This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
Properties : Ethyl-morphin is an artificial base obtained by the action of ethyl iodid on morphin in the presence of an alkali. It occurs as a white, microscopically crystalline powder, odorless and having only a slight bitter taste. Ethyl-morphin hydro- chlorid is freely soluble in water and in alcohol, but practically Insoluble in ether and in chloroform.
Action and Uses: When administered internally, its action is intermediate between those of morphin and codein, but it is claimed that it does not produce constipation, nausea or lassitude and that it promotes healing after operations and injuries. It is the conclusion of careful observers, however, that, for internal use, it possesses no advantage over codein.
When applied to the eye this drug causes a local vasodilation, terminating in acute conjunctival edema. The chemosis thus produced is employed for its analgesic and curative effects in conjunctivitis, corneal ulcer, acute glaucoma, iritis, seleritis and other inflammatory diseases of the uveal tract. The greater the edema of the conjunctiva, the more decided is its analgesic action.
Dosage: 0.015 gm. or ¼ grain. Externally it is commonly employed in a collyrium in strength varying from 5 to 10 per cent. The strength may be increased to 20 per cent., and it is sometimes used in powder form. The ophthalmologist should make the first application and determine the minimum strength of solution which will produce the necessary chemosis. This dose should not be increased until it loses its effect. The action of the remedy may be regarded as sufficient as long as its application is followed by chemosis, redness and burning sensations for from one to two minutes afterward. Under these circumstances it may be instilled once a day. The patient should be instructed that the swelling of the conjunctiva is necessary to the therapeutic action of the remedy and that no harm to the eye will ensue from its use.
In cases of corneal opacity ethyl-morphin hydrochlorid has been applied to the eye in the form of powder. It may also be used as an ointment in strength varying from 1.5 to 5 per cent.