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.
This book is an adaptation, for the most part, of lectures delivered at Columbia University. In its preparation I have kept in mind that the physician's reason for the study of remedies is the "treatment of the sick"; and I have laid most stress upon those things that bear on practice, even to the exclusion of some matters of great interest in pharmacology.
But I have endeavored throughout to emphasize the value of research, both in the laboratory and at the bedside, and to point out any discrepancy between the value of a remedy as established by research and its supposed value in therapeutics. For I recognize that, as the result of research, many of the hitherto highly valued drugs are falling into merited disuse; and that some that were of little value because of a wrong understanding of their action have come to have a definite place in our therapeutic armamentarium. Indeed, I have given place to many remedies which I do not recommend, but mention only to condemn.
I believe that, as the outcome of critical laboratory research and the adoption of laboratory methods in clinical research, we are at the dawn of a new era of simple and practical therapeutics, an era in which knowledge will supplant credulity on the one hand, and skepticism on the other, and in which fewer drugs will be used but better treatment given.
Both because of the importance of digitalis as a drug, and because of the recent great changes in our knowledge of cardiac physiology and therapeutics, I have discussed digitalis at greater length than other drugs; and have drawn my conception of its action as much from recent clinical studies (my own and those of other investigators) as from those of the pharmacologic laboratory. In the chapter on Prescription-writing I have adopted one method for the students to learn; and to avoid confusion have omitted mention of other methods, without any intention to imply that they are inferior.
Recognizing that in a subject which derives so much from research in all the branches of medicine it would be impossible for one person to be equally familiar with all parts, I have drawn freely on the published researches in chemistry, pharmacology, physiology, bacteriology, and clinical medicine. But I have felt that citation of authors is, in the main, impracticable in a work of this character; so for the most part have omitted credit unless this was required for authority. Likewise, I have made no attempt to compile extensive bibliographies. However, I should like especially to mention the works on pharmacology by Cushny, Soll-mann, Schmiedeberg, Heinz, and Meyer and Gottlieb; those on physiology by Howell, Starling, Schafer, and Leonard Hill; the sundry publications of von Noorden, Mackenzie, Pawlow, Herter, Lee, Lusk, Meltzer, Hatcher, Hertz, and others; and the Herter and Harvey Society lectures.
For the use of a number of tracings I owe my deepest thanks to my colleague, Dr. Charles C. Lieb, whose care about the details of an experiment and accuracy in recording results I believe to be unsurpassed.
W. A. Bastedo. 57 West 58Th St., New York, N. Y.