This section is from the book "A Text-Book Of Materia Medica, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by George F. Butler. Also available from Amazon: A text-book of materia medica, pharmacology and therapeutics.
Definition. - The concrete, milky exudation obtained by incising the unripe capsules of Papaver somniferum (L.), and yielding in its normal moist condition not less than 9 per cent. of crystallized morphine when assayed.
The poppy from which opium is derived is indigenous in Western Asia and cultivated in Egypt, Persia, Asia Minor, the elevated plains of India, and in some parts of Europe.
Description and Properties. - Opium appears in irregular or subglobular cakes - with the remnants of poppy-leaves and the fruit of a species of Rumex adhering to their surfaces - plastic or of a harder consistence, chestnut-brown or darker, and somewhat shining internally, showing tears, and fragments of vegetable tissue. It has a sharp, narcotic odor and a peculiar, bitter taste. This description applies to the Smyrna, Levant, Turkey, and Constantinople opium. There are, however, a number of other varieties - viz.: 1. Egyptian, flattened, roundish cakes; 2. Persian, black, cylindrical sticks, or small cakes or balls, wrapped in paper; 3. Indian, flat squares covered with mica and wax or an oiled-paper wrapper; 4. Chinese, oblate-spheroidal masses wrapped in white paper; 5. European.
Opium contains about twenty different alkaloids, either in a free state or in combination with some acids. The principal alkaloids, in the order of their medical importance, are morphine, codeine, narceine, and thebaine; others are narcotine, papaverine, cryptopine, pseudomorphine, protopine, hydrocotarnine, laudanine, cadamine, rheadine, meconidine, laudanosine, lanthopine, gnoscopine, and oxynarcotine.
The following constituents of opium are in some respects important: Meconic acid, meconin, meconoiosin, and porphyroxin.
In addition to the above, opium contains these substances, making it one of the most complex drugs in materia medica: Mucilage, resin, fats, essential oil, glucose, caoutchouc, ammonium, calcium, and magnesium salts, and odorous and coloring-matters, besides certaing impurities and adulterants, such as stones, fruits, leaves, starch, water, lead, etc.
The total amount of active alkaloids in opium may vary from 5-28 per cent., variations in morphine alone showing from cipher to 22 per cent. As opium containing less than 9 per cent. morphine is supposed not to enter the United States, the average of most samples obtained is about 10 per cent. but in the smoking extract lower grades are employed; the Smyrna and Patna varieties; these frequently contain only 2-4 per cent. of morphine.
Dose. - 1/4-2 grains (0.015-0.12 Gm.) [1 1/2 grains (0.1 Gm.), U. S. P.].
The percentage of other alkaloids varies greatly, narcotine which occurs in amounts of from 1-8 per cent. is practically the only other alkaloid of moment.
As to the chemistry of morphine itself, the structural formula is still undecided.
pii Pulvis - Opii Pulveris - Powdered Opium. - Dose, 1/4-2 grains (0.015-0.12 Gm.) [1 grain (.065 Gm.), U. S. P.].
Powdered opium should yield not less than 12 nor more than 12.5 per cent. of crystallized morphine.
Acetum Opii (10 per cent.) - Aceti Opii - Vinegar of Opium. - Dose, 3-15 minims (0. 18-1.0 Cc).
Extrctum Opii (20 per cent. of morphine) - Extrcti Opii - Extract of Opium. - Dose, 1/6-l grain (0.01-0.06 Gm.).
Emplstrum Opii (6 per cent. of extract of opium) - Emplstrum (ace.) Opii - Opium Plaster. - For external use.
Formula: Extract of opium, 60; Burgundy pitch, 180; lead plaster, 780; water, 80.
Opium Deodoratum (12 to 12.5 per cent. of morphine) - Opii Deodorti -Deodorized Opium (Denarcotized Opium). - Dose, 1/4-2 grains (0.015-0.12 Gm.).
Opium Granultum (12 to 12.5 per cent. of crystallized morphine). - Dose, 1 grain (.065 Gm.), U. S. P. Now used for making tr. opii instead of using the opii pulvis.
Pilulae Opii (1 grain, or 0.065 Gm in each pill) - Puulas (ace.) Opii - Pills of Opium. - Dose, 1 or 2 pills.
Pulvis Ipecacunhae et pii - Plvis Ipecacunhae et pii - Powder of Ipecac and Opium (Dover's Powder). - Dose, 5-10 grains (0.3-0.6 Gm.).
Formula: 1 grain (0.06 Gm.) opium, 1 grain (0.06 Gm.) ipecac, 8 grains (0.5 Gm.) sugar of milk, in every 10 grains (0.6 Gm.).
Tinctra pii (10 per cent.) - Tinctrae pii - Tincture of Opium (Laudanum). - Dose, 5-15 minims (0.3-1.0 Cc.).
13 minims (0.78 Cc.) represent about 1 grain (0.06 Gm.) of opium.
Tinctra pii Camphorta - Tinctrae pii Camphortae - Camphorated Tincture of Opium (Paregoric). - Dose, 1/2- 4 fluidrachms (2.0-15.0 Cc).
Formula: Powdered opium, 4; benzoic acid, 4; camphor, 4; oil of anise, 4; glycerin, 40; diluted alcohol, to 1000. Prepared by maceration and percolation. 4 fluidrachms (15.0 Cc.) represent about 1 grain (0.06 Gm.) of opium.
Tinctra Opii Deodorati (10 per cent.) - Tinctrae pii Deodorti - Tincture of Deodorized Opium. - Dose, 5-15 minims (0.3-1.0 Cc.).
Tinctra Ipecacunhae et pii - Tinctrae Ipecacunhae et pii - Tincture of Ipecac and Opium (Tincture of Dover's Powder). - Dose, 5-15 minims (0.3-1.0 Cc).
10 minims (0.6 Cc.) contain 1 grain (0.06 Gm.) each of opium and ipecac.
Vinum pii (10 per cent.) - Vini pii - Wine of Opium. - Dose, 5-15 minims (0.3-1.0 Cc).
Morphina - Morphinae - Morphine. - Colorless or white, shining, prismatic crystals, or fine needles, or a crystalline powder, odorless, having a bitter taste, permanent in the air. Soluble in 3330 parts of water, in 168 parts of alcohol, in 1040 parts of water at 8o C, and in 36 parts of boiling alcohol. It melts at 254o C. Dose, 1/8 - 1/4 grain (0.008-0.015 Gm.) [1/5 grain (0.l Gm.), U. S. P.].