This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
Loretin is a new succedanum for iodoform, and is in the form of a beautiful yellow crystalline powder, which resembles iodoform in appearance, but is free from objectionable odor, and does not produce an artificial eczema, two drawbacks to the use of iodoform, as loretin is completely odorless.
In water and alcohol, loretin is only slightly soluble, in ether and oils practically insoluble, but with oily liquids and especially with collodion, it forms emulsions which are excellently adapted for many purposes.
Loretin is non-poisonous, and is equally well adapted, especially when mixed with a small proportion of calcined magnesia, as a dusting powder for the surface of wounds and for insufflating into hollows and cavities. Bacteriological experiments by Ammelburg, have demonstrated the power of loretin as a germicide as well as an antiseptic.
In the treatment of wounds, the surface is kept clean with dry sterilized pads of gauze, and then closed with the needle. A bandage with lumps of surgical wadding and loretin collodion is then laid upon the closed wound. Cavities are dusted with loretin powder, or a tampon of loretin gauze is introduced; a small pencil of loretin is laid in punctured wounds.
The healing of the wound is usually unaccompanied by any fever and progress without festering. There is an absence of any irritating effect on the skin, and persistent eczema has been cured by this agent; it is also employed in empyema of the pleural cavity and purulent cystitis.
In dental practice loretin may be employed in all cases requiring the application of antiseptics and germicides, as a substitute for iodoform (for the dental uses of which see page 430) and without the disadvantages of the latter agent.