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the tongue and skin may be treated in the same way.

Stomach and Intestines. Hydrochloric, and to a less extent
nitrohydrochloric acid is of the greatest value in that variety of
dyspepsia in which the acidity of the gastric juice is deficient.
They should, as already explained, be given some little while
after a meal. A very useful stomach mixture consists of diluted
nitrohydrochloric acid combined with tincture of nux vomica,
and some other stomachic, as compound tincture of gentian.
Lactic acid has been used for the same purpose. Acids will
often alleviate that form of indigestion in which the patient
complains of acid eructations and heartburn. For this purpose
they should be given during a meal or before it. They then
check the excessive secretion of acid and restrain fermentation.
An acid mixture sometimes benefits the indigestion of pregnancy,
and small doses of hydrochloric acid may be prescribed during
typhoid and other fevers, because the secretion of this acid is
much diminished when the temperature is raised. Vinegar is
often drunk to reduce obesity, but it only does so because a
long course of any acid will set up a mild gastritis, and thus
hinder the digestion and absorption of food. Carbonic acid,
taken as an effervescing mixture, is a common and very effica-
cious gastric sedative, beneficial, therefore, in painful dyspepsia


and in vomiting. Diluted sulphuric acid may be used as a
haemostatic in bleeding from the stomach or intestines, but its
action is feeble. It is, however, successful as an astringent in
many cases of summer diarrhoea. Nitric and nitrohydrochloric
acids, increasing the amount of bile, poured into the intestines,
are given, and sometimes with much benefit, when it is consid-
ered that dyspepsia is due to disordered function of the liver.
Diluted sulphuric acid is often taken by workers in lead factories,
as it forms an insoluble lead sulphate in the intestine and so pre-
vents absorption of lead.

Remote effects. The remote effects of salts of citric, tartaric,
and acetic acids have already been described {see p. 128). They
are due to the increase in the alkalinity of the blood and the
urine. Phosphoric acid is often given to weak, sickly, anaemic
children with the view of improving the quality of the red blood-
corpuscles, and possibly aiding the growth of bones, but it has
not been proved to have any great value. The same may be
said of lactic and phosphoric acids when given for diabetes ;
indeed, the latter is said to do harm. [There is probably no doubt
as to the value of lime and lemon juice in the treatment of
scurvy.] Lime juice was formerly a popular remedy for acute
rheumatism, but it did little if any good. Sulphuric acid is by
some said to be anhidrotic in the night-sweating of phthisis,
and had some reputation as a remote haemostatic, but it is rarely
given now for these purposes. Aromatic sulphuric acid, with a
little syrup and water, forms a pleasant cooling drink in fever.
Rohrig found that acids diminished the tracheal secretion, and
some physicians find that they diminish the secretions in bron-
chitis. We thus see that the remote effects of all acids, except
citric, tartaric, and acetic, are unimportant.


All these acids are severe gastro-intestinal irritants when given in toxic
doses. Tartaric, citric, and lactic are very rarely taken as poisons.

Symptoms. These are severe burning pain extending from the mouth to
the stomach, excoriation of the mouth with the formation of sloughs, great
difficulty in swallowing, vomiting of dark-brown, coffee- colored material and
shreds of mucus, intense aMominal pain aggravated by the slightest move-


ment, generally obstinate constipation, but if the bowels are open the motions
are dark, from the blood contained in them. Some of the acid generally
passes down to the larynx, and causes swelling of that organ and consequently
dyspnoea from obstruction to respiration. The patient becomes cold, collapsed
and covered with a cold sweat ; his pulse is very feeble, and he suffers from
great thirst. Post-mortem. The mucous membrane of the mouth and oesoph-
agus is softened and corroded, and whitish-gray sloughs and haemorrhages may
be seen here and there. The coats of the stomach are softened. It is often
contracted, and it may be perforated, the aperture being irregular. If the acid
escapes into the peritoneal cavity, it may act on almost any of the abdominal
organs. Should the patient have lived long enough, there may be corrosion
and inflammation of parts of the small intestine. The mucous membrane of
the throat and larynx is inflamed and swollen.

Treatment. Alkalies should be given at once, e.g., soap and water, lime
water, magnesia, washing soda ; and then demulcents, as milk, white of egg,
oil, linseed tea. Do not use the stomach tube if sulphuric acid has been taken,
otherwise wash out the stomach. Morphine may be injected subcutaneously
for the pain, and brandy [given] subcutaneously for the collapse.


I. ACIDUM SULPHUROSUM. Sulphurous Acid. [A liquid com-
posed of not less than 6.4 per cent, by weight of Sulphurous Acid Gas (Sul-
phur Dioxide, 80^=63.9), and not more than 93.6 per cent, of water.

SOURCE. Sulphuric Acid, Bo; is heated with Charcoal, 20; and the
resulting Sulphur Dioxide is dissolved in water. 4H 2 SO 4 -)-Cj=4SOj+2CO 2

CHARACTERS. A colorless liquid of the characteristic odor of burning
Sulphur, and of a very acid, sulphurous taste. Sp. gr., not less than 1.035.]

IMPURITIES. Sulphuric acid, and mineral matters.

Dose, YI to 2 fl. dr. ; [2. to 8. c.c.]


External. Sulphurous acid is strongly deoxidizing, and as
it takes up oxygen so easily from organic bodies, it readily de-
composes them, becoming itself converted into sulphuric acid,
and hence is irritant, but not violently so, for the amount of
sulphuric acid in proportion to the water is slight. It is a dis-
infectant and deodorant ; for in virtue of its property of
absorbing oxygen, it destroys micro-organisms and arrests fer-
mentation. When applied to the skin it is a parasiticide.

Internal. It is believed to act as a disinfectant in the
stomach and intestine, but it is very doubtful whether enough of


it to have any appreciable action in this direction can be safely


External. Sulphurous acid is chiefly used as an antiseptic,
disinfectant, and deodorant. Sulphur [dioxide] is employed as
a disinfectant for a sick-room after a patient with an infectious
disease has been in it. The chimneys and windows should be
stopped up. A quarter to half a pound [120. to 240. gm.] or
more of flowers of sulphur [or better, one or two sulphur candles,
now to be found in pharmacies] , are placed in an earthenware
vessel and lighted ; the door is shut, and the cracks around it
pasted over. The room should be left untouched for six hours.
Generally not enough sulphur is burned for this method to be
efficacious. Sulphurous acid [i to 4] in water is locally applied
to cure ringworm. Foul sores may be washed with it.

Internal. Sulphurous acid is sometimes given internally
with the object of preventing abnormal fermentation in the
stomach and intestines in certain varieties of dyspepsia, but there
is no clinical proof that it can do this, and it should be remem-
bered that it is possible it may do harm by impeding the action
of the normal ferments.

2. ACIDUM BORICUM. Boric Acid. H 3 BO 3 [=6i.78. Synonym.-
Boracic Acid.

SOURCE. Native from Northern Tuscany, or made by the action of
Hydrochloric Acid on Borax by nitration and recrystallization. NajB^Oj-f-
2HCl+ioH 2 O=4H 3 BO 3 -f2NaCl+5H 2 O.

CHARACTERS. Transparent, colorless scales, of a somewhat pearly lustre,
or, when in perfect crystals, six-sided triclinic plates, slightly unctuous to the
touch, having a faintly bitterish taste. Solubility. In 25.6 parts of water ; in
lo of glycerin ; in 15 of Alcohol.

Dose, 5 to 15 gr. ; .30 to i.oo gm.


Glyceritum Boroglycerini. Glycerite of Boroglycerin. Syno-
nyms. Glycerite of Glyceryl Borate. Solution of Boroglyceride.
Boric Acid, 310; Glycerin to 1000. ]

3. SODII BORAS. Sodium [Borate. Na,B 4 O 7
Synonyms. Borax. Sodium Pyroborate.



SOURCE. Native, as a saline incrustation on the shores of certain lakes
and as a crystalline deposit at the bottom of the Borax lake of California, or
by boiling together Boric Acid and Sodium Carbonate and crystallization.
4H s BO s +Na 2 CO 3 =Na 2 B 4 O 7 +CO 2 +6H J O.

CHARACTERS. Colorless, transparent, monoclinic prisms, or a white
powder, having a sweetish alkaline taste. Solubility. In 16 parts] of water ;
in I of Glycerin.

Dose, 5 to 30 gr. ; [.30 to 2.00 gm.]


External. Both boric acid and borax have the power of de-
stroying micro-organisms and are thus disinfectant and anti-
septic, but their value is slight, and they are much more active
in preventing than in inhibiting decomposition. The action is
extremely local. Solutions of boric acid will relieve itching.
Neither substance produces any irritation. Boric acid is very
largely used to preserve milk, butter and animal food.

Internal. Borax and boric acid check the action of saliva
on starch, but, if anything, they increase the action of the gastric
juice and the pancreatic secretion. Large amounts, however,
slightly retard digestion, and still larger are gastro-intestinal
irritants. Boric acid is rapidly eliminated in the urine, it is said
to increase the urea and the quantity of urine. Large doses
[increase] the acidity of this fluid. It is also excreted in the
saliva, sweat, and faeces, and it is stated in rare cases to cause
abortion. In exceptional instances where large quantities have
been applied to raw surfaces or mucous membranes, reduction of
temperature, depression of spirits, feeble pulse, ecchymoses and
vomiting have supervened. Harmful symptoms do not follow
from taking food preserved with boric acid if the amount used is
small, such as anything under [one-tenth of one] per cent., but
they may follow if large amounts are used. It should never be
used for solid foods.


As they do not irritate, both these substances are largely used
to keep wounds, ulcers, and sores sweet. The action is so local
that they cannot be used to dress cavities. Boric lint is em-


ployed to dress wounds. It is made by passing lint through a
hot saturated solution of boric acid. Boric cotton is made the
same way. Lister's bone acid ointment consists of boric acid, i ;
white wax, i ; paraffin, 2 ; almond oil 2 parts. A saturated solu-
tion of boric acid (4 per cent. ), [or the glyceritum boroglycerini
well diluted with water] may be used as an antiseptic wash. Such
solutions are used for ozaena, vaginitis, urethritis, and ophthal-
mia. Colitis is often benefited by washing out the large bowel
with a quart [960 c.c.] of a saturated solution of boric acid;
sometimes tannic acid is added. Lister's ointment, or an oint-
ment of boroglyceride, [(not official) glycerin, 92 ; boric acid,
62 ; by heating], may be used for pruritus, sunburn, etc. Pow-
dered boric acid blown into the ear is very useful in foetid dis-
charges from it. Thompson's fluid (borax, i ; glycerin, 2 ; water,
2), in the proportion of i to 8 of warm water, is commonly em-
ployed to wash out the bladder in cystitis. [One of the most
important antiseptic solutions is that of Thiersch. This consists
of boric acid, 12 ; salicylic acid, 2 ; water 1000]. The glycerin
[of the B. P., which is, borax, i ; water, 2 ; glycerin, 4;] and
the honey of borax, [of the B. P., which is, borax, 2 ; glycerin,
i ; clarified honey, 16 ;] are excellent applications for aphthous
states of the mouth, especially in children. The following is a
good wash for the mouth : Glycerin of borax, [see above] 6 ;
tincture of myrrh, i ; water to 48.

Borax has been given in epilepsy, and its use is gaining
ground. It is often prescribed with advantage in combination
with bromides, but it is decidedly inferior to them, although in
exceptional cases it may succeed when they have failed. As it
is an antiseptic it has been given internally fn typhoid fever and
phthisis, but with doubtful benefit. Taken internally, it is said
to relieve irritability of the bladder. In rare cases its use has
caused either psoriasis, a papular eruption especially marked near
the elbows, an erythematous rash, or eczema. Nausea, loss of
appetite, vomiting, and diarrhoea may be produced. It has no
effect on the intelligence. The taste is best covered with syrup
of orange peel.

Boric acid is not employed internally in medicine, [except-


ing for correcting the foetor of fermentative dyspepsia and in
ammoniacal cystitis, where it is also used in solution for irriga-
tion of the bladder.]



CLASS I. [Drugs which Act Mechanically.

Carbon, Petrolatum and Benzin.

This class includes carbon in its three official forms, and the hydrocarbons.]


[C=u. 97 .

1. CARBO ANIMALIS. Animal Charcoal. Synonym. Bone-black.
SOURCE. Expose bones, deprived of fat, in iron cylinders, to red heat

without access of air, and then powder them.

CHARACTERS. Dull, black, granular fragments or a dull black powder,
nearly tasteless. Solubility. Insoluble in water or Alcohol.


SOURCE. Digest Animal Charcoal, loo ; with Hydrochloric Acid, 300,
and a sufficient quantity of water. Filter, wash and heat the residue to red-
ness in a closed crucible.

CHARACTERS. A dull black powder, odorless, tasteless, and insoluble in
water or Alcohol. It should contain no salts.

Dose, 20 to 60 gr. ; 1.20 to 4.00 gm. ; ^ oz. ; 15. gm. or more as an
antidote. ]

3. CARBO LIGNL [Charcoal. Synonym.] Wood Charcoal.
SOURCE. Wood charred without access of air.

CHARACTERS. [A black, odorless, and tasteless powder, free from gritty
matter. ]

Dose, 20 to 60 gr. ; [1.20 to 4.00 gm.]


External. Dry charcoal absorbs gases and condenses them
within its pores. It thus absorbs oxygen, and hence has an
oxidizing power, parting with the absorbed oxygen to oxidize


organic and other substances. Organic matter is believed to be
decomposed by serobic micro-organisms which act by oxidation,
and anaerobic which decompose directly, producing offensively
smelling and toxic bodies. Wild suggests that the reason for
the deodorant action of charcoal is that it converts anaerobic
into aerobic decomposition. It attracts and oxidizes coloring
matters, and consequently decolorizes them. It has no effect
on living organisms, and is not antiseptic.

Internal. Formerly it was thought only to oxidize when
dry, but to a less degree it has this power when moist, presum-
ably because there is still some active oxygen in its interstices.
It is passed in the faeces unchanged.


External. Charcoal has been recommended as an antiseptic
and deodorant for foul ulcers, etc., but it is a dirty preparation,
and large quantities must be used. Charcoal is used in pharmacy
as a decolorizing agent.

Internal. It has been given as a powder, as lozenges, and
as biscuits, with the object of preventing fermentation in the
stomach, but it is not of much use. Garrod has shown that a
tablespoonful or larger doses of charcoal frequently repeated,
are antidotes against most active vegetable poisons, as opium,
nux vomica, and aconite, for charcoal seems to have a special
attraction for alkaloids. Animal charcoal is the best form to
give as an antidote. Charcoal is used as a tooth powder [but it
should not be recommended because it abrades the enamel of

the teeth] .


i. PETROLATUM LIQUIDUM. Liquid Petrolatum.

SOURCE. A mixture of Hydrocarbons, chiefly of the Marsh-gas series,
obtained by distilling off the lighter and more volatile portions from Petroleum,
and purifying the residue when it has the desired consistence.

CHARACTERS. A colorless, or more or less _ yellowish, oily, transparent
liquid, without odor or taste, or giving off, when heated, a faint odor of Petro-
leum. Sp. gr., about 0.875 to -94S- Solubility. Insoluble in water;
scarcely soluble in cold or hot alcohol, or in cold Absolute Alcohol ; but solu-
ble in boiling Absolute Alcohol, and readily soluble in Ether, Chloroform,
Carbon Disulphide, Oil of Turpentine, Benzin, Benzol, and fixed or volatile oils.


2. PETROLATUM MOLLE. Soft Petrolatum. Synonym. Soft
Petroleum Ointment.

SOURCE. A mixture of Hydrocarbons, chiefly of the Marsh gas series,
obtained by distilling off the lighter and more volatile portions from Petroleum,
and purifying the residue when it has the desired melting point.

When Petrolatum is prescribed or ordered without further specification,
soft Petrolatum (Petrolatum Molle) is to be dispensed.

CHARACTERS. A fat-like mass, of about the consistence of an ointment,
varying from white to yellowish or yellow, more or less fluorescent when
yellow, especially after being melted, transparent in thin layers, completely
amorphous, and without odor or taste, or giving off, when heated, a faint odor
of Petroleum. If a portion of Soft Petrolatum be liquefied, and brought to a
temperature of 140 F. ; 60 C., it will have a specific gravity of about 0.820
100.840. The melting point of Soft Petrolatum ranges between about 104
and 113 F.; 40 and 45 C.

3. PETROLATUM SPISSUM. Hard Petrolatum. Synonym.
Hard Petroleum Ointment.

SOURCE. A mixture of Hydrocarbons, chiefly of the Marsh-gas series, ob-
tained by distilling off the lighter and more volatile portions from Petroleum,
and purifying the residue when it has the desired melting point.

CHARACTERS. A fat-like mass, of about the consistence of a cerate,
varying from white to yellowish, or yellow, more or less fluorescent when yel-
low, especially after being melted, transparent in thin layers, completely amor-
phous, and without odor or taste, or giving off, when heated, a faint odor of
Petroleum. If a portion of Hard Petrolatum be liquefied, and brought to a
temperature of 142 F. ; 6l.I C. , it will have a specific gravity of about
0.820 to 0.850. The melting point of Hard Petrolatum ranges between about
113 and 125 F. ; 45 and 51.3 C.

IMPURITIES. Fixed oils, fats of animal or vegetable origin, resin, and
organic impurities.


Petrolatum is used exclusively as a bland, neutral protective,
and, because it does not become rancid nor act as an irritant,
and as it is not affected by acids, alkalies or powerful reducing
agents, it is employed as a substitute for fatty materials in oint-
ments. But as it is absorbed with difficulty it is not a suitable
vehicle for drugs which are intended for absorption through the
skin. Liquid petrolatum has been used as a local soothing ap-
plication in inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose,
throat, larynx, and even of the bronchial tubes. It is then ap-


plied with an atomizer and may be employed as a vehicle for
medicinal substances. None of the petroleums are nutritive.


BENZIN. Synonyms. Petroleum Benzin. Petroleum Ether. A puri-
fied distillate from American Petroleum, consisting of hydrocarbons, chiefly of
the Marsh-gas series (C 5 H 12 , C 6 H M , and homologous compounds).

CHARACTERS. A transparent, colorless, diffusive liquid, of a strong, char-
acteristic odor, slightly resembling that of Petroleum, but much less disagree-
able, and having a neutral reaction. Sp. gr., 0.670100.675. Solubility.
Insoluble in water ; soluble in about 6 parts of Alcohol, and readily soluble in
Ether, Chloroform, Benzol, fixed and volatile oils.


Benzin is used to obtain volatile oils by percolation, as a sub-
stitute for ether in making oleoresins, for dissolving fats, resins,
caoutchouc and some of the alkaloids.]

CLASS II. The Anaesthetics.
Alcohol, Chloroform, Ether, and Acetic Ether.

These substances produce local anaesthesia by evaporation. They are
rubefacient if their vapor is confined. The stomach, heart and central nervous
system are first stimulated and then depressed by them. [Amylic Alcohol,
(B. P.) Ethyl Bromide, Bromoform and Pental, none of which are official,
are considered in this class.]


[Ethyl Alcohol. C 2 H 5 OH=45.9.
Alcohol is official in the eight following forms :]

i. ALCOHOL. [A liquid composed of about 91 per cent, by weight,
or 94 per cent., by volume, of Ethyl Alcohol, and about 9 per cent, by
weight, of water. Synonyms. Ethy lie Alcohol. Spirit of Wine.

SOURCE. Macerate rectified spirit with Anhydrous Potassium Carbonate to
remove the water, then again with freshly fused Calcium Chloride, and distil.

CHARACTERS. A transparent, colorless, mobile and volatile liquid of a
characteristic, rather agreeable odor, and a burning taste. Sp. gr., about 0.820.
Boils at 172.4 F. ; 78 C. Entirely volatilized.

IMPURITIES. Resins or oils, detected by turbidity on dilution.

Alcohol is used to make Chloroform.


Alcohol Dilutum. Diluted Alcohol. Synonym. Proof Spirit
A liquid composed of about 4 1 per cent. , by weight, or about 48. 6 per


cent., by volume, of absolute Ethyl Alcohol, and about 59 per cent, of
water. Alcohol, 500 ; distilled water, 500.

CHARACTERS. The same as those of Alcohol. Sp. gr., about

2. ALCOHOL ABSOLUTUM. Absolute Alcohol. Ethyl Alcohol,
containing not more than I per cent , by weight, of water.

SOURCE. By percolation of the strongest and purest Alcohol through
recently burned lime, out of contact with the air, then re-distil the percolate
in vacua.

CHARACTERS. A transparent, colorless, mobile, and volatile liquid, of a
characteristic, rather agreeable odor, and a burning taste. Very hygroscopic.
Sp. gr., not higher than 0.797.

3. ALCOHOL DEODORATUM. Deodorized Alcohol. A liquid
composed of about 92.5 per cent., by weight, or 95-1 per cent., by volume, of
Ethyl Alcohol, and about 7.5 per cent., by weight, of water.

SOURCE. The foreign odors may be removed by distilling the Alcohol
over about 2 per cent, of pure, fused Sodium Acetate.

CHARACTERS. As of Absolute Alcohol. Sp. gr., about 0.816.]


[SOURCE. An alcoholic liquid obtained by the distillation of the fer-
mented, unmodified juice of fresh grapes, and at least four years old.

CHARACTERS. A pale, amber-colored liquid having a distinctive odor and
taste, and a slightly acid reaction. Contains 39 to 47 per cent., by weight,
of Alcohol, together with a volatile oil and several Ethers. Sp. gr. , 0.925 to
0.941, which limits it should not exceed.

Dose, indefinite.


SOURCE. An alcoholic liquid obtained by the distillation of the mash of
fermented grain (usually a mixture of corn, wheat and rye), and at least two
years old.

CHARACTERS. An amber-colored liquid, having a distinctive taste and
odor, and a slightly acid reaction. Contains 44 to 50 per cent., by weight,
of Absolute Alcohol. Sp. gr. , 0.917 to 0.930, which limits it should not exceed.

Dose, indefinite.

6. VINUM ALBUM. White Wine.

SOURCE. An alcoholic liquid, made by fermenting the juice of fresh
grapes, the fruit of Vitis Vinifera (nat. ord. Vitaceez), freed from seeds, stems
and skins.

CHARACTERS. A pale, amber-colored, or straw-colored liquid, having a
pleasant odor, free from yeastiness, and a fruity, agreeable, slightly spirituous
taste, without excessive sweetness or acidity. Contains between 10 and 14



per cent, by weight, of Absolute Alcohol,
limits it should not exceed.

Sp. gr., 0.990 to i.oio, which

7. VINUM RUBRUM. Red Wine.

SOURCE. An alcoholic liquid, made by fermenting the juice of fresh
colored grapes, the fruit of Vitis Vinifera (nat. ord. Vitacece) in presence of
their skins.

CHARACTERS. A deep red liquid, having a pleasant odor, free from
yeastiness, and a fruity, moderately astringent, pleasant, and slightly acidulous
taste, without excessive sweetness or acidity. Contains 10 to 14 per cent., by
weight, of Absolute Alcohol. Sp. gr., 0.989 to i.oio, which limits it should
not exceed.]

Amount of Ethyl Alcohol by Volume in Various Important Substances.

[Alcohol Absolutum .... contains 99 per cent.

Alcohol Deodoratum .... " 95. i] "

Online LibraryWilliam Hale-WhiteMateria medica, pharmacy, pharmacology and therapeutics → online text (page 24 of 67)