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tion of concretions in the excretory passages (antilithics), or to
Uric Acid or Urates.
Alkalies, Potash or Lithia.
Dilute Nitric Acid. There is probably little or no solvent value to the agents recommended for biliary calculi. In the case of Uric Acid the administration of Potash or Lithia is based on their combining with the acid forming the calculus, and forming Urate of Potassium or Lithium, which salts are more soluble than the Uric Acid itself.
· Diluents (diluo, to dilute),—are agents which dilute the excretory fluids after their absorption and enable the latter to hold more solid material in suspension. Water is the one true diluent, whatever form it may be disguised in, as teas, weak fluid foods, acid drinks, etc.
Diaphoretics and Sudorifics (diagopéw, to carry through ; sudor, sweat, facio, to make),—are remedies which increase the action of the skin and promote the secretion of sweat. When they act energetically, so that the perspiration stands in beads upon the surface they are known as Sudorifics. They may be subdivided into the following groups, viz.
1. Simple Diaphoretics, which enter the circulation and are eliminated by the sudoriferous glands, which they stimulate to increased action.
2. Nauseating Diaphoretics, which produce relaxation and the dilatation of the superficial capillaries.
3. Refrigerant Diaphoretics, which reduce the circulation, at the same time acting directly on the sweat centres in the spinal cord and medulla.
The principal diaphoretics are enumerated as follows, the figures referring to their supposed mode of action as indicated above, viz.
Anhidrotics (ày, without, idows, sweat), -are agents which check perspiration. They may act
1. By depressing the action of the sweat-glands.
The most important agents of this class are the followingnamed, the figures indicating their mode of action as above arranged, viz. :-Belladonna.'
Acids, locally.3 Quinine ?
Zinc Salts. 3
Local Cold, Strychnine, Atropine, Dover's Powder, Jaborandi, Picrotoxin and Zinc Salts, are all respiratory stimulants, and very efficient against the sweating of phthisis, though most of them are classed as diaphoretics. This is explained on the theory of accumulation of Carbonic Acid in the blood by depressed respiration caused by severe coughing, this stimulating the sweat centres, and being opposed by agents which stimulate the respiratory centre.
AGENTS Acring ON THE GENERATIVE SYSTEM.
Aphrodisiacs (Appoðirn, Venus),-are medicines which stimulate the sexual appetite and power. They act by reflex or central action upon either the cerebral or the spinal genital centre. Tonics are indirectly aphrodisiac, as are all measures which promote the general bodily nutrition. The chief agents used as direct aphrodisiacs may be enumerated as follows, viz. :Nux Vomica. Cimicifuga.
Camphor (at first). Flagellation.
Strychnine acts by increasing general nutrition and exalting the reflex excitability of the genital centres. Hemp probably only causes a mild delirium which may or may not take a sexual direction. Cantharides acts by direct irritation of the mucous lining of the urethra, and is dangerous in aphrodisiac doses. Alcoholin small doses excites the genital centre in the brain; so, also, Opium and Camphor, the latter being decidedly anaphrodisiac after a time. The power of Damiana is doubtful. Urtication and Flagellation of the nates produce priapism by irritation of the genital centre in the cord through the sensory nerves of the part. Ergot is considered useful by contracting the dorsal vein of the penis, preventing its emptying too rapidly.
Anaphrodisiacs (ày, without, 'Aqpodien, Venus),-are medicines and measures which lower the sexual function and diminish the sexual appetite. They act by lessening the excitability of the nerves of the genital organs, by depressing the genital centres in the brain and cord, or by decreasing the local circulation. The principal anaphrodisiacs are enumerated as follows, viz. :Potassium Bromide. Tobacco.
Stramonium. Cold Baths.
Gelsemium. Vegetable Diet.
Emmenagogues (pepover, the menses, äyw, to move), -are remedies which restore the menstrual function, either directly by stimulation of the uterine muscular fibre, or indirectly by improving the blood and toning up the nervous system. The direct emmenagogues are ecbolic in large doses. The principal members of this class are those enumerated in the following list, viz. :Direct Emmenagogues,
Rubesacients to thighs,
Oxytocics or Ecbolics (kus, quick, róxos, childbirth ; ¿xohi, abortion),—are agents which stimulate the muscular fibres of the gravid uterus to contraction, and produce abortion. In small doses the same remedies are emmenagogue as a rule. Their mode of action has not been clearly made known, but it is generally believed to be due in some cases to direct stimulation of
the uterine centre in the cord, in others to congestion of the
Oil of Rue.
Cotton-root Bark. Viscum Flavescens. Any drastic purgative, or gastro-intestinal irritant, may produce abortion by reflex action. The Volatile Oils act in this manner, also Colocynth and many other agents used by women to produce abortion, as Tansy, Pennyroyal, etc., all of which are dangerous to life in doses sufficient to excite the action of the gravid uterus.
Uterine Depressants lower the activity of the nervo-muscular apparatus which controls the uterine contractions. The most important of these agents are:Opium. Chloral.
Sulphate of Copper.
Uterine Tonics and Alteratives,-are medicines which are considered to have such specific influence over the uterus. Authorities differ very much regarding the value of these agents, but those enumerated in the following list are generally considered to have considerable value in uterine therapeutics, viz. :Uterine Tonics.
Galvanism. Those in the first list, except Astringents, are used internally; those in the second column as topical applications to the uterine cavity or cervix.
Galactagogues (rada, milk, äyw, to bring away),-are medicines which increase the lacteal secretion, as Ricinus, Tea, Anise, Fennel, Potassium Chlorate, etc. The value of many so-called galactagogues is extremely doubtful, the best being the local application of the leaves of the Custor-oil plant (Ricinus communis), and a good black Tea internally, with Milk, Beer or Porter as a beverage. Pilocarpus comes the nearest to being a true galactagogue, but its influence is very transient.
AGENTS ACTING ON THE CUTANEOUS SURFACE.
Irritants are substances which, when applied to the skin, produce a greater or less degree of vascular excitement. When used to produce a reflex influence on a part remote from their site, they are termed COUNTER-IRRITANTS, and may be subdivided into the following groups, viz.
Rubefacients (rubefacio, to make red),-produce temporary redness and congestion of the skin, unless left too long in contact with the surface, when they may cause exudation between the cuticle and the true skin (vesicants), or may destroy the tissue and form a slough (escharotics).
Vesicants, Epispastics or Blisters,-produce decided inflammation of the skin, and outpouring of serum between the epidermis and derma. Cantharides is the agent generally used for this purpose.
Pustulants,-affect isolated parts of the skin, as the orifices of the sudoriferous glands, giving rise to pustules.
The following list embraces the principal agents and measures belonging to these groups, viz. Rubefacients.
Ammonia (the confined vapor).
Glacial Acetic Acid.
Volatile Oil of Mustard.
Heat | Boiling Water.
4 Corrigan's Hammer.
Escharotics or Caustics (loxápa, a slough or scab; xaiw, to burn),-are agents which destroy a tissue to which they are applied, and produce a slough. They act usually in one of three modes, viz.
1. By abstracting the water of the tissue.