Triturationes (U. S. P.)—Triturations.


Preparation.—"Unless otherwise directed, triturations are to be prepared by the following formula: Take of the substance, ten grammes (10 Gm.) [154 grs.]; sugar of milk, in moderately fine powder, ninety grammes (90 Gm.) [3 ozs. av., 76 grs.]; to make one hundred grammes (100 Gm.) [3 ozs. av., 231 grs.]. Weigh the substance and the sugar of milk, separately; then place the substance, previously reduced, if necessary, to a moderately fine powder, in a mortar; add about an equal measure of sugar of milk, mix well by means of a spatula, and triturate them thoroughly together. Then add fresh portions of the sugar of milk, from time to time, until the whole is added, and continue the trituration until the substance is intimately mixed with the sugar of milk and reduced to a fine powder"—(U. S. P.).

History.—The official triturations are prepared according to the Homoeopathic method. While only a definite proportion is aimed at by the Pharmacopoeia, in Homoeopathic pharmacy triturations not only are considered in the light of definite quantities, but are believed to assume increased medicinal power. The drug is, from their view, "potentiated." Homoeopathic triturations are denominated decimal or centesimal, according to the amount of active ingredient contained therein. If 1 part of the medicine be triturated with 9 parts of sugar of milk, gradually added, the first decimal trituration (1 x) is formed; if, however, 1 part of the medicine be triturated with 99 parts of milk-sugar, gradually added, the resulting preparation is the first centesimal trituration (1). By adding 1 part of the first decimal trituration to 9 parts of sugar of milk, or 1 part of the centesimal trituration to 99 parts of sugar of milk, gradually added, we obtain respectively the second decimal (2 x) or second centesimal trituration (2), and so on up the scale. Great care is to be observed that the mortar is perfectly clean, it being first washed with cold, then with hot water, and finally a little alcohol is burned in it. Moreover, each substance is triturated for a definite length of time. Similar preparations to the Homoeopathic and official forms are what were introduced under the following term, and were described in previous editions of this Dispensatory, as

LACTINATED PREPARATIONS.—"These are forms, in which active and powerful medicines are presented to the profession by the manufacturers. The medicinal lactinated preparations are composed of alcoholic extracts, essential or inspissated tinctures, and juices, resinoids, etc., thoroughly triturated with lactin or sugar of milk. They are said to be best formed in the process of mixture, by mixing the lactin with the medicine before it is dried, and then carefully drying and powdering them together. This combination of medicines with lactin has the advantage:

  1. of presenting many of the soft resinoids and inspissated tinctures, in the dry powdered form, without changing their chemical character, as is liable to be done by mixing them with alkalies or mineral substances;
  2. of rendering them soluble, or at least readily miscible in water, and thus more easily administered, and more readily diffused in the stomach;
  3. of greatly increasing the activity of all the resinoids, and such other preparations as are but partially soluble in water: Four grains of such a mixture, although it contains only 1 grain of the medicine, will generally be found as active as 2 grains of the same medicine given in its isolated state, while at the same time it produces less irritation and other unpleasant effects.

Many concentrated agents are much improved by this mode of combination, and are kept prepared in this way, as in their pure state they are so concentrated and insoluble as to act as irritants on the stomach before they can be sufficiently diffused and absorbed to produce their therapeutical effects.

"The lactinated medicines should be kept in 1 ounce or 2 ounce vials, with as little exposure to air and light as possible. All articles containing volatile principles, as the essential oils, soft resinoids, and oleoresins, should be kept in ½ ounce or 1 ounce vials, as by frequently exposing them to the air they become inert. Those articles which absorb moisture from the air, and thus render the combination hard, or which require very large proportions of lactin to form a dry mixture, should not be lactinated.

"Lactinated preparations are made of various proportions of lactin, and which are expressed on the label of the vials containing them; thus, there may be equal parts, each, of the medicine and the sugar of milk; or to 1 part of the former, there may be added 2, 5, or 10 parts of the latter.

"Ordinary cane-sugar, saturated with concentrated alcohol, or ethereal tinctures of various medicines, and then dried, has been used by medical men, and found very useful; but it will be found inferior to, and less permanent than, a lactinated medicine properly prepared" (J. King).

It will be observed that these preparations preceded the "Abstracts" of the U. S. P., 1880.

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