This section is from the book "Materia Medica: Pharmacology: Therapeutics Prescription Writing For Students and Practitioners", by Walter A. Bastedo. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica: Pharmacology: Therapeutics: Prescription Writing for Students and Practitioners.
Antimony and potassium tartrate. Dose, 1/10 grain (0.006 gm.). This enters into:
Compound syrup of squill, or Coxe's hive syrup, 0.2 per cent., with senega and squill. Dose, 30 minims (2 c.c.).
Compound licorice mixture, 0.024 per cent. Dose, 1 dram (4 c.c.), and
The unofficial wine of antimony, 0.4 per cent. Dose, 15 minims (1 c.c.).
Systemically it resembles arsenic, but is absorbed with greater difficulty and has a nauseant effect, as a consequence of which it tends to fluidify and promote the flow of mucus in the respiratory tract. It was formerly employed in dose of 1/2 to 2 grains (0.03-0.12 gm.) as an emetic, but its chief use now is in colds in which the respiratory mucus is thick and tenacious.
It has recently been extensively employed intravenously in trypanosomiasis (internal and external), Leishmaniosis, oriental sore, and kala-azar with specific effect. To prevent hemolysis Caronia advises solutions of not over 1 per cent. with normal saline. The dose is 2/3 grain (0.04 gm.) increased to 3 grains (0.2 gm.), and administered at intervals of two or three days. Rogers (1917) recommends the same treatment in persistent malaria. It may be given by mouth in the form of antimony lithium tartrate in dose of 11/2 to 2 grains (0.1-0.13 gm.) 'in 3 pints (1500 c.c.) of water daily (Camac).
Chronic poisoning has been observed in typesetters, and is usually mistaken for plumbism. The symptoms are: anemia, poor nutrition, constipation, ready fatigue, nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, headache, and pain in the muscles or nerves. The blood-pressure tends to be low, and the blood to show diminished leukocytes and eosinophilia. The antimony may be found in the stools. The treatment is the same as that for chronic lead-poisoning.
The Hygienic Laboratory has called attention to the presence of antimony in certain rubber nipples for babies, and E. W. Miller (1916) found that foods took up antimony from cheap enamelware. For example, fresh milk dissolved out 3 mg., a helping of spinach, 10 mg., and cranberry, cider, and grape-juice, 3 to 14 mg.