Acetate of Lead is obtained by immersing lead in distilled vinegar, or litharge in pyroligneous or crude acetic acid; when the acid has become saturated, the solution is permitted to cool and crystallize.

Acetate of lead is a white salt, in the form of beautiful brilliant, needle-shaped crystals, like long prisms, which effloresce on exposure to the air. It has a sweet, astringent taste, and an odor of acetic acid, and is soluble in water and alcohol.

Medical Properties And Action

Acetate of lead is sedative and astringent, checking the secretions and reducing the activity of the capillary system, and diminishing the force and frequency of the pulse. Like all the salts of lead, it is an irritant and corrosive poison, causing gastro-enteric inflammation. It requires, however, a large quantity (not less than half an ounce) of the acetate of lead to destroy life, as much of it is rejected by vomiting. The svmptoms of lead poisoning, when the lead is slowly introduced into the system, are loss of appetite and strength, wasting of flesh, paleness of the face, constipation, pain in the joints, dry colic, which is relieved by pressure, neuralgia of the abdominal muscles, contraction of the intestines, belly drawn toward the spinal column, contraction of the liver, jaundiced skin, yellow conjunctiva, urine colored with biliary coloring matter, a blue line along the margin of the gum, about the incisor teeth; also at times a bluish discoloration of the mucous membrane of the lips and mouth, dimness of vision, paralysis of the extensor muscles of the fingers and arms, death resulting from the gradual failure of nutrition and the paralysis of the muscles of respiration.

When the poisonous dose is large, there is intense gastric irritation, numbness, paralysis, coma and collapse. Iodide of potassium in large doses, also Epsom salts and sulphur baths, are the antidotes in chronic cases of lead poisoning, and for the lead colic, alum in doses of one or two drachms every three or four hours, dissolved in some demulcent liquid, is considered to be the best remedy. For the treatment of lead paralysis, strychnia and electricity are employed. The blue or slate-colored line on the gums is supposed to be due to a deposition of the sulphide of lead.

Therapeutic Uses

Acetate of lead is internally administered in dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera, cholera morbus, phthisis, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, diseases of the heart, hemorrhage from the lungs, stomach, kidneys, nose, etc.; diseases of the eye, erysipelas, skin diseases, chronic gastric catarrh, gastralgia, pyrosis, summer diarrhoea of children, humid asthma, whooping-cough, etc. ; but the danger of producing toxic effects must be remembered in its internal use.

Externally, solutions of lead are employed to relieve superficial inflammations, arrest morbid discharges, and allay the pain of acute inflammations. Lead should not be given with natural waters containing lime, carbonic acid, mineral acids and salts, vegetable acids or vegetable astringents, iodide of potassium and preparations of opium.


Of plumbi acetas, gr. ss or j to gr. v, two or three times a day.

Liquor Plumbi Subacetatis Dilutus - Diluted Solution Of Subacetate Of Lead

Lead water is composed of subacetate of lead solution, Liquor Plumbi Subacetatis Dilutus Diluted Solution 1295 ; distilled water, Oj ; and is a mild astringent and sedative when applied externally; it is never prescribed internally. It arrests discharges from suppurating and ulcerated mucous surfaces, and promotes the resolution of acute superficial inflammations.

Dental Uses

Lead water is employed in dental practice, to relieve inflamed gums and mucous membrane of the mouth; as an application to indolent and foul ulcers; also in the treatment of teeth after the devitalization and removal of the pulps, to prevent peridental trouble.

It proves serviceable when applied to chapped hands and lips. A good ointment for such a purpose is composed of a combination of lead water, camphor, white wax and oil of almonds.

Dental Formulae

For Acute Inflammation of the Mucous Membrane of the Mouth and the Gums.

Plumbi acetatis ....

Tinct. opii.....



Apply as a lotion, on lint.

Signa 1296Signa 1297

For Periodontitis.


Liq. plumbi subacetatis.......

Tinct. opii.....


Apply to cavity on cotton and to gum externally.

Signa 1298Signa 1299


Dr. Gross.

Liq. plumbi subacetatis.......

Tinct. opii.....


Fiat lotio. SlGna. - Use as a lotion.

Signa 1300Signa 1301

For Chapped Hands and Lips.

Liq. plumbi subacetatis dilutus . . . Camphorae .... Cerae albae .... Olei amygdala? .dulcis Oj. Fiat cerat. SlGna. - Apply as an ointment.

Signa 1302Signa 1303

For Inflamed Gums and After Tooth Extraction.

Plumbi acetatis . . . gr.xv

Tinct. opii.....



Use as a lotion and mouth wash.

Signa 1304Signa 1305


Dr. Sturgis.

Liq. plumbi subacetatis,

Tinct. opii.....

Aquae, . •. . Fiat lotio. Signa. - Use as a lotion.

Signa 1306Signa 1307