Selected writings of A. Jackson Howe.
Other tomes: King's
Dynamyne, which is a one per cent solution of nicotine, the chief alkaloid of tobacco, was devised by Professor Howe as a local anodyne. It was one of the few medicaments which he prized and is among the therapeutic legacies he has left to Eclectic therapy. Dynamyne is used alone full strength or diluted, and is an ingredient of Libradol, the successor of the compound emetic powder of the olden therapy. See also paper on "Dynamyne in Orchitis."—Ed. Gleaner.
DYNAMYNE.—Having in view a local anodyne which should embrace nicotia or nicotine, I consulted Prof. Lloyd in regard to the elaboration of such a substance. After some experimenting he presented me with a greenish liquor which I have been testing therapeutically. The results thus far obtained I will give in detail, though I have not given experiments a very wide range. I find the narcotic, which I named dynamyne for the sake of having a convenient term for its designation; and have employed only as an external application. Administered internally it will kill dogs and cats in a few minutes. Ten drops killed a puppy in four or five minutes, the muscles of respiration being paralyzed. The large proportion of tobacco employed in the manufacture of the drug may have contributed to its deadly nature.
Applied to the sound skin dynamyne neither irritates nor produces unpleasant sensations. If the pain calling for its use be localized within a small area the medicine may be used at full strength, but should the range of suffering be extended the drug should be diluted with water, say one to ten—a teaspoonful of dynamyne to ten teaspoonfuls of water. At that strength the mixture may be rubbed on a painful shoulder, back, hip, or knee. If an inward impression be felt it will be exhibited in temporary dizziness. This impression soon wears off, and no permanent disability remains.
My experiments thus far extend to the allaying of a toothache which had resisted the local action of chloroform. A pledget of cotton spun on the end of a toothpick was the carrier—a drop or two of the undiluted medicine was pressed against the exposed surface of a broken fang; in a minute or two all pain subsided.
I have had favorable reports from patients who have been directed to rub the medicine over the hypogastrium to allay tender ovaries and painful menstruation.
Dynamyne has relieved pleurisy pains when rubbed on the integument of the chest; and localized pain of the pylorus has been thus relieved, as well as the colic of appendicitis.
The systemic effect of the drug, through absorption, has overcome constipation, and increased the flow of urine.
In two instances the drug aborted felons which had not attained the suppurative stage. A piece of muslin was wrapped around the ailing digit, and then dipped often in the diluted mixture.
The remedy cured an obstinate roseola of the face—a dilute form of the drug was used on the minute phlegmons several times a day.
It has relieved distressing headache when the scalp near the top of the cranium was wetted with the medicine. It has cured angina pectoris, and relieved tetanic spasms—probably through absorption of a moiety of the drug.
Even in dilute forms the agent will destroy vermin, and the lower forms of both animal and vegetable life. It may be sprayed upon septic ulcers, if the strength of the medicine be tempered to the area of the sore; and the spray may be employed in the throat and nasal passages of the diphtheritic.
I expect to add other uses for the potent remedial agency from month to month. I believe it would destroy the germs of cancer if it could safely be brought in contact with them. I propose to employ a weak form hypodermically.
The medicine is too strong to employ in the rectum and vagina.
Brushed upon a forming carbuncle the inflammation subsided before a "core" formed—the force of the disease was aborted. In the suppurative stage of a furuncle I think the medicine should not be employed, lest too much of the nicotine be absorbed.—HOWE, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1891.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.