Hno3. Sp. gr., 1.420.


Nitric acid is obtained by the action of sulphuric acid upon nitrate of potash or soda. When strong and pure it is colorless, but on account of the presence of nitric peroxide it is generally of a yellow color, and emits acrid, corrosive fumes.

Medical Properties And Physiological Action

Pure nitric acid is a powerful caustic and escharotic, and leaves a permanent stain on the cuticle. It is not employed in its concentrated form internally, but externally, as an escharotic to destroy warts and stimulate sluggish sinuses; in a diluted form it is employed as an astringent wash or gargle. The antidotes in cases of poisoning are magnesia or soap, and mucilaginous drinks.

Therapeutic Uses

The strong acid is employed externally in hospital gangrene, and phagedenic ulcerations; hemorrhoids and painful hemorrhoidal tumors, syphilitic condylomata, syphilitic sore throat, malignant ulcers, obstinate skin diseases, etc.

Diluted Nitric Acid

Acidum Nitricum Dilutum contains three ounces of acid in every pint of the diluted acid.

Medical Properties And Physiological Action

It is an antalka-line, alterative tonic and refrigerant, and has a very direct action on the liver, and if its use is continued for a long time it causes salivation and loosening of the teeth. It coagulates albumen. Like all mineral acids, it injures the teeth, when brought in contact with them; hence, proper care should be taken to prevent such action, such as the use of alkaline gargles before and after taking the acid into the mouth, which should be done through a glass tube or quill. As a tonic it is advantageously employed during convalescence and inflammation, and in cachexia following acute disease or habits of intemperance. It is also employed as an alterative after a long use of mercury, as it increases the strength and improves the tone of the system. It is also valuable as a disinfectant, but inferior to chlorine. It is not as agreeable to the stomach as diluted sulphuric acid.

Therapeutic Uses

Dilute nitric acid is employed in the treatment of calculous disease, syphilis, chronic hepatitis, chronic diarrhoea, constipation, chronic affections of the spleen, chronic rheumatism, cardialgia, whooping-cough, intermittent fevers, etc.


Of diluted nitric acid, gtt. ij-xv, three times a day, diluted with water, and taken through a tube to protect the teeth.

Dental Uses

The strong acid, when mixed with two parts of hydrochloric acid, is a solvent for gold, and is known as aqua regia. It is also employed as one of the most effectual caustics in cancrum oris, the constitution being supported and quinine given at the same time; also for malignant ulcers of the mouth, and for devitalizing pulps of teeth when nearly exposed by mechanical abrasion, care being observed that the part of the surface immediately over the pulp is touched with the acid, and the neighboring parts protected; it is a painful operation, however, and nitrate of silver is preferable.

Dental Formula

For Sloughing and Ill- Conditioned Ulcers.

Acidi nitrici.................

Aquae....................Oj. M.


Apply with a camel-hair brush.

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