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Abstracts from the French Journals.

[Translated for the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY.]

RADIX HELLEBORI VIRIDIS has been studied by Tschistowitsch (Nowosti Ther, No. 3,1887; Bull. Gén. de Thérap., July 15th, 1887), to ascertain its value in various cardiac affections during the period of noncompensation. His conclusions are as follows: In six cases the medicament (15 drops of a solution of 1 to 100 of the aqueous extract every two hours), produced a diminution in the frequence and an augmentation of the force of the cardiac pulsations; increase in the quantity of urine eliminated, and a prompt disappearance of the symptoms of non-compensation. In two cases the amelioration was obtained by the simultaneous administration of the infusion of helleborus viridis and that of adonis vernalis, though neither of these, given separately, produced the desired effect. In three complicated cases, two with nephritis and one with pleurisy, the medication gave negative results.

PEGANUM HARMALA, LIN. (Nouv. Rem., July 8th) is described as an "African drug," although it grows as well in the sands of Spain, the Crimea and Siberia, as in Egypt. The entire plant is regarded as sudorific and emmenagogue. Dr. Pandurel, of Bombay, who prescribed it in infusion and tincture, regarded it a powerful emmenagogue, determining slight toxic effects similar to those of Cannabis indica. The dose in amenorrhea is given at two drachms of the tincture. Egasse, who thinks the drug merits careful study, says that "the energetic action of the aqueous or alcoholic preparations is explained by the fact that the red, resinous coloring matter is a secondary product formed by the oxidization of the harmaline."

SOLANINE.—In a long study (Bull. Gén. de Thérap., July 15th, 1887), Dr. Gaignard arrives at the following conclusions:

  1. Solanine is a glucoside which does not combine with acids to form salts; under the influence of acids it decomposes into solanidine and glucose.
  2. It is absolutely insoluble in water, without it be strongly acidulated, and is sparingly soluble in alcohol, ether and the oils.
  3. Solanine cannot be used in hypodermic injections, the acid solutions being too caustic. Maintained in suspension in a convenient vehicle, its own action is still more caustic. It is therefore necessary to use pills, and these should contain 10 to 20 centigrammes. The daily dose of 30 to 40 centigrammes is very well supported by patients.
  4. Despite the opinion of writers who have studied this substance, we believe that it should not be classed among our best analgesics.
  5. Its high price, its want of uniformity of action, and the high doses that it is necessary to prescribe do not permit us to counsel its use as an analgesic.

The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. 59, 1887, was edited by John M. Maisch.



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