Related entries: Piper cubeba - Piper methysticum
Administration—It absorbs water so rapidly and is so prone to decompose in solution that it should be prescribed in aqueous solution only and should be prepared fresh every two or three days. The crystals should be kept hermetically sealed in a cool place. Three grains every three hours, or five grains three times daily, is about the proper dose, given in a glass of water.
Specific Symptomatology—The agent is indicated where there is persistent, excessive excretion of uric acid and the urates with constant backache, dry skin and scanty urine, or where there is a brick dust sediment in the urine. It is a good agent for the uric acid diathesis in many cases.
Therapy—In the writer's experience when given in five grain doses in a large quantity of water, three times daily, to patients passing urine with a specific gravity of 1.022 to 1.028 which deposits a heavy brick dust precipitate as soon as cooled, with constant backache and general muscular aching, it will relieve the backache in one day, and reduce the specific gravity to 1.018 or 1.020 within a short time.
It acts more rapidly than other better known agents, and is direct and positive. It is soothing to the irritated passages, and prevents the formation of uric acid calculi. If given with a bland mucilaginous stimulating diuretic its general influence is greatly widened, and its solvent powers are increased correspondingly. The sickening ache across the kidneys terminates more promptly.
The agent has been quite widely used in the treatment of chronic rheumatic arthritis, and gout, and good results are ascribed to it. It has been applied in strong solution to the joints and injected into them with varying results in these conditions, usually with favorable results. It is useful in acute rheumatism and in rheumatic pericarditis, especially if there be excessive uric acid formation. Further experience should broaden its field of usefulness.
The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.