Mineral Acids.

Preparations and Doses.

Acidum Sulphuricum Dilutum, strength 1/10. Dose, ♏v-xv, well diluted.
Acidum Sulphuricum Aromaticum, Elixir of Vitriol, strength 1/5. Dose, ♏ v-xx, well diluted. Contains sulphuric acid, alcohol, ginger, and cinnamon. Is not an acid, but an ether, formed by the reaction of the acid on the alcohol.
Acidum Hydrochloricum Dilutum, strength 1/10. Dose ♏iij-x well diluted.
Acidum Nitricum Dilutum, Dose, ♏iij-x, well diluted.
Acidum Nitro-hydrochloricum Dilutum, Nit. Ac. 4, HCl 18, Aq. 78. Dose, ♏iij-xv, well diluted.
Acidum Phosphoricum Dilutum, strength 1/10. Dose, ♏iij-x, well diluted.

An average dose of all the dilute mineral acids is ♏iij-x.

Physiological Action. The strong acids are escharotics, abstracting the water from the tissues, combining with the bases, destroying the protoplasm, and are very diffusible. Sulphuric carbonizes (black); Nitric tans (yellow). The dilute acids act in the stomach chemically. Secretion is promoted by Nitric, lessened by Sulphuric, Hydrochloric acid acting thereon between the other two. To mouths of ducts having an acid secretion, they check the flow; to those of alkaline secretion they promote it (e.g., bile, pancreatic juice, etc.). Fermentation is checked by the mineral acids. Bowels are constipated by Sulphuric, relaxed by Nitric acid.

As these agents are synergistic to pepsin, they at first aid digestion; but if continued they lessen the production of gastric juice, and so impair digestion. Given before meals in small doses they will relieve excessive acidity of the stomach, by checking the production of the acid gastric juice.

Poisoning by Mineral Acids is treated by Alkalies, as washing soda, soap-suds, etc., to neutralize the acid; cautiously empty the stomach; give oil, albumen, or milk, to protect the mucous membrane. Stimulants, Opium, Ammonia intravenously, to combat the resulting depressed condition of the vital powers.

Therapeutics. The Mineral Acids are used in—
Atonic Dyspepsia,—small doses of hydrochloric Acid with Pepsin, given after meals, except where there is acidity of the stomach.
Acidity,—Hydrochloric or Phosphoric Acids in small doses before meals.
Oxaluria,—Nitric or Nitro-hydrochloric. Lithaemia, Nitric Acid.
Diarrhoea,—when profuse secretions, Sulphuric Acid with Opium.
Choleraic Diarrhoea and Dysentery,—Sulphuric Acid with Opium, or with Magnesium Sulphate, is found very serviceable.
Fevers,—especially typhoid,—Hydrochloric Acid is preferred.
Lead Poisoning,—Sulphuric Acid, to form the insoluble sulphate of lead.
Hemorrhoids,—Sulphuric Acid; also for hemorrhage from lower bowel.
Hemorrhages,—Sulphuric Acid is undoubtedly effective in uterine hemorrhage from fibroids, and in other hemorrhages at points distant from the stomach; also sometimes in purpura hemorrhagica.
Chronic Hepatic Disorders,—Nitro-hydrochloric Acid in all forms of liver affections due to malaria, internally, and locally as a bath.
Intermittent and Remittent Fevers,—Nitric Acid in full doses, is beneficial.
Aphonia of Singers,—Dilute Nitric Acid in 10-drop doses, has proved efficient.

Phthisis,—Aromatic Sulphuric Acid for the sweats.

Local Uses. They are employed against—
Ulcers,—Fuming Nitric Acid as an escharotic, also in Gangrene.
Hemorrhoids, of the bleeding, strawberry-pile kind,—Fuming Nitric Acid.
Diseased Joints,—Counter-irritation by Brodie's liniment, composed of Sulphuric Acid one-fourth, Olive Oil, three-fourths.
Uterine Diseases are often treated with fuming Nitric Acid, locally applied.

A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Prescription Writing, 1902, by Sam'l O. L. Potter, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.