Synonym—Chlorate of Potassium.
Physiological Action—The physiological action of this agent is that of an irritant poison. It depresses the action of the heart, lowers arterial tension, disorganizes the red blood corpuscles, converting the hemoglobin into methemoglobin. The product of the disorganization is excreted by the, urine. It produces enlargement of the liver, kidneys and spleen, inducing inflammation of the entire gastro-intestinal tract. When death occurs from its use there is delirium and coma or convulsions. Continued use of the agent even in medicinal doses may produce irritation and congestion of the kidneys with albuminous urine and difficult renal action. It is apt to produce cutaneous eruptions, papular, vesicular, or erythematous in character.
Therapy—The agent is an active antiseptic, although not usually so classed. In the early treatment of diphtheria it first came into prominent use as a remedy for that disease, for which it was used in conjunction with the chloride of iron. Given after exposure, before the development of the symptoms, it is said to ward off an attack of the disease. Its solution is useful in all cases of ulceration of the mouth or of the stomach. It is given in frequent doses, and is used freely as a mouth wash, especially valuable if the gums are spongy and tend to bleed readily, and there is fetid breath. It is specific in mercurial stomatitis and was long advised in conjunction with mercurial treatment, to prevent the salivating influence of mercury. It prevents the formation of false membrane and hastens its detachment in membranous croup. It is useful in the sore throat of scarlatina, but it must be given with caution in this disease, because of its irritating influence upon the kidneys.
Its solution is useful in specific or non-specific urethritis, vaginitis and cystitis, in which mild solutions are more efficacious than saturated ones. It is useful also in hemorrhoids and in rectal ulcers and fissures.
It has been used in phthisis pulmonalis, in syphilis, scrofula and in scurvy, but its use in these conditions is now obsolete as we have many superior remedies. Local ulcerations of the mouth or throat, or ulcerations of any mucous surface occurring in the course of these constitutional diseases may be well treated with this salt in solution, but its continued internal use is not advised.
This agent is useful in the treatment of leucorrhea, and in ulcerations of the os uteri or of the walls of the vagina, in solution in a douche.
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.