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It is peculiarly gratifying to the author to be so soon called upon to revise his book on Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Pharmacology for the second edition, since it is an evidence of the very favorable reception and appreciation of the work by medical teachers, students, and physicians generally.

Since the publication of the first edition there have been many advances in pharmacology, rather in the direction of clearing from obscurity the action of old remedies than in marvellous new discoveries. In this respect therapeutics has but followed the normal line of the evolution of science.

The recent important additions made to the knowledge of the physiological action of drugs principally relate to antipyretics, antiseptics, aconite, and strychnine. These, as well as some minor changes in the pharmacology of a few other drugs, appear in the present edition. Many alterations also have been made in the chapters on diuretics and cathartics.

One of the principal innovations is the substitution of a chapter on the Untoward Effects of Drugs for that on Definitions. The tables given summarize all contributions to the subject to date.

Serum-therapy and the therapeutics of nuclein have received considerable attention during the past year, and these interesting topics are more fully discussed in the present issue.

The author earnestly requests any reader who may discover an error of whatsoever nature in this edition to report the same to him promptly, and hopes that the work as revised will continue to prove of value to the medical profession.




August, 1898


The present work has been undertaken with the immediate object of supplying the student of medicine with a clear, concise, and practical text-book, adapted for permanent reference no less than for the requirements of the class-room.

The arrangement-embodying the synthetic classification of drugs based upon therapeutic affinities—the author believes to be at once the most philosophical and rational, as well as that best calculated to engage the interest of those to whom the academic study of the subject is wont to offer no little perplexity.

Should an intelligent and comprehensive understanding of Materia Medica and Therapeutics be facilitated by the author's treatment of the theme, the deductions derived from his experience as a practitioner and instructor will not have been committed to print in vain.

Special attention has been given to the Pharmaceutical section, which there is reason to hope will be found exceptionally lucid and complete. It has been deemed advisable, however, in the general work to include in the descriptive enumeration only such drugs as experience has proved to be of unquestionable value and are of standard and authoritative acceptance in general practice. In accordance with this plan, many new and comparatively untried remedies have been omitted, since, while of established efficacy in certain conditions, they are as yet too imperfectly known to warrant association with remedial agents bearing the sanction of exhaustive scrutiny. So, too, a few official drugs have been excluded because they are practically never used or are employed only in isolated instances. It will be observed that Untoward Actionand “Poisoning


are treated under separate heads. By the former it is intended to record the effects of medicinal doses in developing certain symptoms dependent more or less upon individual susceptibility, not necessarily assuming the aggravated form incident to toxic doses, which exert a definite influence regardless of idiosyncrasy.

In giving the careful Latin accent and quantity of medicinal nomenclature (Foster), so far as practicable with the prosodial signs employed, the design has been to correct a prevalent disregard of proper pronunciation reflecting little credit upon those to whom a knowledge of the subject should be as exact as it is familiar. To the prescription-writer the appropriate Latin genitive, and in a few cases the accusative, will doubtless afford valuable assistance.

During the preparation of the work many important textbooks, periodicals, etc. have been freely consulted, and from the U. S. Pharmacopoeia chiefly, and from the National Dispensatory, have been adopted almost verbatim the Origin” and “Description and Properties” of the various drugs under consideration.

In reviewing the progress of the present volume the author desires to express his cordial acknowledgments to Prof. Carl S. N. Hallberg, Ph. G., whose exhaustive contribution of "WEIGHTS AND MEASURES” and “PHARMACEUTICAL PREPARATIONS” cannot fail to lend permanent interest to the work; to Dr. Alfred C. Cotton, Dr. Wm. E. Quine, and Dr. James B. Herrick, for friendly suggestions; to Dr. D. Lee Shaw, Dr. Fred C. Zapffe, and Dr. Thomas J. Jackson, for assistance in compilation. To Mr. Storrow Higginson the author's personal thanks are due for his scholarly assistance in the revision of the text.

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G. F. B.


September, 1896.

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