Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/360

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352
 
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.


Respiration may be from 8 to 10 per minute, perhaps be reduced to 4, 2 or 1, and as the toxic effect is more marked, it becomes shallow, the pupils are contracted, and the patient is so thoroughly narcotized that nothing will arouse him, the heart ceases to beat, and he dies by respiratory failure, or paralysis of the pneumogastric nerve.

"Morphine, extracted from gum opium by a slow and expensive process, is used much less in proprietary medicines than is tincture of opium, which is more easily manufactured.

"A medicinal dose of sulphate of morphine is from ⅛ to ¼ of a grain. One grain is a dangerous dose, and 2 grains are liable to prove fatal. Morphine is a true narcotic. It is a sedative, lessens tissue change, and weakens every function of the body.

TINCTURE OF OPIUM, OR LAUDANUM :— " Laudanum, or the tincture of opium, is a mixture of gum opium with alcohol and water, the solution consisting of equal parts of alcohol and water. Each ounce contains 5½ grains of powdered gum opium and half an ounce of alcohol, and is equal in alcoholic strength to one ounce of strong whisky. The ordinary medical dose is from 12 to 15 minims, or from 25 to 30 drops. It is much used as a domestic remedy for pain from any cause, such as ear or toothache, indigestion, insomnia, summer complaints with children or adults, and is often used in poultices over painful sores or swellings. It is also used in many medicines for throat and lung troubles, in nearly all medicines for painful chronic diseases, and in many of the well advertised spring tonics, as well as in nearly all the compounds that are offered for sale for blood troubles, or as alteratives. The opium in laudanum acts the same as morphine, or any other of the thirty preparations of opium, officially recognized by the medical profession.

PAREGORIC :— "Paregoric of standard grade is half alcohol, which is as strong of alcohol as high proof whisky. It contains a little opium, some benzoic acid, oil of anise, and camphor. The dose is from 15 to 60 drops.