This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
This preparation is also known under several trade names, of which aminoform, formin and urotropin are included in N. N. R. Hexamethylenamin is hexamethylenetetramin, (CH2)6N4, a compound produced by condensation of ammonia and formaldehyd with the elimination of water.
Properties : Hexamethylenamin forms colorless, lustrous, odorless crystals, freely soluble in water (1 :1.5) and alcohol (1:10). The aqueous solution has an alkaline reaction. Hexamethylenamin is a base which combines with acids to form salts. These salts tend to lose formaldehyd, and most acids decompose the base completely with the liberation of formaldehyd. Even in aqueous solution a slow separation of formaldehyd occurs. The basic properties of hexamethylenamin are so pronounced that it displaces ammonia and other weak bases from their combinations.
Incompatibilities: Hexamethylenamin is incompatible with acids which liberate formaldehyd and with salts of ammonium from which it separates ammonia. Acid salts like acid sodium phosphate and combined acids like acetyl-salicylic acid (aspirin) react with it like other acids. It is also incompatible with tannin and mercuric chlorid, which precipitate hexamethylenamin.
Action and Uses : Hexamethylenamin produces no marked physiologic effects except those of formaldehyd, to which it gives rise. It is excreted in the urine, the bile, the cerebrospinal fluid and other serous fluids and by the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and of the middle ear. When the urine is acid hexamethylenamin is decomposed, yielding formaldehyd. This product exercises a strong antiseptic action on the mucous membrane of the genito-urinary tract. When the urine is alkaline the decomposition does not occur. Formaldehyd is an excellent solvent of uric acid, and hexamethylenamin has been used in the hope of dissolving uric acid calculi, tophi, gravel, etc., and has been thought to increase the elimination of uric acid. Its use for this purpose, however, has practically been abandoned.
The chief use of hexamethylenamin is as a urinary antiseptic. It tends to free the urine from micro-organisms, and in many cases causes pus to disappear. It is of great value as a prophylactic in operations on the urinary organs. It is valuable in cystitis, pyelitis, etc. It is employed as a prophylactic in the bacilluria of typhoid fever: Some advocate its routine use to prevent the occurrence of this complition. It has been recommended to prevent the onset of nephritis in scarlet fever. As it has produced albuminuria and hematuria in some cases, it should be used with caution in cases in which inflammation of the kidney is present or anticipated.
In view of its excretion into the spinal canal, it has been recommended in cerebrospinal meningitis and in poliomyelitis. There is a tendency to extend its employment to infections of the respiratory tract and to the treatment of catarrh of the intestine and biliary passages. Favorable reports have been made of its use in rhinitis, otitis, bronchitis, etc., but further investigations are necessary to establish its efficiency. There is no good reason to expect a therapeutic action from it in alkaline mediums
Dosage: 0.3 gm. or 5 grains three or four times a day in half a glass of water.