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.
Europhen = Cresol iodide. Losophan = Tri-iodo cresol.
Creosote, which is an empyreumatic volatile oil obtained during the distillation of wood-tar, contains 70 to 80 per cent. of guaiacol with cresol and creosol. A few drops may be used with steam in the same conditions as the compound tincture of benzoin, or it may be dropped on the sponge of a zinc respirator. Because of its strong odor, it is employed as an inhalant in ozena, fetid bronchitis, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, gangrene of lung, etc. Internally, its chief employment is in pulmonary tuberculosis or persistent bronchitis, in dose of 5 minims (0.3 c.c.). It is very irritant to many stomachs and disagreeable to the taste, but it can often be taken in milk or cod-liver oil, or with a strong tasting tincture, such as the compound tincture of gentian. In some cases of tuberculosis it has a good effect on appetite, fever, and night-sweats. It is excreted to some extent by the lungs, as noticed in the breath and sputum, but there is no evidence of any antiseptic value in tubercle tissue or in the bronchi. Creosote carbonate (the carbonic ester) is a liquid of less penetrating odor and less biting taste, and it may be odorless and tasteless.
Guaiacol, the chief constituent of creosote, is an oily liquid, and is used in the same way as creosote; dose, 5 minims (0.3 c.c). It is also employed as a counterirritant in epididymitis and tuberculous peritonitis. Guaiacol carbonate (the carbonic ester) is a solid, and is given in 5-grain (0.3 gm.) capsules. It is tasteless and odorless and is usually well borne by the stomach.
Cresol is much more germicidal than phenol. Compound cresol solution (liquor cresolis compositus) consists of 50 per cent. of cresol in a solution of soft soap. It is used in 1 per cent. solution in water. Proprietary remedies of similar nature are lysol and creolin. Fatal poisoning has several times resulted from confusion over the name lysol. At the Hygienic Laboratory the disinfecting value in inorganic solutions as compared with phenol was, for compound cresol solution, 3; for creolin, 3.25; for lysol, 2.12. In solutions of peptone and gelatin, the value for compound cresol solution was 1.87; for creolin, 2.52; and for lysol, 1.57.
Resorcinol (resorcin), readily soluble in water and alcohol, is used in 10 per cent. solution as a scalp wash for dandruff, and in skin lotions as antiseptic and antipruritic. In the stomach it is antifermentative; dose, 5 grains (0.3 gm.). A number of cases of poisoning are reported, even from the application of an ointment.
Pyrogallol turns brown on exposure to air. It is employed in fungous skin diseases. Tar and oil of cade are added to ointments for chronic eczema and ring-worm. The syrup of tar (syrupus picis liquidae) is used in bronchitis as an expectorant. Naphthalin and beta-naphthol have a questionable value as intestinal antiseptics; dose, 5 grains (0.3 gm.). Fatalities are reported from a dose of 1.75 gm. of naphthalin given for thread-worms, and from moth-balls eaten by children. Tri-methol (trimethyl-methoxy-phenol), a proprietary remedy proposed as an intestinal disinfectant, is given in capsule or tablet in doses of about 20 a day. It may be irritant to the stomach. For children a syrup is obtainable. The iodine phenol compounds are probably antiseptic rather in relation to their phenol constituent than to their iodine; they were brought out as substitutes for iodoform. Thymol iodide (aristol) is much employed as an antiseptic dusting-powder.
Eucalyptol is one of the strongest antiseptics in the volatile oil group, but, owing to its oily nature, cannot readily be employed as an antiseptic. Its chief use is as an inhalant in respiratory diseases, coryza, whooping-cough, bronchitis, etc., either with steam or by respirator, or sprayed from an atomizer. A favorite spray consists of about 2 per cent. each of eucalyptol, camphor, and menthol, dissolved in liquid paraffin. An application for burns is gauze impregnated with paraffin containing eucalyptol and other aromatic disinfectants. Oil of cinnamon, oil of cloves, and eugenol are used by dentists.
Antiseptic solution (liquor antisepticus, N. F.) has been shown to have very slight, if any, antiseptic power. Its chief use is as a pleasant mouth-wash, and it is an official substitute for a number of proprietaries incorrectly called antiseptic, and aptly dubbed by Sollmann the "psychic antiseptics." For ingredients, see page 489.