Extractum Aconiti (U. S. P.)—Extract of Aconite.
SYNONYMS: Extract of aconite root, Extractum aconiti radicis.
Preparation.—"Aconite, in No. 60 powder, one thousand grammes (1000 Gm.) [2 lbs. av., 3 oz., 120 grs.; alcohol, a sufficient quantity. Moisten the powder with four hundred cubic centimeters (400 Cc.) [13 fl℥, 252♏] of alcohol, and pack it firmly in a cylindrical percolator; then add enough alcohol to saturate the powder and leave a stratum above it. When the liquid begins to drop from the percolator, close the lower orifice, and, having closely covered the percolator, macerate for 48 hours. Then allow the percolation to proceed, gradually adding alcohol until three thousand cubic centimeters (3000 Cc.) [101 fl℥, 212♏] of tincture are obtained, or the aconite is exhausted. Reserve the first nine hundred cubic centimeters (900 Cc.) [30 fl℥, 208♏] of the percolate, evaporate the remainder in a porcelain capsule, at a temperature not exceeding 50° C. (122° F.), to one hundred cubic centimeters (100 Cc.) [3 fl℥, 183♏], add the reserved portion, and evaporate, at or below the above-mentioned temperature, until an extract of a pilular consistence remains"—(U. S. P.).
Description, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—As this preparation and that formerly prepared from the leaves and still used to some extent, bear the same title, it would seem appropriate to designate this extract Extractum Aconiti Radicis. We have taken the liberty to name that from the leaves Extractum Aconiti Foliorum (see below). Extract of aconite has a yellowish-brown color, and possesses the properties of the root in a powerful degree; it may be used in rheumatism, neuralgia, gout, scrofula, cutaneous diseases, inflammatory and febrile diseases, and in all cases in which the use of aconite is admissible. When the extract is of good quality it causes numbness and tingling in the mouth and lips shortly after taking it. The extract prepared from the root is much more active (from 6 to 9 times stronger) than that prepared from the leaves, and should be administered in smaller doses, from 1/10 to 1/4 grain. The British pharmacopoeia Extractum Aconiti is the inspissated juice of the fresh leaves and tops, and is prescribed as Extractum Aconiti Herbae.
EXTRACTUM ACONITI FOLIORUM, Extract of aconite leaves.—Exhaust coarsely powdered aconite leaves in a percolator with diluted alcohol, a sufficient quantity. From the tincture thus made separate the alcohol, and then carefully evaporate the residue until it is of the required consistence. Be careful not to spoil the extract by too high a temperature while evaporating it. The leaves should be recently dried. When the extract is prepared in large quantity a vacuum apparatus should be used in order to save the alcohol without exposure to a temperature that would injure the active medicinal virtues of the aconite (see preparation of Alcoholic Extracts). This extract of aconite is from 6 to 9 times weaker than the official extract of aconite, which is prepared from the root. As both the latter preparation and this one bear the same name, we have taken the liberty to designate that prepared from the leaves as Extractum Aconiti Foliorum. The dose is from 1/4 to l grain 2 or 3 times a day, which may be increased to 2 grains if required.