This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Solution of Hydrogen Peroxide.
A slightly acid, aqueous solution of Hydrogen Dioxide (H202 = 33.92), containing, when freshly prepared, about 3 per cent., by weight, of the pure Dioxide, corresponding to about ten volumes of available oxygen.
500, and refrigeration to 500 F.; 10° C. Phosphoric Acid, 96; is dissolved in distilled water 320. The magma is added to the latter solution and thoroughly mixed, being kept acid by Phosphoric Acid. Filter and wash with distilled water. Add diluted Sulphuric Acid to the filtrate, and starch, 10; by agitation. Filter and re-filter until a clear solution is obtained. The bottle should be kept tightly corked.
A colorless liquid, without odor, slightly acidulous to the taste, and producing a peculiar sensation and soapy froth in the mouth; liable to deterioriate by age, exposure to heat, or protracted agitation. Sp. gr.: about 1.006 to 1.012.
Dose, 1 to 3 fl. dr.; 4 to 12 c.c.
Hydrogen dioxide readily yields oxygen to all oxidizable substances. When taken internally it gives oxygen to the blood, stimulates the nervous system and increases urinary secretion. It is a non-poisonous antiseptic, destroying organized fermentations and liberating oxygen. It decomposes pus and probably destroys the microbes of suppuration.
Hydrogen dioxide seems to have a favorable action in some forms of dyspepsia, and to improve digestion. In diphtheria it is useful as a cleansing agent and to absorb false membranes, but should be used in glass or hard rubber instruments. Some commercial preparations are very acid, and therefore too irritating for this purpose. This acidity can be neutralized by adding twice its quantity of lime water. It will check bleeding, but from small vessels only. It is of great value in cleansing wounds, ulcers and fistulous tracts, and for surgical dressings; the cessation of frothing indicates the destruction of pus. But the converse of this is not true, for it will froth with perfectly normal blood. It should not be injected into a suppurating cavity unless there is a free outlet for the escape of the gas which is formed. Its most popular use is for bleaching the hair. Internally it has been recommended for many diseases, especially diabetes, epilepsy, and uraemia, but there is no proof of its efficacy. It is dangerous when given subcutaneously, for it is broken up by the blood; and if more oxygen is formed than the blood can dispose of, gas emboli are produced, and, these lodging in the lungs, cause death from asphyxia.