory depression,
but, also, it is said, to a direct action in decreasing the amount
of heat produced.

Excretion. Antimony is excreted by the urine, bile, sweat,
bronchial secretion, milk, and particularly by the faeces. We
have seen that part of its emetic effect is due to its excretion into
the stomach. As it passes out by the bronchial mucous membrane
it increases the amount of secretion, and thus acts as an expec-
torant. On the skin the action is that of a profuse diaphoretic.
This is chiefly a secondary result of the depression of the circu-
lation, but is possibly in part a direct local effect. In frogs the
action on the skin is very like that of arsenic, but antimony
softens rather than detaches the epidermis, which thus becomes
a jelly-like mass. Being excreted in the bile, it aids its flow ;
therefore it is a cholagogue.

In passing through the kidneys it may be slightly diuretic,
but this depends upon the amount of perspiration produced by
it. If its use is continued for some time it will cause, like arsenic,
fatty degeneration, especially of the liver, and abolition of the
hepatic glycogenic function.


External. [A solution of antimony chloride, known as
Butter of Antimony, has been used as a caustic, but its employ-
ment has been abandoned, as the sore produced is difficult to
heal.] Many years ago an ointment of tartar emetic was com-
monly applied as a counter-irritant, but it causes much pain, and
is now seldom used.

Internal. Alimentary canal. Tartar emetic is not to be
recommended as an emetic, for the action is slow, and the general
depression of emetic doses is great. For this reason it should
never be given to produce purgation. The only cases in which
it is permissible are those in which an emetic is required for
laryngitis, bronchitis, or some other acute inflammatory condi-
tion of the respiratory tract, for then its depressant action on the


circulation may perhaps be beneficial, but usually ipecacuanha is

Circulation. Antimony was formerly largely employed, espe-
cially in combination with aconite, to reduce the force and fre-
quency of the pulse in all sorts of febrile conditions ; but this is
now generally thought unnecessary. If it is to be used, it is
especially indicated in respiratory affections ; for then its expec-
torant effect may be valuable.

Respiration. It has been very much given for the early stage
of acute bronchitis ; but certainly it should not be continued
after a free secretion of bronchial mucus has been set up by it.
After that it is, on account of its depressing influence, an unde-
sirable expectorant.

Nervous and muscular systems. Its use as a sedative in de-
lirium tremens is now abandoned, and the introduction of chlo-
roform has made it unnecessary to employ tartar emetic to relax
muscular spasm in herniae, dislocations, etc.

Remote effects. Occasionally it is given in fevers for its dia-
phoretic influence and for its slight antipyretic action. Some-
times it is ordered as a cholagogue ; but because of its powerful
depressant action, it is less used as a medicine than formerly.


Acute Poisoning. The symptoms are very like those of arsenical poi-
soning (see p. 228). Post-mortem. The gastro-intestinal irritation is very
similar, but it is not nearly so marked.

Treatment. Unless the vomiting is very free, apomorphine [hydro-
chlorate] subcutaneously, or zinc sulphate by the mouth or the stomach pump,
may be used. Also frequent doses of half a drachm [2. gm.] of tannic or
gallic acid dissolved in water, strong tea or coffee, mucilaginous drinks, and
stimulants subcutaneously. Hot water bottles and warm blankets may be

Chronic Poisoning is not sufficiently common to call for notice here.
[An instance of the use of antimony for homicidal purposes has recently been
the subject of judicial inquiry.]



I. ACIDUM CHROMICUM. Chromic Acid. CrO,[=99.88. Syno-
nyms. Chromic Anhydride. Chromic Trioxide.


SOURCE. Dissolve Potassium Bichromate in Sulphuric Acid and water,
decant from the Acid Potassium Sulphate, heat with more Sulphuric Acid, cool
and crystallize. K 2 Cr 2 O 7 -f2H 2 SO 4 =2CrO 3 +2KHSO 4 -fH 2 O.

CHARACTERS. Small needle shaped crystals, or rhombic prisms, of a
dark purplish-red color and metallic lustre. Readily yields Oxygen, and
will, therefore, easily explode, with either Glycerin, Ether, or Alcohol. Solu-
bility. Very soluble in water.]


External. In consequence of its oxidizing power, chromic
acid is a powerful deodorant and disinfectant. It coagulates
albumin and oxidizes organic matter, and is therefore a powerful

Internal. None is known.


External. [It is used generally in the strength of i per
cent, to harden catgut and kangaroo tendon for surgical uses. A
lotion of the same strength is used in Germany to toughen the
feet of marching soldiers.] As a lotion, i to 40, or even
stronger, chromic acid has been used for its disinfectant proper-
ties to wash foul ulcers and sores, and also as a local application
for ozaena, gonorrhoea, leucorrhcea, and bad ulcerations of the
mouth, but a gargle should not be stronger than [i to 480],
The Liquor [of the B. P. , which is one part of chromic acid in
3 of water,] is occasionally used as a caustic to destroy con-
dylomata, etc.

2. POTASSII BICHROMAS. [Potassium Bichromate. KjC a O 7 =
2 93-?8. Synonym. Potassium Dichromate.

SOURCE. Finely-ground Chrome-iron ore mixed with Potassium Carbon-
ate is roasted in a reverberatory furnace, which causes the separation of all
iron in the form of Ferric Oxide, and the production of Potassium Bichromate.
Lime or chalk is added during the roasting to prevent fusion. 2FeOCr 2 O 3 -|-
4K 2 CO 3 +4O 2 =Fe 2 O 3 -f-4K 2 CrO 4 -f 4CO 2 . After solution in water Sulphuric
Acid is added, and the two salts are separated by crystallization. 2K 2 CrO 4 -|-
H 2 SO 4 =K 2 Cr 2 O 7 +K 2 SO 4 +H 2 O.

CHARACTERS. Large, orange-red, transparent, triclinic prisms or four-
sided tables, odorless, and having a bitter, metallic taste. Solubility. In IO
parts of water ; insoluble in Alcohol.]


INCOMPATIBLE. Owing to the ease with which it oxidizes it readily forms
explosive compounds. It is here prescribed as a pill made up with kaolin.
[IMPURITIES. Sulphates, chlorides and calcium.
Dose, T ^ to i gr. ; .006 to .06 gm.


External. It is an irritant caustic.] Handling the salt may
produce eczema.

Internal. Occasionally solutions of it have been taken by
mistake. Symptoms of very severe gastro-intestinal inflamma-
tion with much collapse have followed.


External. [It is used as a caustic for warts, venereal ulcers
and mucous patches.] Its solution is caustic and antiseptic, but
it is weaker than chromic acid.

Internal. [It has been recommended for the treatment of
gastric catarrh and gastric ulcer in dose of from ^ to % gr.,
.005 to .01 gm., given thrice daily on an empty stomach, and
is reputed to relieve nausea, vomiting and pain.]

The remaining groups of the inorganic drugs are non-metallic.


Containing Phosphorus only.

P.[= 3 o. 9 6.]

SOURCE. [Treat Bone Ash or Lime Phosphate with Sulphuric Acid and
water, filter and evaporate. Ca 3 (PO 4 )+2H 2 SO 4 =CaH 4 (PO 4 ) 2 +2CaSO 4 .
Heat the Acid Calcium Phosphate thus formed, with Charcoal and sand. The
heat first forms Calcium Metaphosphate. CaH 4 (PO 4 ),=Ca(PO,) 2 -|-2H,O.
This is acted on by the Charcoal and sand thus : 2Ca(PO,) 2 -f 2SiO 2 -floC,=
2CaSiO 8 +ioCO-fP 4 .

CHARACTERS. A translucent, nearly colorless solid of a waxy lustre,
having, at ordinary temperatures, about the consistence of beeswax. By long
keeping the surface becomes red, and occasionally black. It has a distinctive
and disagreeable odor and taste (but should not be tasted except in a state of


great dilution); when exposed to the air it emits white fumes, which are lumi-
nous in the dark, and have an odor somewhat resembling garlic. On longer
exposure to air it takes fire spontaneously. Heated with Hydrogen it becomes
red, amorphous, non-poisonous Phosphorus. Solubility. Sparingly in alco-
hol, ether and chloroform ; freely in carbon disulphide ; insoluble in water. ]
Dose, T ^ to 5^ gr. ; [.0006 to .003 gm.] Never given alone.


1. Oleum Phosphoratum. Phosphorated Oil. [Phosphorus,
I ; Expressed Oil of Almond, 90 ; (which must be heated to 250 F. ;
121 C., and filtered to remove water and organic matter, which would
otherwise oxidize the phosphorus), and Ether to loo. Strength. I
per cent.]

Dose, i to 5 m. ; [.06 to .30 c.c.]

2. Pilulae Phosphori. [Pills of Phosphorus. Dissolve Phos-

Online LibraryWilliam Hale-WhiteMateria medica, pharmacy, pharmacology and therapeutics → online text (page 20 of 67)