Fluidextracts are liquid preparations of vegetable drugs, so made that 1 mil of the liquid preparation represents the medicinal activity of 1 Gm. of the powdered drug.

With four exceptions (Cascara, Frangula, Glycyrrhiza, and Triticum), they are extracts of those vegetable principles that are soluble in alcohol. The four exceptions are more akin to infusions, being water extracts; but they each have alcohol added as a preservative.

There are four different methods of preparing Fluidextracts: three by percolation, and one by percolation and infusion. In making these preparations, the rate of percolation should not exceed 10 drops a minute for the reserved portion, and 20 drops a minute thereafter. It is usually assumed that 3000 mils of percolate will exhaust 1000 Gm. powdered drug.

Prepare the official Fluidextractum Podophylli by "Type Process A" as follows: Place 100 Gm. podophyllum, in No. 40 powder, in a mortar; render it evenly and decidedly damp with alcohol; place it in a percolator, and leave it tightly covered for 6 hours. Then saturate it with alcohol, and when the alcohol begins to drip from the percolator, insert a cork, add enough alcohol so a stratum lies above the saturated powder; cover tightly, and let maceration proceed for 48 hours. Then permit percolation to proceed, adding more alcohol until the drug is exhausted. The first 85 mils of the percolate are to be set aside as a reserved portion; the balance is to be concentrated over a water bath, at a temperature not exceeding 60 ° C, until it is of a pasty consistency. (If all the percolate had thus been concentrated, the resulting paste would constitute the Extract.) Dissolve this paste in the reserved portion; then add enough alcohol to make the total quantity equal 100 mils.

Note: Appearance................................. Color ....................................................... Taste .....................................................................

Prepare the official Fluidextractum Ipecacuanhae, by "Type Process B," as follows: Prepare a preliminary menstruum of 10 mils dil. HC1, 20 mils alcohol, and 20 mils water; with this menstruum moisten 100 Gm. ipecac, in No. 60 powder, sufficiently to render it evenly and distinctly damp; place it loosely in a percolator, cover tightly, and permit maceration to continue for six hours. Then pack firmly, add balance of the menstruum, and when this has disappeared from the surface, gradually add 40% alcohol, keeping a stratum constantly above the drug. When the liquid begins to escape from the percolator, stopper, cover closely, and let maceration proceed for 48 hours. Then allow the percolation to proceed slowly, gradually adding the 40% alcohol until drug is exhausted. Reserve the first 80 mils of the percolate. Recover the alcohol from the remainder, and then evaporate it to a soft extract at a temperature not exceeding 6o° C.; dissolve this paste in the reserved portion, and add enough 40% alcohol to make the total equal 100 mils. (For method of assay, see U. S. P. IX, 188.)

Note: Appearance............................... Color .................................................................. Taste ...........................................................

Prepare the official Fluidextractum Aconiti, "Type Process C," as follows: Divide 100 Gm. aconite, in No. 40 powder, into three portions, in the ratio of 5:3:2. Moisten the 50 Gm. portion with enough 75% alcohol to make it evenly and distinctly damp, and to so maintain it after six hours maceration in a tightly covered container. Then pack it loosely in a percolator, saturate it with alcohol, so that a stratum of the menstruum covers the powder. Cork the lower orifice as soon as the liquid begins to appear there, cover the percolator, and permit maceration to continue for 48 hours. Then allow percolation to proceed, gradually adding more alcohol. Reserve the first 20 mils of the percolate, and collect 150 mils more in successive 30-mil portions.

Repeat the above process with the 30 Gm. aconite, using for the menstruum adequate amounts of the 30-mil portions in the order collected, or additional alcohol if necessary. Reserve the first 30 mils of the percolate, adding it to the first 20 mils reserved from the earlier percolation. Collect 80 more mils in successive 20-mil portions.

Repeat this same process with the 20-Gm. portion of aconite, using the preceding 20-mil portions of percolate for menstruum. Collect 50 mils of the percolate from this third lot, and add it to the first reserves of the other percolations, making 100 mils finished product. (However, in Type C cases, where a definite assay is possible, the procedure recommended in the U. S. P. is to collect but 42 mils of this third percolate, to add this to the previous reserved portions, to then assay an aliquot part, and to finally adjust the addition of further percolate, so that each mil of the finished Fluidextract shall contain the prescribed amount of alkaloid. This alkaloidal strength, in the case of aconite, must be not less than 0.45 mg., nor more than 0.55 mg., per millilitre. For assay see U. S. P. IX, 177.)

Note: Appearance.........................................................................

Smell ...............................................................

Color .............................................................................

Taste ...............................................................................................................

Make the official Fluidextractum Cascarae Sagradae "Type Process D," as follows: To 100 Gm. cascara sagrada, in No. 40 powder, add 500 mils boiling water; mix thoroughly, cover, place in a warm place, and permit maceration to continue for two hours; then transfer to a metallic percolator, and allow percolation to proceed, gradually adding extra amounts of boiling water until the drug is exhausted. Over a water bath evaporate the percolate to 75 mils. Cool, and add 25 mils alcohol to complete the product.

Note: Appearance...........................................................................

Odor.............................................................................................

Color ..........................................................................................

Taste .............................................................................................................

Fluidextracts should be kept tightly stoppered in amber-colored bottles, protected from the sunlight and extreme temperature changes. If after one month sedimentation occurs, the clear portion should be decanted, the part remaining should be filtered, and the filtrate thoroughly mixed with the decantate.

There are 49 official Fluidextracts, the majority of which are superfluous, inert, or obsolete.

Properties of the more useful official Fluidextracts:

Sample

Process

Ave. alk. cont.

Odor

Color

Taste

Utility

Flex. Aconiti

C

0.5%

Cardiac depressant; av. dose, 0.03 mil

Flex. Belladonnae Radicis

A

0.45%

Antispasmodic; av. dose, 0.05 mil

Flex. Cannabis

A

Quietant; 0.1 mil

Flex. Cascarae Sag.

D

Laxative, 1 mil

Flex. Digitalis

A

Cardiac tonic, 0.05 mil

Flex, Ergotae

B

Oxytocic, 2 mils

Flex. Hydrastis

B

2%

Stim. astringent, 2 mils

Flex. Hyoscyami

A

0.06%

Sedative (hyoscin); av. dose, 0.2 mil

Flex. Ipecacuanha;

B

2%

Emetic, 1 mil

Properties of the more useful official Fluidextracts (continued):

Sample

Process

Ave. alk. cont.

Odor

Color

Taste

Utility

Flex. Podophylli

A

Purgative, 0.5 mil

Flex. Rhei

A

Cathartic, 1 mil

Flex. Sennae

A

Cathartic, 1 mil

Flex. Viburni Pruni-folii

A

Uterine sedative ( ?); av. dose, 2 mils

Official Fluidextracts which are superfluous, either because some other preparation of the same drug, or some other drug, is eminently superior: Flex. Aurantii Amari, Flex. Cascarae Sagradae Aromaticum, Flex. Cimicifugae, Flex. Cinchona;, Flex. Eucalypti, Flex. Frangulae, Flex. Glycyrrhizae, Flex. Granati, Flex. Nucis Vomicae, Flex. Pilocarpi, Flex. Spigeliae, Flex. Zingiberis.

Official Fluidextracts which are practically inert: Aromaticum Eriodictyi, Gen-tianae, Rosae, Sabal, Sarsaparillae, Sarsaparillae Compositum, Stillingiae, Sumbul, Tar-axaci, Tritici, Uvae Ursi, Xanthoxyli.

Official Fluidextracts which are obsolete: Aspidospermatis, Buchu, Colchici Seminis, Gelsemii, Grindeliae, Guaranae, Lobeliae, Scillae, Senegae, Staphisagriae, Vera-tri Viridis.