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Paraldehyde is a polymeric modification of Aldehyde. It was discovered by Wiedenbusch, and has been the object of an interesting work by MM. Kabule and Zincke. Recently Enrico Morselli has published the results of some researches on the hypnotic and sedative action of the drug. Paraldehyde is said to be exempt from the disagreeableness of opiates and chloral. It procures a calm sleep, unaccompanied by headache, digestive disturbances, or vomiting. Morselli has employed it with advantage in cases of mania, melancholia, delirium with hallucinations, progressive general paralysis, epilepsy, &c. Neuralgia and odontalgia have been relieved thereby. In cases of bronchitis, pneumonia, and heart disease, attended with insomnia, the medicine has done good. Three grammes (52 minims) is the ordinary dose to procure sleep of from four to seven hours duration ; its effects set in about half an hour after the ingestion of the drug. Paraldehyde has succeeded where Chloral has failed. {Lancet, August, 25th).


This new antipyretic agent has been the subject of fresh and researches by Paul Guttmann (Berlin Klin. Woch., No. 31). The number of experiments made upon forty-two patients was seventy-two; cases of pneumonia, measles, phthisis, typhoid fever, scarlatina, pleurisy, peritonitis, erysipelas, ague and septicaemia were investigated. The drug was administered while the fever was present, and not likely spontaneously to undergo alterations. The administration was begun in the latter part of the morning, and continued till the end of the afternoon. In the majority of cases the temperature ranged from 39'5° to 40'5 Centigrade when the observation was begun. It was shown that Kairin given in doses of one-half to one gramme, was followed by a gradual fall in the temperature of the body, so that in from three to four and a half hours after commencement, in the majority of cases, a considerable fall had taken place, and in several the thermometer showed a normal temperature. By repeated gramme doses of Kairin the normal may always be attained, according both to Filehne and Guttmann. The course of the downward curve is then gradual. In many patients a notable degree of Bweating was observed, especially in cases of phthisis. As the temperature falls the pulse becomes less frequent. No unpleasant symptoms were caused by the Kairin, which was used freshly prepared; specimens which have been kept for some time may produce alarming symptoms, such as cyanosis and collapse. The antipyretic effect of Kairin is not weakened through repeated use; each new dose is followed by the usual result. Kairin like other antithermic agents is not capable of shortening the disease or altering the symptoms. Discoloration of the urine sets in about twelve hours after the employment of the drug, and lasts generally about twenty-four hours. Compared with Quinine, Kairin acta more rapidly, but its effects are of shorter duration. Kairin, however, given in hourly doses of one gramme, after four doses, has a more powerful and constant anti-febrile effect than Quinine in doses of one and a half to two grammes. The higher price of Kairin will probably postpone its extensive introduction. —Lancet, August 25th.

The Internal Use of Glycerine.

In a recent These de Paris, M. Tisne {Jour, de Thtrap., April 25th) gives an account of the results of the employment of Glycerine by Drs. Jaccoud and Ferrand. The former prescribes it as a stimulant to the digestive organs in the non-febrile stage of phthisis, when for any reason Cod-liver oil ceases to be tolerated. The following mixture is given daily in two or three doses:—Glycerine forty grammes, and rum or cognac ten grammes, with one drop of Essence of Mint. This aromatic alcoholised compound, of agreeable flavour, is well tolerated by the stomach, and even after long uninterrupted use it causes neither satiety nor disgust. The addition of the rum or brandy has simply in view the modification of the insipid taste of the Glycerine, and to assist its digestion. The amount of the Glycerine may be raised to fifty or sixty grammes, but only in persons who do not exhibit any signs of abnormal excitability of the heart and nervous system ; and restlessness, unusual loquacity, obstinate insomnia, or an increase of temperature announce that the proper dose has been exceeded. [Query, Are the italicised symptoms recognised pathogenetic effects of Glycerine?] Dr. Ferrand makes daily use of Glycerine in his wards at the Laennec, and it is found to be readily absorbed without producing any toxic effects. It diminishes constipation in almost all cases, and yet moderates diarrhoea when it is present, and under its use sleep become calmer. It has an evident effect on nutrition, its employment in most cases leading to an increase in weight after the first fortnight. In tuberculous cases it induces a considerable amendment in the functional manifestations of the disease, such as dyspnoea, cough, and sweating. The expectoration is the symptom which is least influenced. The local condition of the lung also remains stationary, and the physical signs undergo no change. The action of Glycerine on the liver is exhibited by its increase of size, and by the more abundant flow of bile. With respect to its action on the kidneys, there are observed a more abundant diuresis, and an absolute and relative increase of the urea, chlorides, and phosphates eliminated by the urine. In affections of the genito-urinary organs, M. Tisne has found that under the use of Glycerine, the alkalescence of the urine seems to diminish, while purulence, when present, become considerably lessened. {Medical Times.)

Effects of Separ sulphuris.

Alexander {Monatsblatter f. Pract. Dermatologie, quoted in Ally. Hom. Ztg., B. 107, p. 23), gives some cases of the physiological effects of Calcium sulphide—our Hepar.

The first case was that of a young doctor, twenty-six years of age, who for years had suffered from acne vulgaris of the face. He took three grains three times a day. Not only was the acne aggravated, but there occurred several large and very painful furuncles on the wrists, forearms and neck, with fever and gastric derangement. After giving up the medicine these symptoms together with the acne disappeared in a short time.

In the second case, that of a woman who took -fa gr. four times a day, similar symptoms occurred, which increased more and more when the dose was increased, and soon went off after giving up the medicine.

The third case was that of a man who for slight furunculoua eruption on the head and face and several other parts of the body took ^th gr. four times a day. The furuncles were aggravated and many new ones appeared. The medicine was discontinued. and Arsenic and Iron were given. Under this treatment there was some improvement, but not much. He again took the Calcium sulphide, which brought out a large number of furuncles on the face, arms, and especially on the fingers, which tormented the patient excessively. As it was evident that these were caused by the drug, it was discontinued, and small doses of Quinine and poultices were employed, under which treatment in three days marked improvement set in, and soon afterwards a complete cure.

The author says these cases cannot be regarded as any proof of the Hahnemannic doctrine of similia similibus, but must be attributed to individual idiosyncrasy! None so blind as those who won't see!

Cannabis Indica.

A lady got a pill containing Ferr. red. gr. j, ext. Cannabis. Ind. gr. ss. "About three hours after taking it she felt so giddy she was obliged to lie down; her fingers became icy cold and benumbed; she heard noises as though omnibuses were driving past and she had visions of objects passing before her eyes; she felt drowsy, and, as regards her brain, much as she had done after taking opium when sleep had not followed. All these symptoms passed away in a few hours." (Kelly, Brit. Med. Journ., June 30th, 1883.)

Poisoning by Atropin.

A lady of twenty-five consulted Dr. Knapp for pains in the right ear. He ordered her to introduce into the ear a \ per cent. solution of Atropin sulph. two or three times a day. She put in a few drops in the evening and the pain went away. Next morning at 8 she dropped in four drops and stopped up the ear with cotton wool. The pain went away and she felt quite well till 12.30 p.m. Then her hands and fingers began suddenly to swell and get stiff, the face was scarlet red, and the eyelids swollen. Throat very dry, tongue swollen, lower lip also swollen and hung down, violent palpitation of heart, and she complained of intense heat. These symptoms increased till 5 p.m., then grew slighter and she was well at 6 o'clock. {Schmidt's Jahrb., vol. cxcvii, p. 235.)

Poisoning by Laburnum Seeds.

John B—, set. 7, William B—, set. 4, F. T—, set. 4, were brought to University Hospital on Aug. 15th, about 2 p.m. They were discovered by a gentleman lying quite insensible, one on his back, the other two on their faces. Brought to the hospital, on admission the eldest was able to walk a little, but his gait was slow and unsteady; he had a dazed, apathetic appearance, face slightly flushed, pupils somewhat dilated, pulse rapid and feeble. The two youngest were almost insensible, both very pale and cold; pulse in both quick and weak, almost imperceptible. They had been eating laburnum seeds, but had vomited after a time. No seeds were obtained by emetics or stomach pump. A hot bath was given, and strong mustard plasters to chest and abdomen, and they were put to bed. They fell asleep almost directly, breathing heavily, and could be kept awake with difficulty. Pupils during sleep contracted, dilated on waking. The eldest was very flushed, and during sleep perspired. Not so the other two. One of the younger ones had considerable muscular twitchings in arms during sleep. Temperature in all reduced: 98 2° in eldest, 97 8° and 97-2° in the two younger. Towards evening their pulses became fuller and sleep natural. Next morning all much better, but still sleepy, and faces flushed and temp, slightly elevated—99-2°. Discharged next day quite well.—(Thistle, Lancet, Sept. 15, 1883.)

Poisoning by Boracic Acid.

A man, set. 62, suffering from catarrh of stomach and proctitis. .For this latter he got from Dec. 8th to Dec. 24th, 1882, twice a day, a clyster of Boracic acid (each time 300 grs., in per cent. solution). All went well till the 23rd, when his appetite departed, weakness set in, and the temp, rose to 386°. On the 24th he appeared pale and collapsed, was apathetic, complained of headache, vertigo, noise in ears, great weakness, loathing and sweat in the scrobiculus cordis, with sometimes vomiting of greenish stuff. Tongue dry and furred, difficulty of moving it, and dryness in throat. Urine showed albumen and > boracic acid. These symptoms continued up to 26th, only they were slighter, the urine free from albumen, temp, lower. On

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