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..
A proteolytic ferment or enzyme obtained from the glandular layer of fresh stomachs from healthy pigs, (Sus scrofa Linne; class Mammalia; order Pachydermata), and capable of digesting not less than 3000 times its own weight of freshly coagulated and disintegrated egg albumin.
The mucous membrane of a pig's stomach, dissected off and finely chopped, is macerated in water acidulated with Hydrochloric Acid for several days, with frequent stirring. The strained liquor is decanted and Sodium Chloride mixed with it. After several hours the floating mixture is skimmed from the surface and placed in cotton cloth to drain, and finally submitted to strong pressure to get rid of the saline solution.
A fine white, or yellowish-white, amorphous powder, or thin, pale yellow or yellowish, transparent or translucent grains or scales, free from any offensive odor, and having a mildly acidulous or slightly saline taste, usually followed by a suggestion of bitterness. It slowly attracts moisture when exposed to the air.
Soluble, or for the most part soluble, in about 100 parts of water, with more or less opalescence; more soluble in water acidulated with Hydrochloric Acid; insoluble in Alcohol, Ether or Chloroform.
Dose, 5 to 60 gr.; .30 to 4.00 gm.
Pepsin, 10; Sugar of Milk, 90. By trituration. Saccharated Pepsin should digest 300 times its own weight of freshly coagulated and disintegrated egg albumin.
Dose, 5 to 60 gr.; .30 to 4.00 gm.
Pepsin may be given to help gastric digestion in those in whom from old age or long illness the secretion of gastric juice is deficient. Thus, for example, it is useful in convalescence from acute illness or in cases of cancer of the stomach. It is of no use as an aid to the digestion of fatty or carbo-hydrate food. It should be given in a powder or a pill directly after meals and should be followed in about half an hour by a dose of hyarvr chloric acid. The pepsin should be tested before use, as many preparations in the market are inert powders.
Pepsin may be used to predigest albuminous food, either for administration by the mouth or the rectum. Often this is better than giving pepsin internally, for morbid processes may be going on in the stomach which prevent digestion. The rectum has very feeble powers of digestion, and therefore nutrient enemata or suppositories should always be predigested. It is found that for predigestion pancreatin (see below) is usually a more reliable preparation than pepsin. Both should be employed with judgment, for there is a likelihood that if artificial digestion be used too long, the digestive functions of the stomach may become incapable of action from want of use.
The following directions for peptonizing meat may be followed. Take one pound 450. gm. of lean meat, reduce to a fine pulp, add six times its weight of water containing 0.2 per cent. of hydrochloric acid and 120 gr. 8. gm. of pepsin. Digest at 120° F. 48. ° C in a porcelain digester for five or six hours with frequent stirring. Then neutralize with sodium carbonate, boil and filter. Evaporate the filtrate on a water bath till it is of the consistency of a soft extract.
Peptonized meat suppositories are often very valuable. To make one suppository 30 gr. 2. gm. of the above extract is mixed with 40 gr. 2.40 gm. of oil of theobroma, and moulded in a conical mould.