Characters. - An orange-brown solution with a strong styptic taste, miscible with water and rectified spirit in all proportions.

Reactions. - Diluted with water it gives the reactions of a chloride (p. 594) and of a ferric salt only.

Preparations

B.P.

Dose.

Liquor Ferri Perchloridi (with water)......1 volume in 4...

10-30 min

Tinctura Ferri Perchloridi (with spirit)...1 volume in 4...

10-30 min.

U.S.P. Tinctura Ferri Chloridi. Tincture of Chloride of Iron. Dose, 10 to 30 minims.

Preparation.

Mistura Ferri et Ammonii Acetatis, U.S.P.

Uses. - The strong solution is one of the most powerful styptics we possess. It forms, almost immediately, a hard black coagulum with blood, and by blocking up the mouths of the vessels arrests further haemorrhage. Cotton wool steeped in this may be used to arrest the haemorrhage from the cavity of a tooth after its extraction, and to stop the bleeding from leech -bites. It has been applied as a caustic in hospital gangrene, in bleeding from the uterus, and, diluted with three volumes of water, it may be injected into the uterine cavity, but is better applied by swabbing it over the interior of the uterus with a sponge. It has been injected into aneurisms, in order to produce coagulation within them. There is, however, great danger that part of the clot may become detached and carried onwards, producing embolism, or that inflammation and ulceration may take place within the aneurismal sac itself.

It has also been injected into varicose veins and naevi for a similar purpose, but in naevi on the face it may cause sloughing, and leave scars. It has been used as a spray for the purpose of arresting haemorrhage from the lungs.

The liquor and tincture are perhaps more often employed than any other preparation of iron. They are astringent, generally causing constipation, but sometimes they irritate the intestine, increasing the number of stools. They are amongst the most efficient preparations of iron as haematinics. They are contraindicated by a red irritable tongue, and succeed best when the tongue is pale, flabby, and marked with the teeth at the edges.

I have found that when patients bear iron badly and complain of headache even after small doses, they can take with benefit a single drop of the tincture or solution of the perchloride in a full tumbler of water. In its great dilution the mixture somewhat resembles chalybeate waters, which often succeed much better than pharmaceutical preparations. The tincture has been given in erysipelas in very large doses, 20-30 minims, repeated every hour or two.

The tincture is useful in purpura with extensive extravasations. In skin-diseases generally, such as eczema, lupus, seborrhoea, and psoriasis, it is only useful when they are associated with anaemia.