Rhus. Tox. in Night Terrors.

I have recently had a case in which rhus tox. acted specifically in relieving infantile insomnia. I had been treating the case for obstinate constipation for some time with bryonia and had succeeded in relieving the condition permanently.

The child then developed the habit of waking each night in a fright and refusing to go back to sleep, remaining awake at times for hours. He would awaken suddenly with considerable nervous excitement and would cry out as if in fear. If he was rocked he would keep quiet, his eyes remaining wide open meanwhile.

There was apparently no pain and no fever. Rhus tox. was given in small doses for three days with such relief that the remedy was discontinued. The trouble returned somewhat, but upon again administering the same remedy, permanent cure was accomplished.


COMMENT: This condition is usually induced by irritation within the gastrointestinal tract. While the above remedy and others effectual at times may be indicated, the condition usually is not permanently removed until the irritating causes are removed. I have found triturated santonin to be a useful remedy in relieving this irritation. I have given from half of a grain to a grain twice a day, triturated with from five to ten grains of sugar of milk. At other times direct nerve sedatives will be indicated, although, as I have stated before, I believe that santonin has a nerve sedative influence over reflex irritation.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.