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Pilulae Catharticae Compositae. U. S. Compound Cathartic Pills.

Pil. Cathart. Co.

Related entry: Colocynth - Colocynth Extract - Resin of Jalap

Antibilious Pills; Pilules cathartiques composees, Fr.; Abfuhrpillen, G.

"Compound Extract of Colocynth, eighty grammes [or 2 ounces av., 360 grains]; Mild Mercurous Chloride, sixty grammes [or 2 ounces av., 51 grains]; Resin of Jalap, in fine powder, twenty grammes [or 309 grains]; Gamboge, in fine powder, fifteen grammes [or 231 grains]; Diluted Alcohol, a sufficient quantity, to make one thousand pills. Mix the powders intimately, then incorporate a sufficient quantity "of diluted alcohol to form a mass, and divide it into one thousand pills." U. S.

This cathartic compound was first made official in the second edition of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia. It was intended to combine smallness of bulk with efficiency and comparative mildness of purgative action and a peculiar tendency to the biliary organs. Such an official preparation was much wanted in this country, in which bilious fevers, and other complaints attended with congestion of the liver and portal circle generally, so much abound. The object of smallness of bulk is accomplished by employing extracts and the more energetic cathartics; that of a peculiar tendency to the liver, by the use of calomel, and that of efficiency with mildness of operation, by the union of several powerful purgatives'. It is a fact, abundantly proved by experience, that drastic cathartics become milder by combination, without losing any of their purgative power. It is highly important that these pills be prepared in exact compliance with the directions, and that the compound extract of colocynth and the resin of Jalap used be of good quality. When they fail, the result is generally ascribable to the substitution of jalap for the resin, or to the use of a compound extract of colocynth made with nearly inert scammony, inferior aloes, and insufficient colocynth, and altogether badly prepared.

Each pill weighs about 3 grains (0.194 Gm.), and contains 2.70 grains (0.175 Gm.) of active ingredients. A single pill will generally be found to operate as a mild laxative. In a full dose, the preparation acts vigorously on the bowels, producing bilious stools, generally without much pain or disorder of the stomach. It may be employed in most instances where a brisk cathartic is required, but is particularly applicable to the early stages of bilious fevers, to hepatitis, jaundice, and all those derangements which depend on congestion of the portal circle. It should not be used in habitual constipation.

Dose, one to three pills.


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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