Massae Pilularum.—Pill Masses.


Three pill masses that may be kept in stock, are recognized by the U. S. P.

MASSA HYDRARGYRI (U. S. P.), Mass of mercury, Pilula hydrargyri, Blue mass, Blue pill, Massa coerulea.—"Mercury, thirty-three grammes (33 Gm.) [1 oz. av., 72 grs.]; glycyrrhiza, in No. 60 powder, five grammes (5 Gm.) [77 grs.]; althaea, in No. 60 powder, twenty-five grammes (25 Gm.) [386 grs.]; glycerin, three grammes (3 Gm.) [46 grs.]; honey of rose, thirty-four grammes (34 Gm.) [1 oz. av., 87 grs.]; to make one hundred grammes (100 Gm.) [3 ozs. av., 231 grs.]. Triturate the mercury with the honey of rose and glycerin until it is extinguished. Then gradually add the glycyrrhiza and althaea, and continue the trituration until globules of mercury are no longer visible under a lens magnifying at least 10 diameters. If a portion of the mass be triturated, in a mortar, with warm acetic acid, the filtrate should not become more than slightly opalescent on the addition of a few drops of hydrochloric acid (limit of mercurous oxide). If another portion of the mass be digested with warm, diluted hydrochloric acid and a little purified animal charcoal, the filtrate should not be affected by hydrogen sulphide T.S., or by stannous chloride T.S. (absence of mercuric oxide)"—(U. S. P.).

A powder of blue mass is prepared by using the same ingredients as above, except that sugar of milk and a drop of oil of rose are employed in place of glycerin and honey of rose. By means of alcohol, to give moisture, rub the whole to a uniform mass, and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Reduce to powder. It is known as PULVIS MASSAE HYDRARGYRI, Powdered blue Mass, or Aethiops saccharatus. PILULAE HYDRARGYRI, or Blue pills, of the U. S. P., 1870, contained 1 grain, each, of mercury. (For uses, see Hydrargyrum.) Not employed in Eclectic practice.

King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.