CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

510 organs. This tendency sometimes displays itself in the production of bilious diarrhoea, and sometimes in an excited condition of the kidneys, verg...

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510 organs. This tendency sometimes displays itself in the production of bilious diarrhoea, and sometimes in an excited condition of the kidneys, verging towards inflammation. "In a great many instances I have observed the urine to become neutral or alcaline under the employment of mercurial medicines. It was particularly noted that these patients had passed acid urine previously to being placed under mercurial medication; that the urine had become acid again after the mercury had been discon- I, tinued for a variable length of time; and that no alcalie nor alcaline salt had been taken, such as might by its elimination from I the kidneys have given rise to this reaction. Neither was there any !, retention of urine in these cases, nor organic matters present which could have originated a rapid putrefaction; so that it could only be concluded that the diminished acidity, neutrality, or alcalinity of the urine of persons under the influence of mercury, results from a vice of secretion produced by the action of this metal on the kidneys. Now, it has been shown, that alcalinity of the urine resulting from a vice of secretion, is a symptom of simple nephritis, - whether acute or chronic; and a symptom of such importance, as, in the opinion of some, to warrant by itself the diagnosis of the disease. 11 In a case which I lately had an opportunity of seeing, there eould be no doubt, however, of the existence of nephritis; and that it resulted from the effects of mercury appeared much more than probable. There was pain and deep-seated tenderness in the regions of the kidneys, frequent rigors, and vomiting, as well as alcalinity of the urine. These symptoms arose under the the use of mercury, but required active antiphlogistic treatment for their removal."-Dublin Hospital Gazette. Under the circumstances indicated, we have frequently found albumen a constituent of the urine.

Acidum Hydrochloricum Dilutum.-There are considerable discrepancies in the strength of this, as well as of the other diluted mineral acids as prepared according to the instructions the three Colleges, as the following statements will show -.-

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Acidum Hydrochloricum Dilutum.-This acid, made according to the London Pharmacopoeia, contains 2 per cent. of real hydrocyanic acid; that of the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia contains rather more than 3 per cent.; while that of the Dublin Pharmacopœia is necessarily of variable and uncertain strength. In this country Scheele’s acid, which contains from 4 to 5 per cent. of real acid, is very frequently prescribed by medical men. These differences in a medicine of such energy and importance The strength of the London Pharare much to be regretted. AND CHEMISTRY, macopœia, is undoubtedly preferable to the others. MATERIA MEDICA. Among the ethereal preparations, there is ordered in the London Pharmacopoeia, a compound called oleum cethereum. ON THE FORMATION OF A NATIONAL PHAR- There is no formula for the preparation of this oil in either of the other Pharmacopoeias, and the process given by the London MACOPŒIA.

PHARMACY,

College is said by some practical men to be impracticable, or at MR. SQUIRE. least to be so uncertain in the product afforded, as to render THE attention of the medical profession has for many years it very expensive; and it is doubtfQl whether the substance past been directed to the impolta,nce of forming a National generally met with under the name of oleum sethereum, is really Pharmacopoeia for Great Britain and Ireland. This object was, that which the London College have described. I believe, contemplated previous to the publication of the last Spiritus IEtheris Nitrici.-There is a great difference between London Pharmacopoeia. The evils likely to result from the the strength of the sweet spirit of nitre made according to the discrepancies which exist in the formulae of the three Colleges London, and that made according to the Edinburgh Pharmacoof London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, for preparations bearing poeia. The latter directs a pure hyponitrous ether to be first the same name, must be apparent to every one. Some of these made, and then one part of this by measure to be mixed with preparations differ so widely in composition and properties, that four parts of rectified spirit. The resulting spirit therefore the quantity constituting an ordinary dose of a compound, made contains one-fifth of its volume of hyponitrous ether. The according to one of the British Pharmacopoeias, may be sufficient process of the London College yields a product which varies to prove highly injurious, if not fatal, were the compound considerably in strength, the proportion of ether present deprepared from the formula of another of the Colleges. The pending upon the quantity of ingredients operated upon, and names of the compounds prescribed by medicalmen in England, the rapidity with which the distillation is conducted. I have, Scotland, andlreland, are for the most part alike-prescriptions however, never met with a specimen made according to the are written in the same language; and similar characters are London process, that contained half as much ether as that employed for designating the quantities of the ingredients made by the Edinburgh process. ordered. There is, in fact, nothing to indicate in what part of Aconitina is directed in the London Pharmacopoeia, to be the kingdom a prescription has been written; yet such are the made from Aconitum paniculatum; in the Edinburgh, from increased and daily increasing facilities for locomotion which Aeonitum napellus. Dr. Fleming states that the Aconitum characterize the present age, that patients are constantly travel- paniculatum contains very little of the alkaloid, and other ling from one capital to another with prescriptions, which, if authors have represented it as being much less active than presented to the Pharmaceutist without explanation, would be the species ordered by the Edinburgh College. I believe the dispensed in a manner contrary to the intention of the pre- Aconitum napellus is generally used. scriber. Liquor Ammoniœ of the London and Edinburgh PharmaIn bringing this subject under the notice of the Pharma- copoeias, has a specific gravity .960, and contains ten per ceutical Society, I propose pointing out some of the principal cent. of ammonia; that of the Dublin Pharmacopoeia, has a discrepancies which have occurred to me as existing between the specific gravity ’950, and contains 12.5 per cent. of ammonia. three British Pharmacopaeias, and I hope that the reading of the Aquce Destillatœ.—Several of our members have attested paper here, and its subsequent publication among the Transac- to the fact that the distilled waters keep better without the tions of the Society, may elicit the expression of opinions from addition of the small quantity of spirit which is directed to other practical men, with reference to the points alluded to. be added by each of the Colleges. Mr. R. Phillips many In the remarks I am about to make, I shall follow the years ago, in his Notes on the Pharmacopoeia, pointed out order in which the preparations to be noticed occur in the Lon- the injurious effect of the spirit in causing the waters to don Pharmacopoeia. become acid, the spirit being converted into acetic acid. This Acidum Aceticum.-This name is applied in the London has also been recently noticed by Mr. Warrington in a paper Pharmacopoeia to an acid consisting of 30.8 parts of anhydrous read before the Chemical Society. In the London and Edinacetic acid, and 69.2 parts of water. In the Edinburgh burgh Pharmacopœias, the spirit is directed to be added to the macopoeia, the same name indicates the strongest acetic acid ingredients previously to distillation, and it has been stated that can be obtained, namely, that containing only one atom, orthat the effect of this is to improve the flavour of the product. about fifteen per cent. of water. The acetic acid of the Dublin *The Dublin College, however, orders the spirit to be added after College contains about 35 per cent. of water. The composi-the water has been distilled (as did a previous London Phartion of these three acids, all bearing the same name, may bemacopeeia), the object being, no doubt, the preservation of the thus represented:water, but the contrary effect is certainly produced. By

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Cataplasma Sinapis.-In the London Pharmacopoeia, this is directed to be made by adding boiling vinegar to the powdered linseed and mustard-seed. As this cataplasm is, I presume, intended as a stimulant and rubefacient application, the use of LONDON: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1845. boiling vinegar is obviously objectionable. The rubefacient property of the mustard depends upon the presence of a volatile oil, not originally existing in the mustard seed, but the various incentives which ordinarily operate on developed by the action of heat and moisture, upon two minds of persons who are engaged in the discussion of and somewhat to the emulsine the amygdaline analogous principles in the almond. The principle corresponding with the emulsinegreat public questions, few, probably, exercise a more stirring is, however, coagulated by a high temperature, or by the than opposition and success. Of both, in our time, action of acids, and is then incapable of generating the volatile have had no inconsiderable share, and, within the last oil. The stimulating effects of the cataplasm would be morewe uniformly and successfully produced if the mustard were firsttwelve months, each, in turn, has urged us into a vigorous mixed with warm water, and the vinegar afterwards added. conflict with the assailants of the cause of Medical Reform.

THE LANCET.

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Extracta.-In the preparation of extracts from the expressed Upon the Minister of the Crown, and down to the meanest of plants, the London College directs the inspissation to the rights of medical practitioners, we were be effected without removing the faacula; the Edinburgh Col- plotters against called often to bestow a liberal allowance of upon lege, on the other hand, directs the fascula to be separated, and the filtered juice evaporated. It would be desirable to elicitcensure. At the same time it may, we trust, be acknowinformation from those who have had experience in this class of ledged, with truth, tha twe discussed the whole question of preparations, and especially to ascertain how far the presence medical government, not only with candour, but with a due of the faecula effects the preservation and the properties of the extract. That from liquorice is very properly ordered in the reference to the just privileges of existing institutions, and Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia to be made from the dried root, and the wants of the public. The most stubborn of the enemies that from the poppy from the unripe capsule. against whom we had to contend were IGNORANCE and is iu of the much formulae the discrepancy Infusa.-There DISHONESTY, both acquiescing in the proposal of the Infusum Minister and the " seyeral Colleges for the preparation of infusions. pures" for the establishment of an anthemidis is ordered by the London College to macerate for inferior Medical College, but each with far different motives, ten minutes; by the Edinburgh College for twenty minutes; a feeling of grovelling selfishness,-the -the one from and by the Dublin College for twenty-four hours. The Edinburgh College has ordered cold water for making infusum other, with a misdirected desire to improve the condition calumbs, and infusum gentianae, and in other respects the ’of their brother-practitioners. Judging,-rightly, as we formula for the latter infusion differs from those of the other the time,-that the fourth Medical Bill of the believed at Colleges. Again, the London College orders the infusum rosae and to macerate for six hours; four, Edinburgh compositum Government, proposed to the House of Commons by Dublin half-an-hour. The infusum digitalis of the Edinburgh Sir JAMES GRAHAM, on the 28th of July, last, would Pharmacopoeia, is more than twice the strength of that of the London. I have been using for some time an infusion pot whichI greatly damage the scientific character, and utterly destroy contrived, and which answers so well, that I am induced to the independence, of the medical institutions of this present one to the Society.*>I< country, we unhesitatingly condemned its provisions, within Liguor Potassce of the London Pharmacopoeia, is described a week after it was delivered into our hands ; and even in in the notes as being of sp. gr. 1.063 ; that of the Edinburgh less than twenty-four hours after we had examined its College is directed to be made of sp. gr. 1.072 ; and that of the mischievous clauses, the following notice of motion was enDublin of sp. gr. 1.080. tered on the" Order- Book" of the House of Commons. We Alcohol, according to the London Pharmacopoeia, consists of 92 parts of absolute alcohol, and 8 parts of water ; according trust that no apology will be deemed necessary for making to the Dublin Pharmacopoeia it contains about 6 per cent. off these references. It is due to our motives and exertions, that water, and, according to the Edinburgh, it is, what its name the profession should be reminded, not only of the nature of purports, absolute alcohol, or nearly so. our strictures and predictions, but of the periods when they Spiritus Ammonim made according to the London process, consists of a solution of carbonate of ammonia in spirit; that were offered for public consideration. First, then, entreating made according to the Edinburgh process is a stronger solution the profession to recollect that the fourth Medical Bill of of caustic ammonia in spirit. This discrepancy in the formula the Government having been delivered to the Members of for spiritus ammonise, has sometimes led to a very important the House of Commons on Thursday, August the 7th, 1845, difference in the products of another process given in the Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia, namely, that for tinctura opii ammoniata. and publicly sold by the printers of the House on that day, we If this tincture be made with the spiritus ammonia of the Lon- subjoin the notice of motion that was given on the following don College, it will contain none of the narcotic property of the afternoon, Friday, August the 8th. (LANCET, Saturday opium, whereas, if made with the spiritus ammoniae of the Edinburgh College, it will be an active and valuable remedy, August 16th, 1845) :— constituting the Scotch paregoric. 11 HOUSE OF COMMONS. " FRIDAY, AUGUST 8th.-The fourth Medical Bill of the Government having been delivered to members on ThursdayTHE PHENOMENA ATTENDING THE INFLAMMATORY ACTION " Mr. WAULETr gave notice, this evening, that early in the OF MEMBRANES.—The capillaries are all on one side of the memnext session of Parliament he should move for leave to bring brane, and yet the serum and lymph are on the other. The capillary vessels in healthy action have no power in themselves of I, in a Bill to amend and consolidate the laws for regulating the throwing out any of their contents. They do not secrete in profession of physic and surgery, and the practice of pharmacy, virtue of any power inherent in themselves. Do they acquire this i in Great Britain and Ireland, with a view to obtainpower during inflznmation ? Or will any of the hypotheses of "I. The registration ofevery person who, at the time of effusion account for the lymph and serum being on the free surface of the serous membranes, and so little, if any, in the subserous the passing of the Act, shall be legally practising, or entitled textures ? I do not see how we can, in the present state of the to practise, as a physician, a surgeon, or an apothecary, in science, account for phenomena of this kind, by referring them to some part of her Majesty’s dominions.’ actions of the extreme vessels. We must look for an explanation, " II. An equality of rights and privileges for registered I am inclined to believe, in a disturbance of the forces which naturally exist in "the extra-vascular portions of the inflamed part.- medical practitioners throughout the kingdom. Mr. Goodsir’s Observations." " III. Representative systems of government in the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons. * They may be had of Mr. Phillips, near the Pantheon, Oxford" IV. The election, by those Colleges, of a National Medical street.

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