Reviews and Bibliographical Notices.
The Extra Pharmacopoeia of Unofficial Drugs and Chemical and Pharmaceutical Preparations. By Wm. Martindale, F.C.S., late Examiner of the Pharmaceutical Society and late Teacher of Pharmacy and Demonstrator of Materia Medica at University College. With references to their use abstracted from the medical journals and a Therapeutic Index of Diseases and Symptoms. By W. Wynn Westcott, M.B. Lond., Deputy Coroner for Central Middlesex. Second Edition. London: H. K. Lewis, 1884. 16mo, pp. 330.
As the title indicates, this little work is intended as a supplement to the British Pharmacopoeia. Considering that this standard was published in 1867, and that since that time only a few formulas have been added by the general Council, under whose authority the Pharmacopoeia is issued, it is evident that such a supplement must have been very much needed. That such was the case was shown by the exhaustion of the first edition within a few weeks. The second edition now before us is enlarged by the addition of a number of new drugs, chemicals, formulas, and references to therapeutic uses, and of a therapeutic index.
The drugs and chemicals are given in the alphabetical order of their Latin names. In a few cases incorrect old names have been retained, though their recognized correct titles are given as synonyms, and this fact is pointed out in the text. Thus chrysarobin appears in the list as "Acidum chrysophanicum," and butylchloral hydrate as "Crotonchloral hydras." The alkaloid "caffeina" is mentioned a second time as "theine," under its English title like the alkaloid theobromine. Drugs and chemicals recognized by the British Pharmacopoeia are introduced only in case new preparations of the same are given. With the exception of these pharmacopoeial drugs, all are briefly described by their most prominent characters. Then follow formulas for the various galenical and extemporaneous preparations into which the drug enters, and finally, under the heading of "References," the uses which are made of the same with references to the works or journals where these applications have been described. From the fact that a number of eclectic preparations have been admitted by the author under their commercial incorrect names, though they have been properly characterized as the powdered extractive, etc., it would appear that these remedies are more employed in some parts of Great Britain than they are in some sections of the United States.
It will be seen from the foregoing that the "Extra Pharmacopoeia" covers a good deal of ground interesting to the pharmacist and to the physician, and will be useful as a handy work of reference concerning the leading facts, established, or at least reported, of non-pharmacopoeial drugs. Such always have been and will continue to be prescribed; but it is to be regretted, that in the place of definite chemicals and of mixtures of known composition, preparations are largely used, which are introduced under a chemical name, but of which little else is known. For this, however, the authors are not responsible, and they have selected of these only a limited number, and have not withheld the results if unfavorable to the pretended virtues.
We cheerfully recommend the work as a very useful one, and state in conclusion that also a foolscap octavo edition of it is about to appear.