Cases of poisoning require the prompt administration of remedies, and hence a knowledge of the usual antidotes is requisite, in order that they may be employed with effect.

For the majority of such cases the chief reliance must be upon emetics, so that free vomiting may be induced by such articles of this class which are most speedy in their effect. Sulphate of zinc is preferable to many, and, if vomiting is present, it may be aided by diluents or a vegetable emetic. When the poisonous substance has remained for any length of time in the stomach, the use of emetics will not prove sufficient, but resort must be had to the stomach-tube and syringe. Milk, lime water, soap, or solutions of sugar or honey will protect the stomach and intestines, while oil and other fatty matters may prove injurious. Carbonate of magnesia with tincture of opium, suspended in water, freely administered, will prove very serviceable after the vomiting has ceased, and the patient is suffering from retching and pain.

When the nature of the poison is unknown, a general antidote, consisting of equal parts of calcined magnesia, pulverized charcoal, and hydrated peroxide of iron, which are to be diffused in water, may be freely administered, and will, in the majority of cases, prove efficient, as one or another of them is an antidote to most of the mineral poisons.

The albumen of eggs and tannic acid are also considered to be valuable antidotes. The albumen neutralizes corrosive sublimate and like salts, and the tannic acid precipitates all of the vegetable alkaloids as tannates.

Acids (Mineral)

Symptoms

Corrosion of parts with which the acid comes in contact, with an immediate burning pain in the mouth, throat, aesophagus and stomach; vomiting of liquid impregnated with mucus and blood. Death occurs from inflammation or from asphyxia.

Antidotes

Chalk; magnesia; solution of carbonate of soda; emollient drinks; fixed oil and fatty matter; plaster off wall, in emergency.

Aconite

Symptoms

Numbness and tingling of the mouth and throat, followed by vomiting and purging; giddiness; feeble pulse; dilated pupil; oppressive breathing; paralysis. Death occurs from syncope or apnea.

Antidotes

Emetics; stimulants, external and internal, such as sulphate of zinc, tannic acid, animal charcoal, atropine, belladonna.

Alkalies (See Potash). Antimony (Tartar Emetic, Butter of Antimony)

Symptoms

A burning pain in stomach and bowels; vomiting; purging; cold perspiration; great thirst; cramps; great debility, and death.

Antidotes

Vegetable acids, such as tannic acid, catechu, nut-galls, white oak bark, kino, cinchona.

Arsenic

Symptoms

Faintness and nausea, with burning pain in the epigastrium; vomiting; purging, or diarrhoea; thirst; constriction in the throat; feeble action of the heart, with a quick and weak pulse; painful and hurried respiration; cold and clammy skin. Death occurs from collapse, and sometimes with convulsions.

Antidotes

Freshly precipitated hydrated sesquioxide of iron (made by adding magnesia to any iron solution); animal charcoal; ammonia; lime water; stomach pump; artificial respiration; cold effusion emetics; milk; raw eggs.