Vascular sedatives are substances which, by increasing the contraction of the vessels, lessen the flow of blood through them. They are chiefly used to lessen local inflammation or prevent haemorrhage. One of the most powerful of all vascular sedatives is cold. For its use in local inflammation vide p. 343. It is not only a vascular but a cardiac sedative, and ice swallowed in considerable quantity will tend to lessen the action of the heart. It is therefore one of the means to which we chiefly trust in cases of haemoptysis. In haematemesis it has the double action of lessening the activity of the heart, and of contracting the vessels in the stomach.

The remedies which are chiefly employed in addition to cold are:Digitalis.

Ergot.

Hamamelis.

Lead acetate.

Opium.