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Syrupus Lactucarii. U. S. Syrup of Lactucarium. Syr. Lactucar.

Botanical name:

Related entry: Lactucarium

(sy-ru'pus lae-tu-ca'ri-i) Sirop de Lactucarium, Fr.; Lactucariumsirup, G.

"Tincture of Lactucarium, one hundred mils [or 3 fluidounces, 183 minims]; Glycerin, two hundred mils [or 6 fluidounces, 366 minims]; Citric Acid, one gramme [or 15 grains]; Orange Flower Water, fifty mils [or 1 fluidounce, 331 minims]; Syrup, a sufficient quantity, to make one thousand mils [or 33 fluidounces, 6 1/2 fluidrachms]. Mix the tincture of lactucarium with the glycerin, add the orange flower water in which the citric acid has been previously dissolved, and filter, if necessary. Finally, add a sufficient quantity of syrup to make the product measure one thousand mils [or 33 fluidounces, 6 1/2 fluidrachms]. Mix thoroughly." U. S.

The only disadvantage of this syrup is the slight petroleum-like taste which seems to be inseparable from lactucarium preparations made by extracting the resinous principles with petroleum benzin; the new tincture of lactucarium, notwithstanding all the care that can be given to the purification of the petroleum benzin, will still hold a trace of the benzin-residue flavor, which it communicates to the syrup. The recommendations made by various pharmaceutical writers to add a solution of an alkali to cloudy syrup of lactucarium, in order to make it transparent, are inadmissible, for Aubergier has conclusively shown that alkalies destroy the bitter principles of lactucarium.

Jos. W. England and N. D. Streeter both prefer to make the syrup directly from the lactucarium. For processes, see A. J. P., 1883, pp. 393. 593.

Louis Emanuel presents an interesting contribution on the subject in the Proc. P. P. A., 1912, p. 151, in which all processes as well as the product are criticised.

This syrup for half a century has been largely used on the assumption that it possessed properties similar to those of opium without the habit-forming tendency of the latter, and Aubergier's syrup has been in great vogue in Europe and to a less extent in this country. After the passage of the Food and Drugs Act in 1906, the Aubergier preparations of lactucarium were found to contain a declaration on the label of the presence of morphine. In France it is evident that lactucarium had failed to sustain its reputation, for the French Codex introduced Sirop de Lactucarium Opiace (1884), which contained alcoholic extract of lactucarium, with the addition of one-half the proportion of extract of opium. This was an official recognition of the feeble character of lactucarium, and inasmuch as many persons used the syrup as a substitute for opium or morphine, the fact remained that thousands were deceived and in many cases the opium habit was established. We are of the opinion that lactucarium and its preparations should no longer receive recognition. The formula for Aubergier's syrup will be found in the U. S. D., 19th edition, page 1230.

Dose, two to three fluidrachms (7.5-11.25 mils).


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



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