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460 


PROGRESS OP MEDICAL SCIENCE. 


fortable condition. In the presence of eclampsia two indications are para¬ 
mount. The first is to cause prompt, thorough, and copious elimination by 
every possible means. The hot pact, free purgation, and saline transfusion 
are of the greatest importance. To be avoided are sedatives, which hinder 
excretion and depress the cardiac and respiratory centres. If apoplexy 
threatens, and a heavy, full pulse indicates bleeding, such a procedure is 
justifiable. It is rarely the case that a patient suffers from profound toxtemia 
and eclampsia without the beginning of labor as a direct result of the stimu¬ 
lation of the uterine nerves which the retained toxins furnish. Taking 
advantage of this conservative process, rapid delivery is indicated bo soon as 
it can be accomplished without positive and severe injury to the mother. 
The interests of the foetus are also here served, for the same poisons which 
threaten the mother often kill the child .—Therapeutic Gazette 1895 No 7 
p. 433. ’ 


Tax a- n: ast a--.. 

Me. Ferdinand Lascar recalls the fact that diastase has an action upon 
starch identical with ptyalin. Diastase is contained in a greater or less 
extent in the different extracts of malt, but in them its utility as a starch- 
converting agent will always remain a limited one. The diastase now made 
by takamine is a dry powder, tasteless, and of no perceptible odor, and is 
powerful enough to convert one hundred times its weight of starch into a 
soluble condition. The author has even converted 50 per cent, more than 
is claimed for it. One of the peculiarities of this product is the rapidity 
with which this conversion takes place, four minutes being sufficient so fully to 
produce the change that neither iodine nor the microscope can detect uncon¬ 
verted starch. In the making of the tests, as well as in the manufacture of the 
product, heat shonld be guarded against, as it easily destroys the action of 
diastase. The field of usefulness of this product is not alone in infant-feed¬ 
ing. but as well in the amylaceous dyspepsias of adults, which are by no 
means infrequent— Therapeutic Gazette, 1895, No. 7, p. 437. 

Arecolin. 

Dr. G. Lavogna has made an experimental study of the physiological 
action of this new alkaloid, which is obtained from the areca-nnt, which has 
been prescribed for the removal of tapeworm. The alkaloid occurs as the 
hydrobromate, a permanent, slightly hygroscopic salt, of the formula 
Cjfl.NOjHBr. Frohner found that it possessed sialogogue properties, even 
excelling those of pilocarpine; that it was also a laxative and water-extractive 
remedy. The author, however, ascertained that it is a myotic. Used in a 
1 per cent, solution, dropped into the conjunctival sac, there is experienced 
a feeling of warmth in the eye; some tears and spasm in the lids follow. 
These symptoms of irritation last but a minute, and frequently a shorter 
time. After the spasm of the lids has passed away there is noticed a con¬ 
junctival, or, more properly, a bulbar bypermmia, and a slight superficial 
injection of the cornea which lasts but a few minutes. After five minutes 
myosis commences, which reaches its maximum after ten minutes and per¬ 
sists about thirty minutes, when the pupils show a tendency to return to 



THEBAPEUTICS. 


461 


their normal size, reaching it after seventy minutes. One and one-half 
hours after, slight mydriasis is noticed. The spasm of the ciliary muscle 
reaches its maximum in from one to six minutes, and then the refraction 
tends toward the normal, reaching it thirty-five minutes after the instilla¬ 
tion .—Therapculischc ifonalthefte, 1895, Heft vii. S. 384. 

The Diuretic Actio's of Theobromine. 

Dr. Henri Huchard believes that the fnture of therapeutics lies in the 
dinretics, because the permeability of the kidney is the safeguard of the 
organism, be it healthy or diseased, permitting the elimination of the toxins 
which it produces or it receives. The classification of Manquat divides 
diuretics into two groups, the mechanical and renal. The first group is 
further subdivided into (1) cardio-vascular and (2) aqueous. The second or 
renal diuretics are either (1) functional epithelial or (2) irritant epithelial 
diuretics. The functional epithelial diuretics are those which act upon the 
renal epithelium without altering it, and comprise milk, lactose, glucose, 
theobromine, potassium and sodium nitrates, asparagus, couch-grass, corn- 
silk, and elder-bark. The irritant epithelial diuretics are those which pro¬ 
voke diuresis hy causing congestion of the kidney, as juniper-berries and 
cantharidcs. These give rise to real dangers, especially the latter, and 
should always be used with great care. The experiments with theobromine 
have shown that it does not possess any action upon tho nervous syBtem. 
thus differing from cafTcine, which is a cerebral excitant. It is very slightly 
poisonous, even in large doses. It has a diuretic action less prolonged than 
digitalis, hut more so than caffeine. This diuresis follows very rapidly as a 
urinary downpour; the amount of urine frequently becomes three or four pints. 
Very rarely it produces digestive disturbances, as nausea and vomiting, 
which may be avoided by prescribing the drug in capsules of seven grains 
each. It ha 3 no action upon the heart, arteries, or blood-pressure, and is 
harmless to the kidneys. It does not offer any danger of habituation nor of 
accumulation, and it is eliminated unchanged in the urine. Finally, it is 
indicated in dropsies of cardiac origin and in the anasarca of Bright’s dis¬ 
ease. If prescribed in the above dose, eight capsules should be token on the 
first, six on the second and third, and four on the fourth day. To obtain 
the tonic effects of this drug it is employed in smaller doses, associated with 
equal parts of neutral sodium phosphate, for several weekB. Dinretin, 
sodium and theobromine salicylate are untrustworthy —Journal da Prali- 
rims, 1895, 2d semestre, No. 1, p. 5. 


Accidents following the Use of Serum. 

Galliard reports that a woman, thirty-three years old, entered his 
hospital service, complaining of a slight angina, which, however, became 
suddenly worse, so that subcutaneous injection of Eoux’s serum was admin¬ 
istered. There was no febrile reaction nor immediate accident, and convales¬ 
cence was speedily established, so that she lefttbe hospital five days later. 
Bacteriological investigation showed that.the membranes did not contain the 
[Klebs-]Loeffler bacillus, but only staphylococci and streptococci. Sixteen