Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/348
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.
mal heat by impairing the capacity of the hemoglobin and cor- puscular elements of the blood to receive and distribute free oxygen, and thereby reduce temperature by diminishing heat production, nerve sensibility and tissue metabolism. There- fore, while each dose temporarily reduces the fever, it retards the most important physiological processes on which the living system depends for resisting the effects of toxic agents ; namely, oxidation and elimination. This not only encourages the reten- tion of toxic agents and natural excretory materials by which specific fevers are protracted, but it greatly increases the num- ber of cases of pneumonia that complicate the epidemic influ- enza, or la grippe, as it has occurred since 1888-89.
" The bad work that people make in dosing themselves with patent medicines, without a physician's prescription is not un- frequently punctuated with a sudden death from overdosing with antipyrin, sulphonal, or some other coal-tar prepara- tion."
Dr. C. H. Shepard, Brooklyn, N. Y., says :—
" Quinine is a most fatal drug. Of course, it is the orthodox treatment for malarial conditions, but quinine never did nor never can cure malaria or any other disease. The action brought about by its. use is simply to benumb the nervous activity and interfere with the natural action of the system to throw off the poison, which is expressed by the chill. Because of this interference with the manifestation or symptom of the disease, many imagine that the disease is being cured, but there never was a greater mistake. A drug disease is added to the original disease. This is shown by the invariable depres- sion that follows the administration of the drug, and the length of time required to recuperate, which imperils restoration, and sometimes hastens the final results. This is ordinarily met by the use of what are called stimulants, that is, more drugs, and the last state is worst than the first ; the poor patient is thus madethe victim of a triple wrong, which only a most vigorous consti-