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Comparative Symptomatology of Antipyretics.

Gelsemium—Fever with nervous phenomena-nervous excitability, restlessness, flushed face, bright eyes, contracted pupils, sharp, quick pulse, nervous twitchings, evidences of acute determination of blood to the brain.

AconiteSthenic fever with sharp, hard, quick pulse, dry hot or burning skin, chilliness up and down the spinal column, suppressed secretions; at the onset of acute fevers; in the early stages of acute inflammations; in the developing stages of the exanthematous fevers.

VeratrumSthenic fever with large, full, bounding, fast pulse, with high temperature, engorged capillary circulation; at the onset of acute local inflammation, in previously strong patients; in acute convulsions with high temperature and rapid pulse.

Bryonia—In the fever of acute inflammation; if in the lungs or bronchi there is sharp, hard, short, quick cough, inducing pain and soreness, quick pulse; if in serous, membranes there are quick acute pains, diffused soreness and tendency to effusion. Acute synovitis, with pain on movement and threatened exudation, is relieved by it.

Rhus Toxicodendron—Acute inflammatory fever with sharp, hard pulse; involvement of the skin, bright, circumscribed redness, with burning pain and extreme soreness; fever with sharp supra-orbital pain, burning in the eyes, flushed face, red mucous membranes, dry tongue with reddened tip and edges, red, narrow, elongated tongue with brown coat; sordes.

Many careful prescribers use antipyrin or acetanilide or phenacetin in the sthenic stage of violent acute fevers, or inflammations, and if care be exercised in their administration, and the patient closely watched for the first appearance of their depressing action, good results can be secured occasionally in adults, especially in strong men. The entire train of symptoms can be sometimes abated. There is but little distinction to be made in their symptomatology. If given with the first symptoms of acute influenza—la grippe—their action is usually salutary.

Phosphate of Iron—It is impossible to deny the marked benefit that will occur in very many cases of fevers, especially in the early stages of high temperatures where the cause is undetermined, by the use of the Homeopathic third or sixth decimal trituration of the above salt called Ferrum Phos. I have succeeded with the third. Ten grains of this dissolved in four ounces of hot water, and given to a child with a temperature of 104 to 106 degrees in teaspoonful doses every ten minutes, retaining the heat, have caused so many of these high temperatures to suddenly abate for me and a normal condition to supervene that I would not deny its influence.

After using the indicated remedies in the case without satisfaction, I have dropped them, and substituted this until the temperature was materially reduced and have then gone back to the original indicated remedy, with great satisfaction.

I have no printed authority for the fact that if persisted in, in these doses until the temperature is at the normal point, there would be a subsequent subnormal temperature in quite a proportion of these cases, that will be difficult to elevate to normal. I have only observed this in my own practice, and I avoid it by stopping this agent earlier. No harm comes from this, but it need not be induced.

The results are similar whether used in sthenic or asthenic fevers, but I have observed more promptness in the former than in the latter form, naturally.

Belladonna—Must be studied with reference to its influence in the developing stage of inflammations. It will be found classed with nerve stimulants. It is a most important specific remedy in equalizing the circulation and preventing the local hyperemia essential to all local inflammatory action. It is especially indicated when there is fever with dullness or tendency to stupor, with dull eyes and dilated pupils. It works in perfect harmony with aconite or bryonia. It is not a sedative to the fever, but combats the fever processes. it is given usually with a direct fever remedy.

Cimicifuga is a valuable remedy in fevers whenever there is muscular aching, general muscular soreness, or muscular irritability; when the muscles are sore as if pounded or bruised. The muscular distress contributes to the general distress sometimes more than any one other factor, and must be allayed. This remedy, a few drops in a four-ounce mixture given with the other fever medicines, is immediately effectual.

Arnica for the same purposes as the above, ten drops in a four-ounce mixture, with the other remedies, accomplishes the same results for which cimicifuga is prescribed. In some cases, these two remedies can be combined with advantage. The above mixtures are given in teaspoonful doses, every hour.


The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.



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