A spirituous solution containing nitrous compounds, aldehyde and other substances, B.P. An alcoholic solution of ethyl nitrite (C2H5NO2; 75), containing 5 per cent. of the crude ether, U.S.P.

Characters. - Transparent and nearly colourless, with a very slight tinge of yellow, mobile, inflammable, of a peculiar penetrating apple-like odour, and sweetish cooling sharp taste. Specific gravity, 0.845.

Reactions. - It effervesces feebly or not at all when shaken with a little bicarbonate of sodium (no acid). When agitated with solution of sulphate of iron and a few drops of sulphuric acid it becomes deep olive-brown or black. When freshly prepared it should yield 7 times its volume of nitric acid gas, or 5 times even after it has been kept.

Preparation. - By distilling rectified spirit with nitric and sulphuric acids and copper wire, and diluting the distillate with spirit. In this process the copper reduces the nitric to the nitrous radical.

C2H5HO + HNO3 + H2SO4 + Cu = C2H5NO2 + 2H2O + CuSO4. Impurities. - Water, free acid.

Dose. - 1/2 to 2 fluid drachms.

Use. - Is used as a diaphoretic and diuretic.



Mistura Glycyrrhizae Composita.