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Trochisci, Troches,-also called Pastilles, Tablets, or Lozenges,-are small flattened cakes of medicinal substances, prepared from a mass made with a basis of Sugar, some having Mucilage of Tragacanth, others Orange-flower Water, Syrup of Tolu, etc., as excipients. They are convenient preparations for the pocket-case, and are especially useful when the active ingredients are intended to come into contact with the mucous surface of the throat. There are 16 official Troches, named as follows, viz. :

Trochisci Acidi Tannici.

Trochisci Ammonii Chloridi.

Trochisci Catechu.

Trochisci Creta.

Trochisci Cubebæ.

Trochisci Ferri.

Trochisci Glycyrrhizæ et Opii.
Trochisci Ipecacuanha.

Trochisci Krameriæ.
Trochisci Magnesiæ.
Trochisci Mentha Piperitæ.
Trochisci Morphinæ et Ipecac.
Trochisci Potassii Chloratis.
Trochisci Sodii Bicarbonatis.
Trochisci Sodii Santoninatis.
Trochisci Zingiberis.

Confectiones, Confections,-consist of medicinal substances formed into a mass with Sugar, Honey, Water, etc., with the object of rendering them palatable and of preserving them from change. Electuaries are similar preparations, but this term is now obsolete. There are only two official Confections, viz. :

Confectio Rosæ.

Confectio Sennæ.

Pulveres, Powders, -are usually prepared extemporaneously, but a few compound ones have been made official, the ingredients being simply directed to be rubbed together until reduced to a fine powder and thoroughly mixed. Special directions are given for the preparation of two,— the Compound Effervescing Powder and the Compound Powder of Morphine. There are 9 official powders, named as follows, viz. :

Pulvis Antimonialis.

Pulvis Aromaticus.

Pulvis Creta Compositus.
Pulvis Effervescens Compositus.

Pulvis Glycyrrhizæ Compositus.
Pulvis Ipecacuanhæ et Opii.
Pulvis Jalapa Compositus.
Pulvis Morphinæ Compositus.

Pulvis Rhei Compositus.

The composition of each of these preparations will be found in the section on Materia Medica, and under the title from which its name is derived, except that of the Compound Effervescing Powder, which is placed under the title POTASSIUM. Pulvis Ipecacuanhæ et Opii is really a trituration.

Triturationes, Triturations,-form a class of powders having for their diluent Sugar of Milk, and possessing a definite relation between the active ingredient and the diluent. The Pharmacopoeia prescribes a general formula for these preparations, according to which 10 parts of the Substance and 90 parts of Sugar of Milk are to be well mixed by a spatula, the latter being added in successive quantities, and both triturated in a mortar until the substance is intimately mixed with the diluent and finely comminuted. There is but one official Trituration (Trituratio Elaterini), though the Pulvis Ipecacuanhæ et Opii practically belongs to this class, except in respect of the proportions prescribed. For a further discussion of this subject see the article Triturations under the heading EXTEMPORANEOUS PREPARATIONS.

Suppositoria, Suppositories,-are solid bodies containing medicinal substances, and intended for introduction into the vagina, rectum or urethra. There are no official suppositories enumerated, but the Pharmacopoeia prescribes a general formula for their preparation, according to which the medicinal portion should be incorporated with Oil of Theobroma by rubbing them together at a temperature of 95° F. The mixture should then be poured into suitable moulds, and cooled on ice or in ice-cold water. Unless otherwise specified they shall be made to weigh about 15 grains each.

Unguenta, Ointments,―are soft, fatty mixtures of medicinal agents with a basis of lard, petrolatum, or fixed oils with a solid fat such as wax or spermaceti. They are intended for application to the skin by inunction, and have a melting point which is below the ordinary temperature of the human body. Of the 26 official Ointments 1 is prepared by chemical reaction, viz.—Unguentum Hydrargyri Nitratis; 5 by fusion and 20 by incorporation of the ingredients with each other by mixing them through the agency of a spatula and a porcelain slab. Unguentum itself is prepared by fusing together 80 parts of Lard and 20 of yellow Wax, and is the basis of 3 other ointments, while 16 have Benzoinated Lard as their basis.


Unguentum Acidi Carbolici (10).
Unguentum Acidi Gallici (10).
Unguentum Acidi Tannici (10).
Unguentum Aquæ Rosa.
Unguentum Belladonna (10).
Unguentum Chrysarobini (10).
Unguentum Diachylon.
Unguentum Gallæ (10).
Unguentum Hydrargyri (45).
Ung, Hydrargyri Ammoniati (10).
Ung. Hydrargyri Nitratis.

Ung. Hydrargyri Oxidi Flavi (10).

Ung. Hydrargyri Oxidi Rubri (10).
Unguentum Iodi (4).
Unguentum Iodoformi (10).
Unguentum Mezerei (25).
Unguentum Picis Liquidæ (50).
Ung. Plumbi Carbonatis (10).
Ung. Plumbi Iodidi (10).
Ung. Potassii Iodidi (12).
Unguentum Stramonii (10).
Unguentum Sulphuris (30).
Ung. Sulphuris Alkalinum (20).
Unguentum Veratrina (4).
Unguentum Zinci Oxidi (20).



The figures in parentheses show the percentage of extract or other active ingredient in the ointment. The composition of each may be found in the section on Materia Medica under the title from which the preparation is named, except Unguentum, which will be found under the title ADEPS, and Unguentum Diachylon under PLUMBUM.

Cerata, Cerates, are unctuous preparations similar to ointments but of a much firmer consistence. They all contain Wax (Cera), and do not melt at temperatures below 104° F. They are intended for external use, and are generally spread on lint before being applied. There are 8 official Cerates, including Ceratum itself, which is made by fusing together 30 parts of White Wax and 70 of Lard. The composition of the others may be found in the section on Materia Medica under the appropriate titles, but the figures in parentheses below give the percentage of drug to basis in each. Of the following-named 6 are prepared by fusion and 2 by incorporation.


Ceratum Camphora (0.6).
Ceratum Cantharidis (35).
Ceratum Cetacei (10).

Ceratum Extracti Cantharidis (30).
Ceratum Plumbi Subacetatis (5).
Ceratum Resina (35).
Ceratum Sabinæ (25).

Emplastra, Plasters,-are solid compounds, insoluble in water, of a tenacious but pliable consistence and intended for external application to limited areas of the body surface. They are prepared by incorporating medicinal substances with certain bases, which are usually Lead Plaster (Oleate of Lead), a Gum-resin, or Burgundy Pitch. The heat employed should be low so as to avoid decomposing the active agents, and should not be continued long enough to drive off any volatile constituents. The plaster mass is then spread evenly on chamois skin, kid skin or muslin. The constituents of the following-named 17 official Plasters may be found in the section on Materia Medica under their appropriate headings.

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Of the foregoing only two are directed to be spread, viz.—Emp. Capsici upon muslin, and Emp. Ichthyocollæ upon taffeta, the others having no pharmacopoeial prescription for the material to be used. Plasters after being spread should remain soft, pliable and adhesive, without melting at the heat of the body. To soften the surface, if old, it should be brushed with a small portion of Tincture of Camphor.

Chartæ, Papers,-consist of strips of paper medicated by impregnation of its fibres with medicinal substances, or by being coated therewith. Of the 3 official Papers 2 are made with sized paper, and are intended for external application as vesicants or counter-irritants; the third (Charta Potassii Nitratis) is unsized paper impregnated with Nitre and intended for the inhalation of its fumes while burning. Those officially recognized


Charta Cantharidis.

Charta Sinapis.

Charta Potassii Nitratis.


This is the most important division of the whole subject of Pharmacy, embracing as it does the preparation and dispensing of those medicines which are designed for immediate use and which are compounded on the prescriptions of physicians. Hence it comprises the chief portion of the daily work of the pharmacist, and can only be learned at the dispensing counter and under the personal supervision of a competent master. In the following pages are given the most important of the general directions pertaining to this subject, with the object of enabling the young medical practitioner to familiarize himself with the compounding and dispensing of drugs so far as the limits of the book will admit of. The drug-store of the present day has degenerated so far from its legitimate business that ere long physicians will be compelled in self-defence to dispense their own medicines, thereby protecting themselves and their patients from the patent-medicine vending, the counter-prescribing, and the many other nefarious methods which have degraded the pharmacist from his old professional position to that of a mere trader in drugs and nostrums. The first outfit of every young doctor should include a few pharmaceutical instruments and a small stock of drugs. By daily handling of these, the tools of his profession, he will insensibly become familiar with the technique of the art, and even if he does not continue to dispense his medicines in after years he will never regret the practical knowledge which such a course will give him.

Compounding means the mixing or preparing of the drugs ordered in a prescription, and comprises all the operations of official pharmacy together with many other manipulations which will be described in their appropriate places.

Dispensing is the operation of putting up and issuing the drugs. ordered in a prescription, and may apply to the already compounded preparations of official pharmacy as well as to those prepared extemporaneously.




The working formulæ of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia are constructed on the system of parts by weight for all articles, whether solids or fluids, except in the case of fluid extracts, for which the metric weights and measures are employed. On this system it really makes no difference what unit of weight is adopted in official pharmacy. However, the weights and measures referred to by physicians in prescribing and used by pharmacists in dispensing medicines are, in the United States, those of the Apothecaries' or Troy System of Weights (having 480 grains to the ounce and 5760 grains to the pound) and the Wine Measure, or those of the Metric System. On the other hand, the British Pharmacopoeia recognizes only the Imperial Standard (Avoirdupois) weights, having 4871⁄2 grains to the ounce and 7000 grains to the pound. The drachm (60 grains) and the scruple (20 grains) are intermediate units which are still used but are rapidly becoming obsolete. The units of the Wine Measure are the minim (m), which in water at its maximum density equals gr. 0.95; the fluidrachm (60 minims), and the fluidounce (8 fluidrachms or 480 minims). The signs used to denote these units are m minim, scruple, 3 drachm, 3 ounce, and in the case of liquids an f to denote fluid is often placed before the sign, thus f3 for fluidrachm, f3 for fluidounce. The relations between these units of weight and measure are as follows:

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The Troy ounce contains 421⁄2 grains more than the avoirdupois ounce, but the Troy pound contains 1240 grains less than the avoirdupois pound. The grain is the only unit common to both.

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