This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
Properties : Sodium salicylate occurs as white microcrystal line powder or scales, or as an amorphous, white powder, having not more than a faint pink tinge, odorless, and having a sweetish saline taste. It is very soluble in water (1:0.8) and freely soluble in alcohol (1:5.5).
Inoompatibelities : Sodium salicylate is incompatible with acids and acid salts and with solutions of most alkaloids, notably quinin, which precipitates as the salicylate.
Action and Uses: Sodium salicylate is the salt which is usually employed to secure the constitutional effects of salicylic acid. It is slightly antiseptic, but not so much as the free acid. It is irritant to mucous membranes, and on an empty stomach may cause pain and in large doses may produce vomiting. Large therapeutic doses produce a ringing in the ears, nausea, sometimes vomiting, occasional sweating and an increase in the amount of urine. It increases nitrogenous metabolism, and an increased amount of uric acid is excreted in the urine. In very large doses it may produce depression of the central nervous system, rarely convulsions, a slowing and depression of the respiration, and collapse from depression of the circulation. Large doses may produce abortion, and hence the drug is contraindicated in pregnancy.
Sodium salicylate is an analgetic and is sometimes administered for the relief of headache or of neuralgic pains. It is chiefly used for its effect in articular rheumatism in which it is highly efficacious. It promptly relieves all the local joint symptoms and the fever, but does not affect the endocarditis. Its effects last only while the medication is kept up. It is useful in tonsillitis and other catarrhal inflammations, but has not the decided action in the ordinary infections that it has in rheumatic fever. It is used in chorea. It stimulates the secretion of bile.
It produces much benefit in some forms of eye diseases, such as iritis, keratitis or glaucoma. It is of no value in gonorrheal arthritis or in arthritis deformans. It is of little value in gout.
Dosage: 1 gm. or 15 grains. . The more efficient method it to repeat this dose every hour until salicylism occurs and then three times daily. It should be given in solution, but is sometimes administered in the form of powder inclosed in capsules or cachets, and followed by a sufficient amount of water to dilute it well in the stomach.