Solution of Santonine.



The insolubility of this vermifuge impairs its utility. Cold or warm water takes up the merest trace. Chloroform, absolute alcohol, the strongest acetic acid, turpentine, hot olive oil, and hot glycerine, are the only simple fluids that dissolve any appreciable quantity. On cooling, it separates from the oil and glycerine; and the addition of water to the other solvents produces the same result.

It is obvious, therefore, that none of these solvents are adapted for the use of Santonine as a medicinal agent. A wish to determine the effect of Santonine in parasitic disease of the bladder led me, after a good deal of trouble, to find that I could form a suitable stronger solution than was needed for my purpose by means of carbonate of soda.

I may formularize my results thus:—

Rx. Santonini, in pulvere, gr. xij.
Sodae bicarbonatis, gr. xx.
Aquae distillatae ℥iij.

Put the soda and water into a flask, keep the fluid near the boiling point, adding, as it disappears, about two grains of the Santonine at a time, until the whole is dissolved. Solution is affected in about half an hour, during which time the water is reduced by boiling to ℥ij. If need be, reduce by boiling to this bulk, when ℥j will contain a full dose—six grains of Santonine. If an alkaline reaction be objectionable, neutralize with acetic acid.

Characters of the Solution.—Bright and permanent, strongly alkaline, free from odor, and excepting that of carbonate of soda, of taste. Carefully neutralized with acetic acid, an equally bright and permanent neutral solution is formed. Both the alkaline and neutral solution may be dilated to any extent with either cold or hot water, without impairing the perfection of the solution of the Santonine. Excess of acetic acid, after some hours, and the mineral acids immediately precipitate the whole, or nearly the whole of the Santonine, unchanged and in its original form of colorless, rectangular plates with bevelled edges.

Use.—By the process above described we obtain a bland alkaline solution, so completely void of irritating qualities that it may be dropped into the eye without causing the least sensation; and a neutral solution, for use in those cases in which an alkali would be unsuitable.

Mixed with from one to twenty times its bulk of acrid urine, sp. gr. 1017.5, and containing excess of uric acid, and retained at 100° Fahr. for several hours, not the faintest turbidity is produced, unless in the case of the alkaline solution, and an excess of phosphates in the urine, when a faint cloudiness may occur from the separation of the latter.

This proves that excess of acid urine (uric acid) fails to cause a deposition of Santonine.

As an injection, from ℥ss to ℥j (three to six grains) of either solution may be mixed with three or four ounces of warm water, and passed into the bladder or rectum.

I have already shown that absorption is readily affected by the mucous membrane of the bladder (see my last communication to the Medio-Chirurgical Society on the Endemic Haematuria of the southeast coast of Africa.); and therefore general as well as topical effects may be expected when Santonine is introduced by this channel.

In cases where powders are objected to, a pleasant mixture may be made by adding a little syrup and flavoring water to the Santonine solution.—The Pharmacist, April, 1871, from London Practitioner.

The American Journal of Pharmacy, Vol. XLIII, 1871, was edited by William Procter, Jr. (Issues 1-4) and John M. Maisch (Issues 5-12).