Medicinal Therapeutics is the application of drugs as medicines for the purpose of modifying or curing disease. Drugs are employed in the medicinal therapeutic field either empirically, or according to the Law of Similars - i. e., scientifically, because according to fixed law.

Empiricism is based upon mere experience and is practice without regard to any theory or scientific deduction or investigation. A remedy is given which experience has shown to be effective in a similar case. It is the rule of authority and leads to mechanical routinism in practice. Certain remedies have, however, obtained a permanent place in medicine that have been discovered empirically, and whose mode of action cannot be readily explained. It has been found that certain drugs act curatively against certain definite diseases when given in material dosage. They are known as specifics. There are not many, but such are Quinine in malaria, Mercury in syphilis, Iodine in glandular affections, Salicylic acid in rheumatism, etc. These occupy a rather unique position, though it can be claimed that the relationship is a homoeopathic one, although it differs from the usual homoeopathic relationship between remedies to disease in requiring material dosage.

Practice according to some pathological theory is characteristic of the old school of medicine. It is constantly changing, as different views on physiology and pathology lead to corresponding therapeutic changes. It is therefore one of the most unstable of methods-At present, pathology being dominated by bacteriological views, the corresponding therapeutic measures are largely germicidal, anti-septic or anti-toxical. But already bacterial pathology, and as a consequence its therapeutics show signs of the inevitable displacement. *

The use of medicines when administered according to some pathological theory is either according to allopathic or antipathic method.

* Says Lawson Tait, that during his professional life he has learned and unlearned some four or live theories of inflammation, and he predicts that the present prevalent theory, coccophobia he calls it, will soon go the way of the other theories.

Allopathy

Allopathy (from Alios, other and Pathos, a disease), where the symptoms are different, the same organs and tissues being affected in a different manner, or other organs and tissues being affected in some manner; the relationship being one of indefinite diversity*

Allopathy usually attacks the parts most exempt from the disease, in order to draw away the disease through them and thus to expel it, as is imagined. § 55 Organon.

Antipathy, Or Eantiopathy

Antipathy, Or Eantiopathy (from Eanthios, contrary, and Pathos, disease) - where the symptoms, or conditions indicated by them, are opposites; the relationship being one of direct antagonism. It is a palliative method, pure and simple, wherewith the physician can appear to be most useful and can usually gain the patient's confidence by deluding him with momentary amelioration.

The inefficacy and danger of this method as applied in diseases of a chronic nature is easily verified by clinical observation. Study § 56-71 Organon.

"All pure experience and exact experiment will convince us that persistent symptoms of disease are so imperfectly alleviated or exterminated by contrary symptoms of a drug, used according to antipathic or palliative method, that after a brief period of apparent relief, they will break forth again in a more marked degree, and visibly aggravated". Organon § 23.

In this category of allopathic treatment belong the therapeutic method of Biochemistry, introduced by Dr. Schuessler of Germany, and the various forms of chemical treatment, such as Hensel's, etc. The former adopted from Homoeopathy its method of diminishing dosage and some of its distinctive remedies, but otherwise it has no relationship to Homoeopathy, since its therapeutic procedures are based upon a pathological theory and not upon the symptoms of the individual patient, which alone constitute the basis of homoeopathic therapeutics. Here also belongs Organo-Therapy, which is that therapeutic method which aims to supply deficiencies in the functional activity of human organs by the administration of substances derived from similar organs in animals.

*Dake, Pathogenetic Therapeutics.

It has been found that the extract of Thyroid gland of animals, administered to the human organism, causes a rapid disappearance of the morbid symptoms of myxedema - a form of disease or atrophy of the thyroid, interfering with the performance of its function.

The doctrine that sound organs of certain animals are useful in diseases of those organs in man so lately revived in the old school, was clearly taught by Oswald Croll, a disciple of Paracelsus. Its modern extension is unreasonable and unscientific, and a passing therapeutic fad.

Besides these special and modern tendencies of old school practice, there are certain perennial features characteristic of it. In place of the former hypothetical assumptions of the hidden causes of disease that proved delusive and deceptive as a basis for treatment, material causes of disease were next assumed to exist, and hence the treatment, based upon such hypotheses, consisted mostly in eliminating from the organism the supposed offending cause, therefore the list of purgatives, emetics, sudorifics counter-irritants, surgical procedures, local medication of all kinds. But though a temporary relief is frequently obtained thereby, no permanent cure is established, rather an increase in the very condition, in the case of chronic disease; or metastases appear sooner or later, which, however, are then looked upon as new diseases, and not as direct results of ill-adapted treatment.

"But in by far the greatest proportion of cases of disease, known as chronic, these impetuous, weakening, and indirect therapeutie measures of the old school scarcely ever prove to be of the least benefit. For a few days at most they suspend one or another of those troublesome manifestations of disease which return, however, as soon as nature has become inured to that counter-stimulus; and the disease will re-appear with more violence, because the vital powers have been reduced by the pain of counter-irritation and improper evacuations". *