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Acetum Opii (U. S. P.)—Vinegar of Opium.

Botanical name:

Related entry: Opium (U. S. P.)—Opium

SYNONYM: Black drop.

Preparation.—"Powdered opium, 100 grammes (100 Gm.) [3 oz. av., 231 grs.]; nutmeg, in No. 30 powder, 30 grammes (30 Gm) [1 oz. av., 25.5 grs.]; sugar, 200 grammes (200 Gm.) [7 ozs. av., 24 grs.]; diluted acetic acid, a sufficient quantity to make 1000 cubic centimeters (1000 Cc.) [33 C, 391♏]. Macerate the opium and nutmeg in five hundred (500) cubic centimeters [16 fl℥, 435♏] of diluted acetic acid during 7 days, frequently stirring; then strain through muslin of close texture, and express the liquid. Mix the residue with two hundred (200) cubic centimeters [6 fl℥, 366♏] of diluted acetic acid to a uniform magma, and strain and express again. Mix and filter the strained liquids, dissolve the sugar in the filtrate, and pass enough diluted acetic acid through the filter to make the product measure one thousand (1000) cubic centimeters [33 fl℥, 391♏]"—U S. P.).

Assay.—"To assay this preparation, transfer 100 Cc. of it to a small capsule, add 4 Gm. of precipitated calcium carbonate, or such a quantity as will be sufficient to neutralize the free acid, and then proceed further as directed under Tinctura Opii. It should yield from 1.3 to 1.5 Gm. of crystallized morphine"—(U. S. P.).

Description and Dosage.—This preparation, unfortunately known as black drop, now contains 10 per cent of opium, the latter containing from 13 to 15 per cent of crystallizable morphine. It is a dark-brown-red liquid, almost free from the disagreeable taste and odor of tincture of opium and less liable to nauseate the patient. The name black drop should be discarded on account of its liability to confusion with black draught. The dose is from 5 to 10 drops.


King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.



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