M. A. COOPER, M. D., SABINAL, TEXAS
(Some of the Senecio species contain toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. More info here: Livertoxic PAs --Henriette.)
I take pleasure in reporting the following case, which is especially interesting, in that it is one more proof of the specific influence of one of our good remedies.
On the evening of the 7th of January, 1908, I was called to see a lady in the country, who upon my arrival I found to be having severe convulsions about every fifteen minutes. She was entirely unconscious between the spasms.
I found on examination that the patient was pregnant and lacked but three weeks of the completion of the full term. She was 22 years of age and a primipara. She was plainly at this time in the throes of labor which had been brought on prematurely by riding several miles in a wagon over a rocky road. The pains and the convulsions were occurring together. The os uteri was considerably dilated.
Morphine, chloroform and veratrum were used to stop the convulsions and in so doing the pains were stopped and the labor ceased. She was then put on gelsemium with nux to stimulate the kidneys and to help restore consciousness.
The gelsemium and nux were prescribed after the convulsions had ceased, but before consciousness was regained she took this combination for about three days until consciousness regained, then I gave her four drops of senecio every three hours alone, and kept her on this one drug until the day before she was confined, when she took about three doses of aletris in combination with the senecio. From the time she regained consciousness until confinement her health was excellent. In fact she was up and about the house all the time, notwithstanding there was considerable albumin in the urine.
On the 29th, the symptoms of labor appeared and the patient was confined. She had rather a difficult labor, but the child was alive and in normal condition. There were no signs of convulsions during the labor nor subsequently. She had gone on to full term even after the os was somewhat dilated and made a normal recovery.
We would naturally expect the return of the convulsions, especially as albumin was present in the urine. The question arises did the senecio exercise an influence which prevented the convulsions or did it materially assist in preventing the expulsion of the child before full term ?
Ellingwood recommends senecio for albuminuria during pregnancy, and this was the cause of my using it in this case at this time, with what I am inclined to believe were wonderful results, and certainly with considerable gratification to myself and to the patient and to her family. If others have tried this remedy along this line, I hope they will report results. If it proves to be a potent remedy to prevent eclampsia, with albuminuria, it will certainly save many lives.
Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 3, 1909, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.