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Hexamethylenamine.

Synonyms—Urotropine; uritone; helmetol (proprietary).

This compound is the result of a chemical action between ammonium hydrate and formaldehyde. It is crystalline, colorless and odorless; dissolves in one and one-half parts of water. The influence of the agent within the system depends upon the fact that the formaldehyde is liberated and is dispersed throughout the entire system. It is found in the blood, in the spinal fluids, and in all the secretions, especially in the urine.

If its influence upon the stomach is desired, it can be given in a crystalline form, as the normal gastric acids will produce the desired chemical change. If its influence upon the intestinal tract or upon the bladder is desired, it must be given in some form. in which the stomach acids will not immediately act upon it. The dose is from five to thirty grains, three times daily in a little water. From five to fifteen grains is about the ordinary dosage.

Therapy—The agent acts directly upon any infections within the system as would be inferred because of its invariable, active, antiseptic influence. In its elimination, through all the secretory glands, it thus influences the mucous membranes, and among the first of these are those of the urinary apparatus and bladder. Its first effect is thus seen in inflammation of the bladder or in pyelitis, where the urine is heavily charged with ammonium; where there is an abundance of uric acid and amorphous urates, with triple phosphates and pus. Alkaline urine in the aged, seems to be its most conspicuous indication.

Any irritation of the mucous membranes, either functional or of the glands themselves, is met with this agent. In typhoid fevers and in fact in all form of septic fevers, the agent is now being used with good results because of this antiseptic action. It acts upon the mucous lining of the gall bladder, and of the bile ducts as well, and upon the mucous surfaces of the entire intestinal tract. In typhoid fever above referred to, if given early, it destroys and prevents the action of the typhoid bacillus. Given later to an extent it will destroy the germ within the system, and at the same time promote normal functional action of the mucous glands and restore their normal condition.

Urotropine has been found in the cerebro-spinal fluids persistently as long as the agent is given. Because of this fact a number of prominent prescribers have used the remedy in the treatment of meningitis, especially that of children with excellent results. It is regarded with much favor in poleomyelitus. It will certainly be advisable to try it in conjunction with our vegetable anti-toxins and anti-spasmodics, such as echinacea, lobelia, and gelsemium.


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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