Pepsin is obtained by digesting the mucous membrane of the stomach of the pig, calf or sheep, which has been scraped off, chopped finely, and macerated for several days in water, in a solution of muriatic acid, from which the pepsin is precipitated with chloride of sodium. The medicinal preparation is in the form of a nitrogenized, light, amorphous, grayish-white or fawn-colored powder, soluble in water and alcohol, and of a peculiar odor, and bitter, nauseous taste. When quite pure, it is both tasteless and inodorous. When decomposed by heat it no longer possesses digestive properties, and much of what is sold is almost or wholly inert. Pure pepsin is an artificial digestive.

Medical Properties And Action

Pepsin is an essential constituent of the gastric juice, and digests the nitrogenous constituents of the food, converting them into peptones. Taken internally, as a medicinal preparation, pepsin increases the appetite and allays irritability of the stomach. It should be administered immediately before meals, and no hot food taken for some time afterward.

Therapeutic Uses

Pepsin is employed in dyspepsia, gastralgia, obstinate vomiting, infantile diarrhoea, apepsia of infants, vomiting of pregnancy, cancer and chronic ulcer of the stomach, anemia, chlorosis, atrophy, etc. Externally it is injected into cancerous tumors and morbid growths with the hypodermic syringe, to retard their progress.


Of pepsin suspended in syrup, saccharated pepsin - Pepsinum saccharatum gr. v to gr. x. Syrup of orange peel will disguise its odor. Vinum Pepsini. Dose, Dose 1270 to

Glycerinum Pepsini. Dose, Dose 1272 to

Both the saccharated pepsin and the glycerole are unchangeable.

Pepsin appears to be especially efficient in cases of children; and when pepsin and a small quantity of hydrochloric acid are added to animal broths given by the rectum, in cases where food is rejected by the stomach, such nourishment is very beneficial.

Dental Uses

In dental practice, pepsin is successfully employed in the treatment of putrid pulps of teeth, as an antiseptic and deodorizer. In the form of a thin paste made by mixing pepsin with water containing some two per cent. of hydrochloric acid, it is introduced into the pulp canal after the removal of the decomposed matter, and confined by a temporary filling in the crown cavity, being permitted to remain for twenty-four hours, when it is removed and the canal syringed with tepid water, and if necessary, the application of the pepsin paste repeated until the odor of decomposition can no longer be detected. Pepsin, in the form of the paste, is also applied to partially decomposed dentine, which may, for good reasons, be permitted to remain immediately over the pulp of the tooth, the action of the pepsin being confined to dead matter alone. The hydrochloric acid and pepsin paste has also been recommended for devitalizing the pulps of teeth where rapid action is not desired, the quantity employed being about one-fifteenth of a grain.

Dental Formulae

For Suppurating Dental Pulps.

Oakley Coles.

Acidi hydrochlorici . Aquae destillatae . . . Pepsini porci . . . . q. s.


To be applied to suppurating pulps.

Signa 1274Signa 1275

For Indigestion. MlAlhe.



Vini xerici ....




A tablespoonful immediately after each meal.

Signa 1276Signa 1277

Ingluvin is a ferment prepared from the gizzard of the chicken, and its effects are analogous to those of pepsin. It is employed internally for indigestion, etc., and to. prevent nausea and vomiting.


Of Ingluvin, grs. v to Dose 1278