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Iodoform in Fissure of the Anus.

Dr. Hay, of Philadelphia, states that the value and efficacy of Iodoform are very great, so that it will in most cases supersede the use of the knife or forcible rupture. While using it the bowels must never be allowed to become constipated or relaxed, and the parts around must be kept constantly clean, so that there may be no deposit of dry incrustations. With one or two evacuations a day, the fissure may be speedily cured by the Iodoform, which should be dusted in very fine powder, three or four times a day, upon and into the fissured parts, or applied aa ointment or suppository. In some cases, the powder however fine, causes some pain, and then should be mixed with Pulv. Acacice, or it may be made into an ointment with Vaseline, or suppository with Oil of Theolroma. Balsam of Peru, Carbolic acid, or Peppermint oil will moderate the odour of the Iodoform. There may be a little smarting after the application, but the parts soon become insensible to this, and defecation can now be performed without the previous pain. It is asserted that the powder should be very fine, not the smallest crystal remaining unpowdered, or great suffering may be produced. {Medical Times.)

The Odour of Iodoform.

This, Dr. Andrews {New York Medical Record) states, may be effectually removed by adding (as a minimum) three grains of Cumarin to a drachm of Iodoform. Cumarin a derivative of the Tonka bean, is an anhydrate of Cumaric acid. The Tonka bean itself placed in the bottle containing the Iodoform is not eflectuaL {Medical Times.)

Convallaria majalis.

E. L. Trudeau {New York Medical Record, March 3rd, 1883) says: "From a year's experience in prescribing this drug, it has seemed to me that it is most successful in all cases where, to restore the balance of the circulation, stimulation of the right heart is imperative, while it is much less active when increased energy on the part of the left ventricle is called for. Its striking power in controlling dyspnoea in cases of emphysema, fibrous and chronic phthisis (cases in which Digitalis frequently fails), in relieving the orthopnoea of mitral disease, increasing at the same time the flow of urine, and its power to mitigate the symptoms of aortic mischief or to increase the flow of urine in such cases, are clinical facts which tend to confirm this suggestion. It is in relieving dyspnoea that Conv. attains its most brilliant results, while it has only an uncertain and trifling power over oedema and dropsy, and it succeeds often in precisely the cases in which Digitalis fails. Another indication for its use not hitherto dwelt upon, is in controling the symptoms of purely functional heart disorder. Its efficacy in such cases confirms Dr. B. Robinson's opinion that it acts through the nervous system. Paroxysmal palpitation and dyspnoea due to nervous causes, rapid and irregular heart action dependent on debility, are symptoms always benefited by it and often entirely disappear during its exhibition."


This substance is a new medicament introduced for the treatment of cutaneous diseases by M. TJnna, the dermatologist of Hamburg. It is obtained by distillation from a bituminous rock which was found about three years ago in the Tyrol. According to Professor Fritsch, this rock is nothing else than the residue of decomposed animal matter, derived from prehistoric marine fish and animals. This hypothesis is based upon the presence of a large number of fossils and remains of fish in the strata from which the bituminous quartz is obtained. It is from this circumstance that the new medicinal agent gets the name of Ichthyol. Ichthyol is prepared by treating the products of distillation with Sulphuric acid. A kind of sulphate is thereby formed which must be carefully neutralised. The ointment then appears as a soft substance of the consistence of Vaseline, and of the aspect of pitch or tar. Eczema is the chief disease for which the new ointment is recommended. Ichthyol may be combined with preparations of Mercury and Lead without the formation of metallic sulphides. The substance forms an emulsion with water, which is a convenient property whereby the application may be washed off, but it possesses a penetrating odour not of an agreeable kind. In diseases usually treated by Sulphur, the new remedy has been employed with success, e.g. acne rosacea and favus. Rheumatic pains and exudations, whether in the joints or muscles, are said to be wonderfully relieved by an embrocation. {Lancet, July 21st.)


Arbutin is prepared from the familiar bearberry leaves, the uvm ursi folia of the B. P. Researches made by Jablonowski and Schroff on healthy individuals led to no positive result, as in the similar case of Quinine. Menche proved its diuretic effect in a case of mitral disease of the heart. It seemed to have a similar action in a case of chronic tubercular peritonitis. Catarrh of the urinary organs is the special province for the employment .of Arbutin. The urine of patients taking Arbutin when first passed is of normal colour, but becomes of a dark-green colour by standing, like the urine in Carbolic acid poisoning. Bodlander has proved that Hydrochinon is present in such urine. Arbutin is a glucosate, and occurs in fine acicular crystals of white colour, soluble in water, which solution is of neutral reaction, of faint bitter taste, and odourless. The following formula illustrates the chemical composition of the substance, and also the reaction which takes place under the influence of a ferment:

c£oH} 0 + H20=C6H)206+CsH4(OH)2

Arbutin + water = Glucose + Hydrochinon. Hydrochinon will thus be seen to differ from Phenol merely by the replacement of a second atom of hydrogen of the organic radical C6H6 by an atom of monovalent hydroxyl. The remedy may be administered in large doses without the production of any unpleasant effects. Brieger has employed a solution of Hydrochinon as an injection in the treatment of gonorrhoea, but the healing influence of the drug would seem to be quite as effectually exhibited by giving Arbutin by the mouth. It is recommended to give forty-five to sixty grains of the powder in the course of twenty-four hours in cases of urethritis. {Lancet, July 21st.)

Corn Silk.

We learn from the American Journal of Pharmacy that during the past year several physicians of Schuylkill county have been using different preparations of the stigmata of Zea mays for catarrh of the bladder and similar diseases with very good results. According to the chemist, Mr. Kennedy, the preparations should be made from the fresh article, as the dried material seems to be worthless, at least, that is the opinion of those who have employed the new drug. A tincture, fluid extract, or syrup of the green stigmata have been made and employed. The best forms for administration would be those free from alcohol, because spirit is generally contraindicated in the troubles for which Com silk is recommended. {Lancet, July 21st.)


Koronico, from the Veronica parviflora, is largely used in New Zealand as a remedy in dysentery and diarrhoea. Dr. Jardine has also found it of much value in the chronic dysentery in China. After the administration of fifteen doses of Koronico the number of the sanguineous and slimy stools was reduced to one half, other fifteen doses reduced them to three or four daily, and a third like quantity effected a complete cure. (Lancet, July 21st.)

Jamaica Dogwood.

"We have received from Messrs. Sumner & Co., of Liverpool, specimens of Dogwood bark, and of their fluid extract of Jamaica dogwood. The Piscidia eryihrina, Krythrina piscipula, or Jamaica dogwood, belongs to the natural order Leguminosese. It is a native of the West Indies, and, as its name implies, the chief source of supply is from Jamaica. When fully grown the tree attains a height of from twenty to twenty-five feet. Judging from the specimen before us the bark occurs in'pieces from two to four inchees in length, from one to two inches in breadth, and about one eighth of an inch in thickness. The fluid extract has an agreeable ethereal smell, a pleasant taste and becomes milky on the addition of water. It is said to be a powerful anodyne, and one of the best remedies for neuralgia. In many instances it is reported to have relieved pain, and ensured sleep after the failure of Opium, Chloral, and many other remedies. We have taken it in full doses, and used it clinically. It is sometimes useful, but it is not likely to supersede opium, at all events not at present.— {Lancet, August 25th.)


MM. Bochefontaine, Feris and Marcus have lately examined the physiological properties of the bark of DoundaM or Doundahine. The shrub is a native of the West Coast of Africa, and belongs probably to that large order Rubiaceae, which includes in its members the Cinchonas, Ipecacuanha, Catechu, and Coffee. The bark, employed by the natives as a febrifuge, has a redorange colour and a bitter taste. Veratrini believed that Salicin was present in the bark. A crystalline substance can be extracted, which is soluble in water or alcohol, with an alkaline reaction, and has, indeed the chemical characters of an alkaloid. No Salicin was discovered in any of the bark. It was tried chiefly on frogs and produced muscular paralysis. {Lancet, August 25th.)


Dieihylacetal (CfiHl402) has been recently represented by Yon Mering as an excellent substitute for Chloral. It is a fluid of bitter taste, slightly hot, soluble in eighteen times its volume of water, and mixes in all proportions with alcohol. Its boilingpoint is 104° F., and specific gravity 83. Experiments made on frogs and mammals prove that Acetal acts on the central nervous system, whose functions it suspends, commencing first with those of the cerebral hemispheres, and then descending, but paralysing respiration before stopping cardiac action. Six out of eight human subjects experimented upon were sent to sleep in the course of the day after a dose of from ten to twelve grammes. No unpleasant after-effects were noted in any instance. The time required before sleep set in is not mentioned. M. Stoltenhoff has also made some observations which in the main agree with the above conclusions. He employed the Acetal in different forms of nervous disease, associated with insomnia (Central, f. Nervenheilkunde, No. 6). M. O. Berger, of Breslau, has not met with corresponding success. In none was sleep lasting more than two hours produced; in many no effect was observed; in some giddiness, flushing of face, and vomiting were recorded. Leyden, of Berlin, has been even less fortunate. It is possible that the composition of this drug—Ethylidene Diethyl Ether, CHjCH (OC2Hj)2—has not been uniform in every ease. (Lancet, August, 25thJ

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