This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
Richardson refers to some cases of tetanus, under Sir J. Paget, much relieved by oxygen-inhalation; the patients became bathed in perspiration, and the muscles relaxed. He insists also on its importance in strychnia-poisoning in conjunction with amyl nitrite, as unless elimination be promoted by oxygen, the spasm, even if relieved, soon returns. "Oxygen is a remedy for all excess of nerve-action leading to spasm" (cf. p. 12).
We have shown reason to believe that bromides lessen spinal congestion and diminish reflex irritability (v. p. 113), and this being so, they ought to prove valuable remedies in the disorders named. We have not a large amount of clinical experience on this point. In a recent collection of 415 cases of tetanus, by Dr. Yandell, bromide does not seem to have been used once (Brain, October, 1878), but Dr. H. C. Wood has tabulated 18 cases of tetanus thus treated, and of these only 2 died; in one of them, large doses of belladonna confused the result. In most of the successful cases, chloral or morphia was given at bedtime.
Dr. Southey relates a successful case, in which conium was combined (Lancet, i., 1875). Of the bromides, full doses - at least 1/2 oz. in the twenty-four hours - should be given.
Saison found with animals that hypodermic injections of strychnia distinctly modified the action of bromide, and vice versa; and there are a few instances in which a fatal result from poisoning was, in all probability, prevented by bromide treatment. Thus, Dr. Gillespie records a case in which nearly 3 gr. of the alkaloid were taken, and very serious symptoms developed; but recovery took place under the influence of an ounce of bromide given in divided doses - no vomiting occurred (American Journal, October, 1870). In Dr. Hewlet's case more than 4 gr. of strychnia were taken, and although vomiting had occurred and opium been given, severe convulsions had set in; 90 gr. of bromide were administered, at first every half-hour, and afterward 60 gr. every hour, and twenty-six hours after the first dose the patient could walk (British and Foreign Review, July, 1871). Another case of recovery after a 3-gr. dose of the poison, and similar treatment, is given by Dr. Bard (Philadelphia Medical Times, June, 1871; Record, 1870).