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132 ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.
the potency of a drug which is covered up in a strong tincture. It is clear that the value of a drug is not enhanced, and it is certain that a new force-producing, or exploding agency, has been added to the body.
In experience, any drug which contains alcohol can not be given to persons who have previously used it without rousing up the old desire for drink, or at least producing a degree of irrita- tion and excitement that clearly comes from this source. It is also the experience of persons who are very susceptible to alco- hol, that any strong tincture is followed by headache and other symptoms that refer to disturbed nerve centres.
" In many studies I have been surprised at the -increased ac- tion of drugs when given in other forms than the tincture. Gum and powdered opium, have far more pronounced narcotic action than the tincture. Yet the tincture is followed by a more rapid narcotism, but of shorter duration, and attended with more nerve disturbance at the onset.
" I am convinced that a more exact knowledge of the physio- logic action of alcohol on the organism will show that its use in drugs as tinctures is dangerous and will be abandoned.
" There are many reasons for believing that its use in pro- prietary drugs will be punished in the future under what is called the poison act."
Dr. J. J. Ridge published in May, 1893, in the Medical Pioneer, the following statement of the pharmacy of the London Temperance Hospital :
" When the Temperance Hospital was first opened, it became a question of practical importance, what should be done with regard to the alcohol so largely employed as a vehicle and drug excipient. Not that the principle of the treatment of disease without the ordinary administration of alcoholic beverages pre- cludes the employment of alcoholic tinctures, but it was felt that in such a test case as this it was important to obviate the objec-