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Converting from Metric to Apothecaries' System.
In view of the fact that the shortly forthcoming National Formulary IV, to be in conformity with the U. S. P., will not give the grains per fluidrachm in the various formulas, Wm. A. Hall, at a recent meeting of the Detroit Branch of the A. Ph. A., offered a short cut that enables the pharmacist to quickly and accurately arrive at the desired information.
His rule for estimating the number of grains of an ingredient in a fluidrachm of a preparation, the formula of which gives the number of grammes of the ingredient in 1000 Cc. of the complete mixture, is as follows:
To the quantity given add 1/7, preserve the decimal point, and divide by 20. The result is the number of grains, or fraction of a grain, to the fluidrachm. As an illustration, the case of elixir iron, quinine and strychnine phosphates, U. S. P., may be worked out as follows:
they will be found more convenient for picking up small weights and vessels.
A flour mixer and sifter is handy for mixing Seidlitz mixture, horse powders, etc.
Small amounts of emulsions are quickly made in the fountain mixer for egg drinks.
Kieselguhr is a much more efficient filtering medium than talc or calcium phosphate.
In making syrup of hydriodic acid, if the syrup and water are mixed and filtered before adding the acid, there is less danger of the product turning yellow. Some filter paper decomposes hydriodic acid readily.
As a stand for filling capsules with liquids, holes punched in a candy box cover do the work satisfactorily and the capsules are counted automatically.
To fill collapsible tubes at the prescription counter, roll the ointment in paper, insert the roll into the open end of the tube and squeeze the ointment in with the fingers. This is much easier than using a spatula.
In dissolving mercury cyanide for antiseptic solutions use twice its weight of borax and there will be no difficulty.
Strong solution of borax dissolves shellac readily. This solution is a good base for sign paint and for leather dressing.
Test tubes are very convenient for making small quantities of solution and stand heating better than graduates and other thick glassware.
Carbolic acid may be easily liquefied by adding the required amount of water and tipping the bottle, then allowing to stand. This saves the bother of heating.
Small volumes of oils and acids are best measured in pipettes. Pipettes can be easily made from glass tubing by marking a piece with a file, filling with water to the mark, allowing the required amount to run out and then marking again.
Oleic acid, to which is added an excess of ammonia water, makes a fine soap for cleaning greasy dishes such as candy trays and salted peanut jars.
Only pure soft extract of licorice should be used in making brown mixture. It is practicable to make this soft extract in the store since no alcohol is used in the percolation and special apparatus is not needed in the evaporation. A pound of licorice yields about four ounces of finished extract.
8.75 grammes. Strychnine
0.275 grammes. In 1000 Cc.
8 17.5 X -= 20.
- 20 = 1 grain per fluidrachm. 7
8 8.75 X-10. = 20 = 1/2 grain per fluidrachm.
8 0.275 X
0.3143 = 20 = .015 grain per fluidrachm. 7
Mr. Hall proves the correctness of his short-cut method by the following:
1 fluidounce=29.57 Cc. 1000 Cc. +29.57=33.8 fluidounces (270 fluidrachms)
in 1000 Cc. 1 gramme=15.432 grains. 17.5 (grammes of ferric phosphate in foregoing
formula) multiplied by 15.432=270 grains in
1000 Cc. Therefore there is 1 grain in one fluidrachm (270: 270).
The short cut may be simplified still further by first dividing 8/7 by 20, which is the equivalent of 4/70. Then all that is necessary to do is to multiply the amount of the desired ingredient by 4/70. The result is the number of grains in a fluidrachm.
Some Tricks of the Trade.
The following disconnected thoughts, none of which are original, have been collected from various sources and are offered in the hope that they may be of service to others, says R. Albro Newton, Pharm.D., in a recent issue of The Apothecary:
The Pharmacopoeia directs that stronger rose water be kept in a bottle stoppered with cotton, and this same precaution taken with other aromatic waters, as cinnamon, peppermint, etc., will be found to add greatly to their keeping qualities.
A ceramic pencil which will write on glass is convenient for marking bottles, tubes and dishes to prevent errors at the work bench.
If a pair of forceps are squeezed shut and then bent at right angles sideways about half an inch from the tip
The menthol should be placed in a glass mortar, reduced to powder and triturated with the lime-water for about three minutes, and the mixture then filtered. The clear, filtered solution only should be dispensed.
The intention of the prescriber is to produce a saturated solution of menthol. The mixture should not be heated, as upon cooling a portion of the menthol will separate, and this would have the same effect as if the mixture is not filtered, namely, the crystals of menthol would have a very irritating action upon any mucous surface with which they might come in contact; this is exactly the opposite of the prescriber's intention.
holding them, so you can rest doubly assured that all your dealings at our store are made pleasant and profitable. Good goods, courteous service, and reasonable prices are the principal points in our selling policy.
You owe it to the sick one—to yourself—to your doctor—to bring or send the prescription to us, the dependable prescription druggists both from a standpoint of economy and moral responsibility.
“The Phone of a Thousand Ears.”—
Educating customers to the use of the telephone is a means adopted by G. M. Chatfield, of Montgomery, Alabama, to build up his business. He has adopted as one of his slogans "The Phone of a Thousand Ears Hears the Phone of a Thousand Voices."
Here is one of the newspaper advertisements used by Mr. Chatfield to call attention to his service:
"Chief among the attributes of good counter service," said Orrin O. Bigelow, at the 1915 meeting of the New York State Pharmaceutical Association, "is the personal touch, the desire to satisfy the customer by fulfilling his or her wants.
"The clerk who sells a one-cent stamp, calls a number on the phone, or gives information about trains with the same readiness and courteous treatment with which he makes a large sale is certainly serving his employer much better than the one who does not.
“That same clerk, however, may have the desire for service so inbred and so enlarged that when the inspector for the State Board of Pharmacy drops in, while the boss or licensed man is out to lunch, and calls for a 2-inch bandage and a bottle of carbolic acid, he either forgets or puts aside limitations, makes the sale, and gets the boss in trouble.
"Another time when this desire to please becomes overgrown is when a clerk overreaches his authority and either makes a special price or gives away an article of value to please and gain the friendship or personal patronage of the customer.
"Counter service calls for a large amount of good judgment. A day laborer would be bored if served with the same politeness accorded an aged invalid
THE PHONE “OF A THOUSAND EARS"
When the phone “Of a Thousand Voices" empties its great volume into the phone “Of a Thousand Ears," a wonderful transformation immediately occurs. The stream is resolved into its integral parts and each voice is heard distinctly and clearly.
The phone “Of a Thousand Ears" hears each voice and listens courteously to every sound. It ascertains the exact wants of each voice and then sets in motion the wonderful Chatfield system of quick, rapid-fire delivery that distinguishes this service from all others.
"One feature which we practice, as far as possible, is to hand women good clean bills with their change, and I know of cases where this small feature has won friends to our store. Making oneself agreeable to pessimistic and disagreeable people is also a to-be-triedfor attainment in this connection.
"Neat, well-wrapped bundles and polite counting of change both help. A pleasant 'Good morning' or 'We shall be pleased to serve you at any time,' or 'Will there be something else?' or any of the other pet phrases seldom lose their efficiency when given with an intent to please.”
The delivery service spoken of is a bicycle one, and to impress its value upon customers this slogan is used in the store advertising: “No Purchase is Too Small or Distance Too Great for Our Quick Delivery.”
An Advertisement for the Prescription Department.
“The Co-Operator," published in the interest of retail merchants by the Chicago Tribune, suggests the following text for display cards or circulars, to be used by pharmacists, says the British Columbia Pharmaceutical Record. Each pharmacist may alter the advertisement to suit his particular neighborhood :
Science and Skill in Prescription Filling.—The ingredients that enter into your prescriptions play an important part, but the way these ingredients are mixed is equally important.
Science, as well as skill, must be brought to bear on every prescription, if the best results are to be expected. The patient deserves the best results, also your doctor. Your prescription represents our skilful conipounding and the results of modern scientific advancement. We solicit the opportunity to fill your prescription.
We certainly do try to please every customer. We realize the uselessness of getting customers and not
Creating Sales Opportunities.
Creating favorable opportunities for opening a sales talk is the hobby of a druggist whose store is located in a middle-western city.
He has one scheme that is particularly effective for getting a prospective customer interested in safety razors.
Right on top of the cigar counter this druggist keeps a small display case of the razors. But instead of having the razors neatly arranged in the case, one is always out on the counter. It is out of the box, and some of the literature concerning it is handy by.
When a customer approaches the cigar counter the clerk behind it is apparently busy with the razor, preparatory to replacing it in the case. Still with the razor in his hand, the clerk hands out the desired smokes and then launches into his demonstrating talk.
He goes at it something like this:
"By the way, Mr. you might be interested in looking over this safety razor before I put it back in the case.”
Then he swings into a description of the merits of
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Orndorff Hotel Block
CAPSULES OF SCIENCE
Prepared by WILBUR L. SCOVILLE.
properties, and they are more powerful when combined than when used alone.
Radium emanations, in limited amounts, stimulate the activity of yeast and produce a more complete conversion of sugar into alcohol. It is being tried in winemaking with promising results.
The only commercial source of alcohol in the Philippines is the sap of the nipa palm. The present yield is about 2,500,000 gallons of alcohol per annum, but the obtainable yield is estimated at 50,000,000 gallons each year. It only needs developing.
Methyl alcohol has an antiseptic action, being strongest in this regard when 70 per cent of alcohol is present, but the presence of methyl alcohol in formaldehyde solutions is not found to add to the disinfecting power of the formaldehyde.
Chicory, when roasted, develops an empyreumatic oil which is analogous to coffee oil and is similar in composition. This explains its use in coffee blends.
H. Lenger finds that solutions of scopolamine lose their physiological action on standing, even if acid in reaction.
During 1914 there were 600,000,000 lbs. of explosives shipped in the United States without the loss of a life. (In, not from.)
The four most dangerous articles for transportation are matches, charcoal, gasoline, and nitric acid.
White ants destroyed the lead covering of a cable in the tropics, not by eating it, but by excreting formic acid upon it which did the "eating.”
Italian and Russian bacteriologists have independently discovered the organism which probably causes pellagra.
Gold chloride is quite poisonous, but solutions of colloidal gold, while exerting a strong therapeutic action, are practically harmless.
Theobromine forms a compound with lime which is 25 times more soluble in cold water than theobromine, and it acts more rapidly and intensely when taken into the stomach.
Moist digitalis leaves deteriorate rapidly owing to enzyme action. Dried leaves keep almost indefinitely.
Iron is added to beer in Germany to increase the tonic effect. Iron lactate is the best form so far as the appearance of the beer is concerned, but affects the flavor more than the glycerophosphate.
Concentrated cider is proposed to be made by freeing fresh cider, centrifuging the broken crystals, and collecting the concentrated juice.
Grain plant, growing in India, secretes malic and oxalic acids so abundantly that these can be collected in commercial quantities by simply washing the growing plants weekly.
Ten per cent of glycerin has no effect on alcoholic fermentation, and a concentration of 42 per cent is needed to stop it.
Channa, a tropical drug, contains an alkaloid, mesembrine, which resembles cocaine in its physiological action.
Only the mucous membrane of the digestive tract can withstand digestion, because its cells contain antiferments, but other living tissues are digested when transplanted into the stomach.
When strychnine is dissolved in a fat, or an emulsion containing fats, and injected subcutaneously, its toxicity is diminished. This decrease is greatest with petrolatum, but fixed oils have a similar effect, except butter.
Experiments on the use of radium as a fertilizer at the Illinois Experiment Station, during three years, fail to show that it has any value for this purpose.
M. Caplan finds that filtering dilute solutions of strychnine, adrenalin, etc., through asbestos will remove all of the principles from solution, the latter being absorbed by the filtering medium.
English chemists have concluded from a series of comparative tests that iodine is about four times as efficient a germicide as phenol.
Cow's milk contains 0.00003 to 0.00013 per cent of iron, but the proportion cannot be materially increased by dosing the cow with iron.
Salvarsan is a strong antiseptic on the germs of anthrax, erysipelas, and glanders, but less active on other germs.
Saponin increases the antiseptic action of phenol and similar products, but decreases that of silver nitrate and mercuric chloride.
Copper and zinc oxides have marked germicidal
German biological chemists now propose to test certain medicinal preparations, particularly of cinchona, digitalis, senega, and valerian, by measuring the surface tension. This is claimed to vary with the activity of the preparations.
A new method of extracting the oil from lemons is claimed to handle a thousand lemons in 22 minutes at a cost of 2.3 cents for labor, and to obtain 2.5 per cent more oil than the older processes.
If a trace of mercury be amalgamated with aluminum, the latter will burn in dry air, forming oxide rapidly enough to make it appear that it grows out of the metal.
Iron can now be plated with lead or with aluminum, with special protective agents. The iron must be scrupulously clean and the plating solutions must be protected.
When starch is boiled in water the amylose dissolves but the amylopectin simply swells, but the two cannot be separated by filtration,
Glycerin is a feeble antiseptic and some germs resist destruction in a 50-per-cent glycerin solution. Most non-spore-forming organisms die within four days in a 50-per-cent glycerin solution.
When used hypodermically, the organic salts of iron are found to relieve anemia while the inorganic do not. The latter increase the hemoglobin, but do not affect other symptoms.
Powdered charcoal has been shown to accelerate digestion when used in liberal amounts.
Lead poisoning may be contracted through polluted water, by means of snuff, or in the use of enameled household utensils which yield lead to foods.
Manganese is the only one of the heavy metals, except iron, whose salts are entirely non-poisonous. This
Colloidal solutions of iron are free from objectionable taste, colloidal solutions of alum in iron acetate are free from astringency, and colloidal solutions of silver are probably, in themselves, inert. But on administering these, the colloidal form is probably broken, the salts ionize, and the ions exert their characteristic actions.
is thought to be due to the fact that manganese salts do not combine with protoplasm.
Cottonseed is found to contain a poisonous substance termed "gossypol,” which loses its toxic properties by oxidation in the air.
Analyses of glass from the Rheims cathedral show that the violet color in the glass is due to manganese salts, the blue to cobalt, the red to copper, and the green to combinations of copper, iron, cobalt, and manganese.
Gold has been found in commercial litharge, but not in sufficient quantity to excite anybody's cupidity.
A Nevada ore, recently discovered, contains gold, silver, platinum and palladium, all in paying quantities.
If grapes are crushed, and the mass fermented, methyl alcohol will be found in the wine. But no methyl alcohol is formed in the fermented juice which has been freed from the mass.
Take · in Water.
L. Mennier finds that the dilution of medicines is an important factor in their action, particularly in the stomach. He states that when the solution is isotonic, having a freezing-point depression of 0.350, it passes through the stomach more rapidly and in larger amounts than more concentrated or more dilute solutions, hence causes less gastric disturbance.
Lettuce, radishes, and similar vegetables which are eaten uncooked are liable to contamination with typhoid bacteria. These can be killed without injuring the flavor of the vegetables by soaking for an hour in water containing two tablespoonfuls of vinegar to a quart.
A Color Preservative.
Professor Greenish says that darkening in solutions of sodium salicylate in presence of an excess of alkali can be prevented by adding a little sodium sulphite or bisulphite. Only a very little is required—about one per cent of the sodium salicylate present. The darkening is most rapid in solutions containing sodium bicarbonate or sesquicarbonate, and is promoted by the action of air. Sodium carbonate or hydroxide does not darken the salicylate as rapidly or as deeply.
The commercial production of liquid air is increasing rapidly and machines are made which are capable of making 30,000 gallons per hour. The chief uses are for the production of pure oxygen or nitrogen and of neon, the latter being used for filling electric light bulbs.
By triturating mercury with lycopodium and a very little oil of turpentine, a dry, yellowish-gray powder is readily obtained in which the mercury is finely subdivided. Such a powder can be made to contain 33 per cent of mercury. It is most suitable for external use.
L. Krober gives the following tests for bottles that are to be used in prescription work, and particularly for alkaloidal solutions. After sterilizing in steam for thirty minutes, a 2-per-cent solution of morphine sulphate should remain colorless, or show at most only a pale yellow color after 24 hours; a 0.5-per-cent solution of strychnine nitrate should deposit no crystals ; a one-per-cent solution of mercuric chloride should develop no colored oxide; a 0.1-per-cent solution of narcotine hydrochloride should show no flocculent matter after one hour; and 2 or 3 drops of phenolphthalein in 100 mils of distilled water should show only a pale rose color after 24 hours.
G. F. Becker says that "if the level of isostatic compensation is as deep as 140 kilometers, and if this is also the eutectic level, then the earth must be 100 million years old, the radioactive layer can be only 4.74 kilometers thick, and 26 per cent of the heat emitted by the earth is of radioactive origin."
Made in America.
Florida and Texas will add camphor to their important products in the future, thousands of trees having been planted in each State. Florida produced 10,000 lbs. of camphor last year. The yield increases with the age and size of the trees, and 50 years is a conservative estimate of the time required for large returns.
A True Hair Tonic.
Dr. Josephson says that loss of hair is probably caused by a deficiency in secretion of some endocrinous gland. In children the administration of thyroid often results in an increased growth of hair. In adults the thyroid, the pituitary gland, the reproductive glands, and the suprarenal gland all appear to play a part, and if we could determine which one is deficient the treatment of baldness in all its degrees would probably be a simple matter, with uniformly beneficial results. To determine which gland is deficient is not, however, an easy matter.
Two German chemists, Traube and Onodera, state that certain alkaloids of high molecular weight, such as atropine and quinine, are more poisonous in alkaline than in acid solutions. This is due to the free alkaloid being in colloidal solution, while the salts form true solutions. The surface tension of the water is reduced by the colloidal solution, but is scarcely affected by the true solution, and the reduced surface tension promotes the absorption of the alkaloid and increases the intensity of its action. It is thought that any alteration of the surface tension disturbs the equilibrium and affects the normal velocity of reactions in the organism, thus increasing or diminishing the toxic effect. With alkaloids especially the alteration in surface tension is the chief factor in toxicity, their action being more physical than chemical. It is further suggested that the localizing of action of various alkaloids may be due, in part at least, to a varying alkalinity in the differe organs of the body.