This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
Betanaphthol is a phenol found in coaltar, but usually manufactured from naphthalene.
Properties : It occurs as colorless, or pale buff-colored, crystal-line laminae or a crystalline powder, having a faint phenol-like odor and a sharp, pungent, but not persistent taste. It is only very slightly soluble in water, 1:950, but is very soluble in alcohol (1:0.61).
Action and Uses: Betanaphthol is irritating to the skin or mucous membranes when applied in solution. If absorbed in considerable amount it may cause nephritis by irritation of the kidneys. It tends to destroy the red blood-corpuscles and has been known to produce changes in the retina and opacity of the lens. It is a powerful anti-septic, several times stronger than phenol.
Betanaphthol is applied externally as a parasiticide and antiseptic. Internally it has been much used as an intestinal antiseptic, but its utility is limited because of the danger of poisonous consequences from its possible absorption. It has also been used as an anthelmintic for the treatment of hookworm disease.
Dosage: 0.1 to 0.3 gm. or 2 to 5 grains. It is best given in powder or capsules. Externally it may be used in the form of ointment.