C11H11NO2 = 189.098.
Hydrastinine, C11H11NO2, is an artificial alkaloid, obtained by the oxidation of the natural alkaloid hydrastine in acid solution; the hydrastinine thus obtained is purified by recrystallisation from benzene or acetic ether. It occurs in the form of white or faintly yellowish acicular crystals, having an intensely bitter taste. Melting-point, 116° to 117°. An aqueous solution of hydrastinine is strongly alkaline. It is precipitated from its solution in acids by solution of potassium hydroxide, but not by ammonia or sodium carbonate. Nessler's reagent is instantly reduced by it, with formation of a black precipitate of mercury. This test is said to distinguish it from nearly all other alkaloids.
Readily soluble in alcohol, ether, or chloroform, but not in cold water, although moderately soluble in hot water; also soluble in most acids, forming soluble salts, the hydrochloride being slightly fluorescent.
Action and Uses.—Hydrastinine resembles hydrastine in its action, but its effect upon peripheral vessels is more pronounced, and blood pressure is therefore raised to a greater height. It is less depressant than hydrastine, and is employed on the supposition that it will check uterine haemorrhage and strengthen feeble contractions in labour. Pure hydrastinine is not much used owing to its insolubility; the soluble hydrochloride is given by hypodermic injection.
Dose.—15 to 30 milligrams (¼ to ½ grain), increased to 60 milligrams (1 grain).