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Forms of Medicine.

Other tomes: Potter (off.) - Potter (unoff.) - King's

Cerates: Are of a consistency between ointment and plaster. They are soft enough to spread easily, but do not liquefy when heated to body heat. They adhere to the skin when applied. Their main constituent is wax.
Collodions: Fluid solutions of gun cotton in a mixture of alcohol and ether.
Decoctions: Are prepared by boiling the drug in water. Take coarsely ground or bruised drug or drugs 1 part, cold water 20 parts and boil for 15 to 20 minutes, then cool and strain. Powerful drugs should only be used in smaller quantities, as much less of them is required. As decoctions ferment in a short time they should be renewed often. They should never be made in tin dishes.
Dilutions, Homeopathic: In the low potencies the writer makes his own dilutions, say up to the 2nd or 3rd. By taking 10 drops of homeopathic mother tincture or of Lloyd's specific medicines to 90 drops of 95% alcohol, and, shaking the mixture a few hundred times, we have our first dilution. Of the first dilution 10 drops to 90 drops of 95% alcohol, will give us the 2nd dilution. Larger quantities may be used in the same proportion. The higher dilutions the writer prefers to buy ready made. ("#d." -HeK)
Emulsions: By emulsions we understand a mixture of oils with water in a mechanical way, not distributing it chemically. Substances used for this purpose are acacia, gum resins, yolks of eggs., etc.
Extracts: Are prepared by evaporating alcoholic or other vegetable medicinal solutions.
Fluid Extracts: Alcoholic fluid preparations of vegetable drugs, prepared by percolation and subsequent concentration of a portion of the percolate by evaporation. In some cases water or glycerine may be used as a menstruum. However in most cases, alcohol is the menstruum needed. Fluid extracts are so constructed as to represent one grain of the crude drug in each minim of fluid extract.
Glycerites: Mixtures or solutions of medicine in glycerine.
Infusions: Are solutions of soluble constituents of vegetable drugs, prepared by pouring hot water on same, and allowing them to macerate and cool. Coarsely ground or bruised bark, herbs, flowers, seeds or roots 1 part to boiling water 20 parts; cover tightly and let stand in a warm place for 20 minutes to 1/2 hour and then strain. Of powerful drugs much less must be used, and then great care exercised. Infusions should never be made in tin dishes. As the infusions soon ferment they should be renewed often. In most cases, if procurable, the green drugs are preferable.
Liniments: Are fluid or semi-fluid preparations generally of oils, although alcohol, etc., may be employed. Olive oil or cottonseed oil are often used as a base.
Medicated Waters: Are solutions of volatile substances. May be prepared by direct solution in hot or cold water, or by filtering water through some inert powder, or cotton impregnated with volatile body. These waters are chiefly employed as vehicles.
Medicated Wines: Are fluid preparations in which soluble medical principles are dissolved in wines.
Oleoresins: Consist generally of fixed or essential oils, associated with resins, and extracted from the crude drug with ether, the latter evaporating later.
Ointments: Fatty preparations about the consistency of lard or petrolatum, which usually constitute their bulk. When applied to the skin they become fluid by the heat of the body.
Pills: Composed of a medicine or medicines, combined with substances which cause them to retain their shape and firmness. They may be sugar, chocolate or gelatin coated as desired.
Plasters: Usually applied to the body on a fine piece of fabric. They require heat to spread them. When applied to the body they adhere; but do not become soft. They are chiefly composed of some resinous body. May be medicated or not.
Poultices: Substances that are tenacious when wet and accommodate themselves to the parts. They are applied to relaxed tissue and also to exclude air. May be medicated or not.
Powders: These are medicines reduced to various degrees of fineness. The degree is usually designated by number; the numbers having reference to the number of meshes to the linear inch in the sieve through which the powder has been passed. The U. S. P. divides them as follows, viz.: A very fine powder is No. 80; a fine powder No. 60; a moderately fine powder No. 50; a coarse powder No. 20.
Resins: Are the solid resinous constituents of vegetable substances generally prepared by precipitation of an alcoholic solution of the drug in acidulated or simple water.
Spirits: Solutions of essential oils and other volatile substances in alcohol.
Suppositories: Pressed, rolled or moulded solid bodies, generally prepared from cocoa butter and the desired medical agent. Used in pelvic orifices. Sometimes wax is added to prevent their melting too easily.
Syrups: Concentrated aqueous solutions of sugar or thick solutions of sugar in medicated aqueous solutions.
Tablets: Are medicated candies either moulded or compressed. They are usually prepared from triturations with the addition of some harmless ingredient.
Tinctures: Are practically identical with fluid extracts, but much lower in strength. Prepared by percolation, maceration, generally the former. May be prepared from fresh or bruised herbs. The average proportion being 2 ounces of the drug to 1 pint of diluted alcohol.
Tinctures: Lloyd's Specific Medicines are of a special strength and purer and clearer than the ordinary tinctures. In fact, they are stronger and much more reliable than fluid extracts. The green drug (fresh herb. -HeK) is used in their manufacture.
Triturations: Are made by triturating (rubbing) a medical substance with sugar of milk, the latter serving simply as a diluent; they generally being made of a certain drug and sugar of milk. There are two methods in use, one in which one part of the drug is triturated with nine parts of sugar of milk. This is known as the decimal system. The other method is to triturate 1 part of the drug with 99 parts of sugar of milk, this being known as the centesimal system. ("#x." -HeK)
Vinegars: Solutions of active constituents of a drug or drugs in vinegar or diluted acetic acid.

The Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics, 1905, was written by Fred J. Petersen, M.D.

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