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Purgation and Venesection produce antipyretic results, but their mode of action is doubtful (Brunton). For the action of some unofficial antipyretics, see page 151.
Antiphlogistics (avti, against, qeyw, to burn),—are measures and medicines which are supposed to have some specific power in reducing inflammation. The term is becoming obsolete, but frequent references are seen yet to the influence of Mercury and Opium in inflammations of serous membranes, Antimony and Aconite in inflammations of the respiratory tract and organs, and to the power of Veratrum Viride over puerperal metritis. The chief antiphlogistics are the following: Aconite. Digitalis.
Venesection. Veratrum Viride. Ergot.
Rest, recumbent position. Cold.
Antiperiodics are remedies which affect certain periodical
AGENTS ACTING UPON EXCRETION.
Diuretics (àobproes, urination), -are remedies which increase the renal secretion. They may act in several ways, namely:1. By raising the general blood pressure by contraction of efferent vessels
or vessels in other regions of the body. 2. By dilating the renal arteries and increasing the renal blood-supply,
raising the pressure in the glomeruli. 3. By stimulating the secreting nerves or cells of the kidney. 4. By simply washing out the kidneys, as by Water in quantity.
The following list contains the most important agents of this class, which are usually subdivided into the two groups indicated by the sub-titles. The numbers refer to the action of the drug in the above synopsis :
AGENTS ACTING UPON EXCRETION.
Volatile Oils 3
Oleo-resins, 3 Diuretics are employed for the following purposes, namely, (1) to remove the excess of fluid in dropsies, -(2) to hasten the elimination of waste products and other poisonous substances from the blood,-(3) to dilute the urine. In
Cardiac Dropsy,-or other dropsies due to venous congestion, the best diuretics are those which act on the general vascular system, as Digitalis, Squill, etc.
Dropsy from Renal Disease, - Broom, Nitrous Ether, Oil of Juniper, Digitalis and Squill are the most reliable diuretics in the order named.
Hepatic Dropsy,--Copaiba is considered especially suitable. In this and the previous form a little Pil. Hydrargyri occasionally often aids the diuretic action of other agents.
To Eliminate Solids,- Potassium Nitrate and Bitartrate, Turpentine, Juniper, Caffeine, etc., are the most efficient. [Compare ANTILITHICS.]
To Dilute the Urine, -- Water is the best diuretic, and the most efficient form is Distilled Water acidified with Carbonic Acid Gas.
Renal Depressants,-are such agents as directly diminish the activity of the renal cells and lessen or suspend the secretion of urine. Morphine, Quinine and Ergot act in this way through the circulation, and Digitalis, instead of acting as a diuretic, may arrest the renal circulation by stimulating the vaso-motor centre and thus contracting the vessels stopping the secretion altogether (Brunton).
Alkalinizers of the Urine,-are agents which produce an alkaline reaction to the urine when taken internally. They include the alkalies, particularly Potassium and Lithium salts, but excepting Ammonia, which is broken up in the organism. Sodium salts, being excreted partly by the bile and the bronchial mucus, and partly locked up in the system as the neutral chloride, while the Urate of Sodium is insoluble, are not as efficient in this regard as are other alkalies. Fruits, milk and fish also act in the same manner by means of the salts which they convey into the economy.
Acidifiers of the Urine,-are Benzoic and Salicylic Acids, and Vegetable Acids in excess, also excess of proteids, sugar and starch in the food, and certain wines and spirits. The Mineral Acids have little or no influence on the acidity of the urine, being excreted as neutral sulphates, chlorides, phosphates, etc.
Vesical Sedatives,--are substances which lessen irritability of the bladder, relieving pain and decreasing the desire to micturate. Opium, Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, Stigmata Maidis, Cannabis, etc., lessen the irritability of the nerves, Carbonate of Lime that due to the presence of calculi, -and mucilaginous drinks, such as Barley-water or Linseed tea, also astringents like Buchu, Uva Ursi, Pareira, etc., diminish the irritation due to chronic cystitis, and antiseptics as Copaiba and Cubebs, also act in like manner.
Vesical Tonics,-increase the contractile power of the muscular fibres in the wall of the bladder. Cantharides, Potassium Bromide, Strychnine and Belladonna are the most prominent members of this class.
Urinary Sedatives and Astringents,-act upon the whole extent of the genito-urinary mucous membrane through the contact of the urine charged with them when administered internally. Some of the members of this class may be administered locally, as to the urethral and vesical mucous membranes, which are accessible to local medication.
Instances of the application of these agents are in the use of Potassium and Lithium Salts to diminish the acidity of the secretion,-Cubebs, Copaiba and Sandal-wood Oil as antiseptics and astringents,-and urethral injections of Alum, Acetates Zinc and Lead, Boracic Acid, Chloral and Zinc Chlo. rides, etc., for a similar purpose. Copaiba is one of the most efficient agents for rendering the urine antiseptic, and should be more employed in cystitis and urethritis than it is. Oil of Eucalyptus is nearly as efficient, and Stigmata Maidis (Corn Silk), in tincture, is beginning to be well thought of for a gen. eral alterative influence on the urinary tract.
Antilithics or Lithontriptics (avti, against, 21005, a stone, tpi3w, to wear down), -are agents supposed to prevent the forma
AGENTS ACTING UPON EXCRETION.
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 Auid foods, acid drinks, etc.
Diaphoretics and Sudorifics (diapopew, 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, opws, 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 ('Appodín, 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.