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Cuprum,—Copper.

Other tomes: Ellingwood

Preparations. There is only one official salt of Copper, viz.:—

Cupri Sulphas, Copper Sulphate, (Blue Vitriol, Bluestone),—Dose, gr. 1/16-1/2, as a tonic; gr. ij-v, as an emetic. Very soluble in water.
*Cupri Acetas, Copper Acetate,—used locally. Verdigris is an impure acetate, or carbonate of copper.
*Cuprum Ammoniatum, gr. 1/8-1/4, or more when tolerance is established.
*Cupri Arsenis, Copper Arsenite,—See page 58, ante.

Treatment of Copper Poisoning. Metallic Copper (as a penny), is best let alone; it will pass the anus in due time without serious symptoms. Antidotes to the copper salts are Potassium Ferro-cyanide and Albumen. Prompt evacuation by emetics or the stomach-pump is necessary. Then Potassium Iodide, even to saturation of the system, to promote elimination.

Physiological Action. Copper Salts are gastro-intestinal irritants, causing a metallic taste, nausea with vomiting of greenish matters, purging of blood and mucus, constricted fauces, depressed heart action, hurried respiration and fever. Or, as in the case of Arsenic, no gastro-enteritis may occur, but instead profound nervous symptoms, as headache, defective coördination, coma and convulsions, ending in death.

Symptoms of chronic poisoning are bronchial irritation and catarrh, gastrointestinal catarrh, colic with diarrhoea [Lead, colic with constipation], dysentery, nausea, waste of tissue, anaemia, salivation, and a green line (sulphide) along the margin of the gums in those who do not brush their teeth. Nervous symptoms are also usually marked. Liver becomes atrophied, from irritation of its connective tissue and fatty degeneration of the hepatic cells. Lungs are congested, even pneumonic consolidation being set up; Copper seeming to have a selective affinity for the parenchyma of these organs.

Therapeutics. The Sulphate is the best emetic in—

Narcotic and Phosphorus Poisoning, also in Croup,—gr. xxj in ℥iv of water, a teaspoonful being given every ten minutes until emesis is set up.
Chronic Dysentery and Acute Diarrhoea,—the Sulphate in doses of gr. 1/16-1/12 with Opium, is the best metallic astringent in these affections.
Neuralgia of the 5th, from depression,—Ammoniated Copper is valuable.
Gastro-intestinal Catarrh, with diarrhoea,—the Sulphate in small doses.
Pneumonia,—a Tincture of the Acetate is considered curative by Kissel, and was official in the German Pharmacopoeia.
Throat Affections,—in which weak solutions of the Sulphate are far superior to any other application, even to that of Silver Nitrate.
Granular Lids and Corneal Ulcers,—are best treated by a quick rub with a smooth crystal of the Sulphate once or twice a week.
Herpes, Eczema, etc.,—ointments or lotions of the Acetate.
Gonorrhoea,—a weak solution of the Sulphate (gr. 1/8 ad ℥j) is a good injection after the acute inflammatory stage has passed.

A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Prescription Writing, 1902, by Sam'l O. L. Potter, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.



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