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PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
THE exhaustion of the third edition in thirteen months from the date of its publication, is ample proof of the continued favor which this book has received from teachers, students and practitioners of medicine. For this appreciation of his work, by those for whose use he designed it, the author returns his sincere thanks, and begs also to hereby express his gratitude to the numerous reviewers, whose kind words of commendation have so constantly encouraged him.
In the present edition several new remedies receive such consideration as their merits seem to justify; particularly Aristol, Chloralamid, Diuretin, Phenacetine and Piperazine. Briefer mention is made of less important agents, such as Antikamnia, Phenolid, Exodyne, Exalgine, Salipyrin, Hypnal, etc. Many articles have been re-written, others expanded and corrected, and the entire text has received a thorough revision. At the same time every care has been taken to preserve intact the characteristic features of the book, which have proven so important a factor among the elements of its success.
330 SUTTER ST., SAN FRANCISCO,
SAM'L O. L. POTTER.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
THE book, which this preface completes, has occupied the writer's leisure hours during the past two years, and in a measure has grown out of some less pretentious volumes previously written by him. The continued favor shown by teachers and students, both in this country and in England, to his three manuals in the "Quiz-Compend" series for students, and particularly to the volume on Materia Medica and Therapeu tics, has encouraged their author to hope that a handbook from him on the same subject, but embracing a wider scope, might meet with a corresponding degree of appreciation. The fact that quite a number of new
manuals on Materia Medica have lately appeared, has not deterred him from entering the field, nor diminished his confidence in the approbation of his readers; but has rather seemed a proof that most of the older textbooks on this branch of medical knowledge are no longer satisfactory, even with the regular revisions which they undergo at stated periods. Hence he expects for this handbook a position, among the recent manuals of its class, as high as its merits and demerits may entitle it to receive in the estimation of those for whose use it has been prepared.
The author's intention has been to produce a book which would embrace in a single volume the Essentials of practical Materia Medica and Therapeutics, treating of each subject in as concise phraseology as possible consistent with the delineation of every important feature. He has also endeavored to formulate such minute and definite directions for the framing of Prescriptions as might elucidate what to many is a very difficult problem. Furthermore, he has tried to present as much information upon the subject of Pharmacy as every physician should possess, in order to handle the implements of his profession with confidence, and to direct their use by others with pharmaceutical accuracy.
The complete fulfilment of these aims would be realized if the book should take rank as a working companion to the advanced student and the junior practitioner; and be deemed by them a reliable guide through. the forest of observations and experiments on drug actions and uses, which makes progress slow for the already over-burdened mind, when ploughing through the more exhaustive and exhausting text-books.
Although this book is essentially a compilation, as all books of its class must be, there will be found in its pages much original matter derived from the writer's own experience in professional life. The arrangement. of the matter will be found to be in some respects unique. After full consideration of the many arrangements of the Materia Medica in vogue, a modified alphabetical plan was adopted, by which the advantages of the alphabetical order might be retained, while permitting the grouping together of agents which are closely related, physiologically and therapeutically, under the title of the principal member of the class—the chief, as it were, of that particular clan. Thus, under the title AMYL NITRIS (Nitrite of Amyl), will be found mention also of the Nitrites of Ethyl, Sodium and Potassium, and their congener Nitro-Glycerin, all of which are closely allied to the first-named and to each other, in respect of their actions and uses. A very elaborate section on Drug Classification is placed before the Materia Medica, in order to supplement such deficiencies in grouping as are inevitable in an alphabetical arrangement.
In detailing the characteristics of an important drug, its physical properties and chemical constituents are first briefly enumerated, then its preparations are described in the official language of the pharmacopoeia,
usually somewhat abbreviated; any important unofficial preparations being also noted, and all the compounds into which it enters enumerated. Next the physiological action is taken up, its characteristic features being first described; then the actions resulting from an ordinary medicinal dose, next those produced by small doses continued, and finally those from a toxic dose. These are followed by a brief account of its antagonists, antidotes and incompatibles, if any; and a concise summary of its therapeutical applications closes the article ;-the whole presenting, it is hoped, a clearly defined word-picture of the drug under consideration. Every article and preparation comprised in the last edition of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia is fully noticed, while all the prominent unofficial agents receive such mention as their respective importance seems to demand.
The second part of the book is devoted to Pharmacy, and has been written from the standpoint of a conviction that many young practitioners would gladly dispense their own medicines, if provided with a few practical directions on the subject; thereby saving many a dollar from the drug store, preventing in their own practices at least the "renewals" which constitute so bad a feature of modern pharmaceutics, and gaining for themselves a practical acquaintance with their professional weapons which cannot but make them better physicians and more accurate prescribers. In this section of the book Prescription Writing receives full consideration, and many standard formulæ are given as samples of prescriptions of each kind in extemporaneous use.
In the third part the subject of Special Therapeutics is treated of elaborately, and in the form of an alphabetically arranged Index to the treatment of diseases, as laid down by the most recent authorities. Every indication for the use of a drug is referred to its author by his initial, and to the most prominent articles are appended a few selected formulæ, to serve as guides to the neophyte in prescribing.
The Appendix contains numerous tables, comprising diagnostic hints, Latin terms and phrases, formulæ for hypodermic use, metric equivalents, specific gravities and volumes, and obstetric memoranda; as also Notes on temperature in disease, the use of the clinical thermometer, the treatment of poisoning, and the examination of urine; also formulæ representing the most noted patent medicines.
The Index has received special attention, from a conviction that, if well made, it is the best part of a good book. Every title, synonym and other reference of importance is included therein, double and treble entries being made in every instance which seemed to require such repetition.
Nearly all the regular text-books have been laid under contribution in the preparation of the book, but especial use has been made of the works of Bartholow, Ringer, Wood, Phillips, Piffard, Waring and Brunton, in
their latest editions; as well as of the writer's verbatim notes of two courses of didactic and clinical lectures delivered by Professors Bartholow and Da Costa in the Jefferson Medical College and Hospital and in the auditorium of the Pennsylvania Hospital. On pages 479 and 480 will be found a full list of the authorities referred to by initials in the section on Special Therapeutics.
The term "officinal," as applied to drugs recognized by the pharmacopoeia, has been discarded, the word "official" being used instead; for the simple reason that the idea to be conveyed is expressed more correctly by the latter term than by the former one. When none but official drugs and preparations were kept in the officina or drug store, it was eminently proper to call them "officinal," but inasmuch as this class does not nowadays constitute much over one-fourth part of the officinal stock, it is a wilful debasement of our professional weapons, as well as an inexcusable misnomer, to apply the shop-title to them any longer.
COOPER MEDICAL COLLEGE, SAN FRANCISCO,
TABLE OF CONTENTS.