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AGENTS ACTING ON THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.
purgation at the same time, the stools being green-colored, or
Rhamnus Frangula. Gamboge.
Small doses of drastics, salines or cholagogues.
Magnesium Citrate. Gamboge.
Potassium Sulphate. Potas. Bitartrate.
Potassium Tartrate. Croton Oil.
Pot. et Sodium Tartrate. Aloes.
Manganese Sulphate. Rhubarb.
Intestinal Astringents, contract the walls of the intestinal vessels, diminishing the exudation therefrom, and lessening the fluidity of the fæcal discharges. The more powerful members of this group have also a constringing action on the intestinal mucous membrane. The principal agents of this class are the following: Astringents.
Oxide of Zinc.
Sulphate of Copper.
Persalts of Iron, Hepatic Stimulants and Cholagogues (zónn, bile, żyw, to bring away),-are two groups of agents acting upon the biliary secretion, the first-named increasing the functional activity of the liver and the amount of bile formed, the second removing the bile from the duodenum and preventing its reabsorption into the portal circulation. Some hepatic stimulants are also cholagogues, others are not, while cholagogues proper generally act as
hepatic stimulants by carrying off the bile and so indirectly
Potassium Sulphate. Aloes. Podophyllin.
Sodium Sulphate. Podophyllin. Mercuric Chloride.
Bicarbonate. Mercurous Chloride.
Ammonium Benzoate. Pil. Hydrargyri.
Chloride. Mercury with Chalk.
Potassium Sulphate. Iridin.
Iridin. Those in the first column are the most powerful of the stimulant group, the second column including the less efficient agents. To secure the best cholagogue effect it is advisable to combine an hepatic stimulant with an intestinal stimulant which shall produce increased secretion from the intestinal mucous membrane and excite peristalsis.
The Glycogenic Function of the liver, and the production of
Hepatic Depressants are agents which lower the functional activity of the liver, reducing the quantity of bile secreted, and lessening the production of glycogen and urea. They are as follows, viz. :
Lessening Bile. Diminishing Glycogen. Lessening Urea.
AGENTS ACTING ON METABOLISM.
Many purgatives act as hepatic depressants and diminish the secretion of bile by lowering the blood-pressure in the liver, and by carrying off the materials from which bile might be formed.
Pancreatic Stimulation may be obtained by the administration of Ether, or by Galvanism of the gland itself. It is depressed by Atropine and by inducing nausea and vomiting.
Anthelmintics (avtí, against, Eljevs, a worm),--are agents which destroy (vermicides) or cause the expulsion (vermifuges) of intestinal worms. The chief vermifuges are Castor Oil, Jalap and Scammony, while the vermicides may be enumerated as follows, viz. : hread Worms. Round Worms.
Senna. with the Pepo.
Chloroform. The substances enumerated in the first column are all used locally by enema. Adjuncts to these remedies are such agents as prevent the excessive secretion of intestinal mucus, which affords a nidus for the worms. Such are Bitter Tonics and preparations of Iron, also Ammonium Chloride and Sodium Chloride.
AGENTS ACTING ON METABOLISM.
Restoratives,-are agents which promote constructive metamorphosis, including the Foods, Hæmatics, and Tonics, as well as many agents called Stimulants in other classifications.
Foods, -are substances which, when introduced into the body, supply material to renew some structure or to maintain some vital process; being distinguished from medicines in that the latter modify some vital action but supply no material to sustain such.
The food of man is derived from all three of the kingdoms of nature, viz., the mineral, vegetable and animal, and includes many substances treated of in the Materia Medica, as Oils and Fats, Sugar, Starch, Gum, Alcohol, Beverages like Coffee and Tea, Water, Phosphate of Lime, Chloride of Sodium, etc.
Hæmatics (aina, the blood), -are medicines which augment the quantity of hæmatin in the blood, and thus restore the quality of that tissue by enriching its red corpuscles. They consist chiefly of Iron and Manganese and their compounds.
Tonics (Tóvos, tension), -are agents which improve the tone of the tissues on which they have specific action, restoring energy and strength to debilitated subjects, by a scarcely perceptible stimulation of all the vital functions, their effects being apparent in an increased vigor of the entire system. The chief tonics are enumerated in the foregoing lists under the heads of the organs or tissues particularly affected by them. (Compare the titles STIMULANTS, RESPIRATORY STIMULANTS, CARDIAC TONICS, VASCULAR TONICS, GASTRIC TONICS, etc.)
The most typical medicinal agents which impart a general sense of tone and strength are Strychnine, Quinine, Iron, and Vegetable Bitters. Those especially acting upon the stomach are Arsenic, Bismuth, Cinchona, Hydrastis and Nux Vomica,-on the spinal cord and general circulation, Strychnine, – on the heart, Digitalis, Squill, Convallaria and Cimicifuga,-on the nervous system, Phosphorus, Quinine and the Valerianates,-on muscular tissue, Tannin, -on the blood, Iron, Manganese, Cod-liver Oil, and other fats,
Alteratives,-are certain remedies which alter the course of morbid conditions in some way not yet understood, perhaps by promoting metabolism. They certainly modify the nutritive processes and thereby cure many diseases of chronic type. Mercury and Iodine are the most prominent agents of this class, the former being endowed with the power of breaking up newly deposited fibrin, and disorganizing syphilitic deposits, while the latter acts energetically upon the lymphatic system and promotes absorption. Arsenic also is almost specific in many chronic skin affections, and has remarkable power over chronic pulmonary consolidations, probably producing fatty degeneration and softening of the effusion, so that it may be absorbed or expectorated. The principal alteratives are:Arsenic. Mercury.
Phosphorus, Certain therapeutists of laboratory type have, of late years, seen fit to denounce the term Alterative as “a cloak for ignorance," but have never been able to present a better designation for a class of agents whose effects are among the most thoroughly established of chemical facts.
Resolvents or Discutients (resolvo, to unbind, discutio, to dissipate), -are agents which promote the absorption of inflammatory products or other materials of morbid origin, apparently
AGENTS ACTING ON METABOLISM.
by stimulation of the lymphatic system. They include Mercury, Arsenic, Iodine and Cadmium, as well as such local measures as Poulticing and Counter-irritation.
The Destructive Metamorphosis of the body is promoted by a number of agents, most of which are classed as Alteratives or Astringents, and the most important of which are the following-named:Alkalies,
Sulphides and Iodides.
Antipyretics (artí, against, aupstòs, fever),—are agents or measures which reduce the body-temperature when abnormally high. This may be done by two principal methods, and the agents doing either accomplish the result by different actions, as follows, viz. By Lessening the Production of Heat, by 1 2. Reducing the circulation.
1. Diminishing tissue-change. or by
3. Dilating cutaneous vessels, and producing
increased radiation. Promoting the Loss of Heat, by
4. Producing perspiration, and its evaporation.
5. Abstracting heat from the body. The following list contains nearly all the antipyretics, the number following each referring to its proper method of action, as enumerated above :Quinine.1 Chinoline.1
Nitrous Ether. 3,4
Cold Drinks, 5
Wet Packing: 5