C8H9NO or C6H5N (C2H30)H.


Acetanilide is a derivative of aniline, made by adding an excess of glacial acetic acid to pure colorless analine. It is in the form of a white crystalline powder of neutral reaction, without odor or disagreeable taste, slightly pungent, producing a burning sensation when applied to the tongue. It resembles "mother of pearl" when evaporated by heat, in the form of large scales. It is but slightly soluble in cold water, but freely soluble in ether, chloroform and alcoholic solutions. It is not altered by acids or alkalies. The pure drug should be white or of a faint rose-tint, and should form a colorless liquid and completely volatilize when heated upon a platinum surface. Water of a temperature of 1050 F. will dissolve one part of it to fifty of the water; alcohol, from 3 to 5 parts, and ether and chloroform in larger proportions.

Medical Properties And Physiological Action

Acetanilide is antipyretic, diuretic, antiperiodic and anodyne, and in ordinary doses its action is less marked on healthy persons than when fever is present, as its most apparent action is to reduce temperature by converting oxyhemoglobin into methemoglobin in the red blood-corpuscles interfering with oxidation. When an excessive quantity is absorbed, the alkalinity of the blood is reduced, the red corpuscles destroyed, the hemoglobin liberated and appearing in the urine, which is changed to a dark-brown color. It increases the quantity of uric acid and urea present in the urine. Large doses may cause diastolic arrest of the heart, preceded by motor and sensory paralysis. Small doses increase the action of the skin and kidneys. The blood-pressure at first increases, but soon falls, and the heart's action becomes slower. It is contrain-dicated in large doses in the low fevers, owing to its action on the blood cells. It is eliminated by the kidneys. Belonging to the aromatic series of antipyretics, derived from coal tar, it possesses advantages over all the others from the same source. In some cases toxic effects, ascribed to impurity, or peculiar susceptibility to its action, have resulted from its administration; cyanosis and collapse also have occurred, as well as vomiting and profuse perspiration. Such ill effects from acetanilide must be counteracted by the application of external heat, vigorous alcoholic stimulation, with hypodermic use of ether, atropine, and strychnine, in order to support the respiration and circulation. Acetanilide is much used for headache, neuralgia, rheumatism, facial neuralgia, locomotor ataxia, sciatica; in acute inflammatory rheumatism it reduces the temperature, relieves the pain and swelling. It is also used in croupous pneumonia, scarlatina and other febrile affections of children.

It relieves any tendency to nausea and vomiting, and is usually tolerated by a weak stomach. On account of its diuretic action acetanilide is especially harmless in kidney affections. Antidotes, - emetics and stimulants.


The dose varies from grs. ijss, repeated every hour, to grs. x every three or four hours; it may be given in the form of pill, powder or tablet triturate. Its prolonged use causes it to lose its effect; but its action is renewed if the drug is withheld for 24 or 48 hours.

Dental Uses

Acetanilide is employed in dental practice for facial neuralgia, pulpitis; internally administered in connection with the application of the devitalizing mixture to relieve the pain of the latter, in doses of two and one-half grains, repeated every hour until ten grains have been taken; also for the relief of the pain of periodontitis and alveolar abscess, etc., etc. For periodontitis, first paint the gum near affected root with tincture of aconite and tincture of iodine, tincture of cannabis indica, and comp. tincture of benzoin, equal parts, then apply a capsicum plaster to gum, and administer two and one-half grains of acetanilide; repeat the acetanilide, if necessary, every two hours until ten grains are taken. In facial neuralgia, periodontitis, etc., it has proved effectual in cases where quinine has failed, or has been contraindicated.


Antiseptic and Germicide. It is composed of acetanilide 1/2 per cent., formaldehyde 1/4 per cent., boroglyceride I per cent., sodium benzo-borate 2 per cent., with eucalyptol, thymol, menthol, oil gaultheria, alcohol and witch-hazel.

Dental Formulae

For Facial Neuralgia, Neuralgic Headache, Acute Periodontitis, etc.

Dr. Shoemaker. M.

Ft. Capsulae No. xx. Signa. - One or two capsules every 2 or 3 hours.

Dental Formulae 360

For Pain of Pericementitis.

Dr. A. \V. Harlan.

Acetanilide . . . . gr. viij

Syr. simple ....

Spir. Frumenti . . . Signa. - One-half of the above at one time, followed in 5 hours by the other half.

Dental Formulae 361Dental Formulae 362

For Simple Fevers of Children.

Dr. Hollopeter.

Hydrarg. chlor. mitis . . gr.j



M. Ft. - Chart No. xij. Signa. - One every 2 hours until 3 are taken.

Dental Formulae 363

A Convenient Prescription for Acetanilide (Antefeirine).

Dr. E. L. Clifford.


Sp. vini gallici . . .

Syr. simple.....



A tablespoonful contains 5 grains, an adult dose.

Signa 364Signa 365