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Fluid Extracts of the New Pharmacopoeia, Part II.

Preparations:

By ALONZO ROBBINS.

Read at the Pharmaceutical Meeting, February 20.

Related entries: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

EXTRACTUM CYPRIPEDII FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Cypripedium.—This newly introduced preparation is one of the eleven added to the list by the Committee of Revision, it was under consideration by the Committee of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, but was finally rejected, on the ground that little or no demand existed for the preparation. The officinal menstruum is alcohol, but it is quite probable that a menstruum composed of two parts of alcohol, and one part of water, would have been sufficiently strong.

EXTRACTUM DIGITALIS FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Digitalis.—The menstruum directed for this preparation by the Pharmacopoeia of 1870, was alcohol twelve fluidounces, glycerin three fluidounces, and water one fluidounce, finishing the percolation with diluted alcohol, and adding one fluidounce of glycerin to the dilute percolate before evaporation. The present Pharmacopoeia directs a mixture of three parts of alcohol, and one part of water; the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended alcohol, and several previous investigators have also recommended the same menstruum. A sample prepared in December, 1879, with a menstruum composed of two parts of alcohol and one part of water, deposited a considerable precipitate soon after it was finished; another sample prepared at the same time, with alcohol, kept with only slight precipitation for nearly two years, and even at the present time, there is only about one-fourth as much deposit in it, as there is in the other sample, but there is also deposited on the sides of the bottle a thin waxy coating, from which the other sample is quite free; it is quite probable that the officinal menstruum is the best for this preparation; should it still after a time precipitate, the addition of five or ten per cent. of glycerin would most likely render it permanent. These experiments were made with the English leaves, results obtained from the use of the cheap commercial leaves might have been, and probably would have been, quite different.

EXTRACTUM DULCAMARAE FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Dulcamara.—For this preparation the Pharmacopoeia of 1870 directed alcohol eight fluidounces, glycerin three fluidounces, and water five fluidounces, finishing the percolation with diluted alcohol, and adding one fluid ounce of glycerin to the dilute percolate before evaporation. The present Pharmacopoeia directs diluted alcohol, and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended one part of alcohol, and two parts of water as the menstruum. A sample thus prepared in January, 1880, has only a moderate deposit, which formed soon after the sample was made; it is extremely doubtful if the stronger officinal menstruum possesses any advantages in this preparation.

EXTRACTUM ERGOTAE FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Ergot.—This is one of the most important preparations in the Pharmacopoeia. A reputation gained among physicians for having this article always of a reliable quality, will contribute largely to the professional standing and pecuniary success of the pharmacist; more especially will this be the case if the preparation is the product of his own skill; if the pharmacist sells the preparation of a manufacturer even of the highest reputation for reliability, he gains nothing but the dealer's profit, which, indeed, is all that he deserves, for all the credit of making a good article, belongs to the man who makes it, and not to the mere shopkeeper who simply sells it.

As the menstruum for this preparation the Pharmacopoeia of 1870 directed alcohol eight fluidounces, glycerin three fluidounces, and water five fluidounces, finishing the percolation with diluted alcohol, and adding one fluidounce of glycerin, and half a fluidounce of acetic acid to the dilute percolate previous to evaporation. The present Pharmacopoeia directs a mixture of three parts of alcohol, and four parts of water, adding six per cent. of diluted hydrochloric acid to the dilute percolate before evaporation. The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended one part of alcohol, and one part of water, with one per cent. of acetic acid added to the dilute percolate. The officinal menstruum may be readily obtained by using equal volumes of alcohol and water, which have the specific gravity of .935, while the officinal is only .936, and as equal weights of alcohol and water, have the specific gravity of .928, the difference between the officinal menstruum, and that recommended by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy is insignificant, therefore, the two preparations may be considered identical, except in the use of different acids in the dilute percolate; recent scientific investigations having conclusively established the fact that no acid is required for the protection or preservation of the active constituents of ergot, such addition might well be omitted, though it is probably not injurious to the preparation; if either is retained, the preference seems to be in favor of the acetic acid.

In regard to the proper menstruum for ergot, it is well known, that water alone extracts the active constituents, the extractum secalis cornuti of the German Pharmacopoeia, and the extractum ergotae liquidum of the British Pharmacopoeia, are both prepared with that menstruum, fifty per cent. of rectified spirit being added to the evaporated aqueous extract in the English preparation. One of the most careful and competent investigators, who is also a large manufacturer of fluid extracts, has recommended a menstruum composed of one part of alcohol and three parts of water.

After a number of previous experiments, a series of four fluid extracts, differing only in the menstruums, was made in January, 1880.

No. 1. With a menstruum composed of one part of alcohol and one part of water, with one per cent. of acetic acid in the dilute percolate. This is the formula finally recommended by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.

No. 2. The same menstruum, without the acetic acid.

No. 3. With a menstruum composed of one part of alcohol and two parts of water, also without acid.

No. 4. With one part of alcohol, and three parts of water, without acid.

None of these samples have either been decanted or filtered, and now, three years after they were made, the deposit in each is about equal, but only moderate in amount, being about the one-eighth of an inch deep in a four ounce bottle; in both number one and two, a black, tarry matter covers the upper part of the bottle above the fluid extract, which has also become darker than when first made, and is no longer quite transparent. With the exception of the deposit above referred to, numbers three and four remain as when first made, reddish brown in color and transparent in thin layers. Number three is decidedly preferable to either number one or two. I have made considerable quantities by this formula during the last three years, to my own satisfaction, and with the approval of physicians. The only reason why number four was not used, was the fear that it might not contain sufficient alcohol for its preservation under all circumstances, in hot weather. As number three may be said to keep for an unlimited period, and as it is not always possible to get good ergot, the pharmacist would do well, when he does find a good article, to makeup a considerable quantity of the fluid extract.

EXTRACTUM ERYTHROXYLI FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Erythroxylon.—This is a newly introduced preparation, it is not probable that the officinal English title will supercede the name of fluid extract of coca, by which this preparation is commonly known. The Pharmacopoeia directs diluted alcohol as the menstruum, and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended the same. A sample of the fluid extract prepared in December, 1879, remains in good condition, with only a slight precipitate, and a very small quantity of waxy matter on the upper part of the bottle.

EXTRACTUM EUCALYPTII FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Eucalyptus.—This is also one of the new fluid extracts. The Pharmacopoeia directs alcohol to be used in its preparation, and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended the same menstruum. A sample thus made in December, 1879, remained without change for some time, but it now contains a moderate quantity of sediment, and above this appears a large quantity, about one-fourth of the bulk of the fluid extract, of greenish, somewhat gelatinous, separated matter thus affording sufficient evidence that alcohol is not the proper menstruum for this preparation. Another sample was made at the same time as the first one, with a menstruum composed of three parts of alcohol and one part of water, this soon deposited a moderate precipitate, but no further change has occurred, and this sample now, after three years have elapsed, possesses all the characteristics of a good fluid extract; this menstruum is therefore recommended as being decidedly better for eucalyptus, than alcohol alone.

EXTRACTUM EUPATORII FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Eupatorium.—This is one of the new fluid extracts. The Pharmacopoeia directs diluted alcohol as the menstruum, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended one part of alcohol and two parts of water; a sample thus prepared in December, 1879, now contains only a moderate deposit, and the liquid portion is perfectly transparent, and of a deep red color in thin layers; it has acquired a very peculiar odor, and has apparently undergone some change. The officinal menstruum is no doubt the, best for this not very important preparation.

EXTRACTUM FRANGULAE FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Frangula.—This is also a newly introduced preparation. The Pharmacopoeia directs a menstruum composed of one part of alcohol and two parts of water, which strength was also recommended by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy; a sample thus prepared in December, 1879, now contains rather more than a moderate, precipitate, it being about one-quarter of an inch deep in a four ounce bottle, but is otherwise in good condition, of a deep red color, and perfectly transparent in thin layers.

EXTRACTUM GELSEMII FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Gelsemium.—For this preparation the Pharmacopoeia of 1870 directed alcohol (sp. gr. 835), the present Pharmacopoeia also directs alcohol. The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended diluted alcohol as the menstruum), and a sample, thus prepared in December, 1879, now contains a slight precipitate, but is otherwise in good condition; it is probable, however, that the officinal menstruum is the best for this preparation.

EXTRACTUM GENTIANAE FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Gentian.—For this preparation the Pharmacopoeia of 1870 directed a menstruum composed of alcohol, eight fluidounces, glycerin, three fluidounces, and water, five fluidounces, finishing the percolation with diluted alcohol, and adding one fluidounce of glycerin to the dilute percolate before evaporation. The present Pharmacopoeia directs diluted alcohol, and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended. the same. A sample thus prepared in December, 1879, now contains only a very moderate precipitate, which formed soon after its preparation; in every other respect it is in good condition. As the menstruum for the solid extract of gentian is water alone, it is quite probable that a weaker spirit than diluted alcohol would have answered for the fluid extract.

EXTRACTUM GERANII FLUIDUM.—Fluid Extract of Geranium.—For this preparation the Pharmacopoeia of 1870 directed a menstruum composed of alcohol, eight fluidounces, glycerin, three fluidounces, and water, five fluidounces, finishing the percolation with diluted alcohol, and adding one fluidounce of glycerin to the dilute percolate before evaporation. The present Pharmacopoeia directs diluted alcohol, with ten per cent. of glycerin in the first one hundred parts of the menstruum; the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy recommended the same, and a sample thus prepared in December, 1879, kept very well for a long time, and has now only a moderate precipitate; but about one-third of the lower portion of the fluid extract has become of a slightly gelatinous character, this however readily mixes with the remainder, and then it presents a rather fair appearance. Another sample prepared at the same time, and differing only in containing twenty per cent. of glycerin, appears to be even more changed than the first, with a much larger sedimentary deposit. It is evident that this preparation, to be made permanent, requires a more alcoholic menstruum, and a mixture of three parts of alcohol and one part of water, with ten per cent. of glycerin in the first one hundred parts, is suggested as being likely to accomplish that object; should this also fail, it may even be necessary, as in the case of cotton root, to omit the water entirely.

Continued on next page.


The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 55, 1883, was edited by John M. Maisch.



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