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..
Suprarenal Extract (Not official) is prepared from the supra renal capsules of the sheep, ox and pig. The active principle exists only in the medulla of the gland. It may be given in tablets. - Dose, 5 to 20 gr.; .30 to 1.20 gm.
This has been shown experimentally to increase the tone of all muscular tissue, mainly if not entirely by direct action (Oliver and Schafer), to constrict the small arteries through its action on the vasomotor centre (Szymonowicz and Cybulski), and to raise blood-pressure more than any other known substance. It inhibits the heart through the vagus and produces a muscle curve like veratrine. It may be used as a local vaso-constrictor in minor surgery. On account of this property it may be applied to inflamed tissues so that these may be rendered anaesthetic by cocaine. For topical application a filtered, freshly-made aqueous solution should be employed; it may be sterilized by heat without destroying its active principle. All antiseptics, used as preservatives, are disappointing. The active principle has been isolated by Abel for which he proposed the name epinephrin. Its salts produce an exceedingly powerful effect on blood-pressure. Treatment should begin with 1 gr.; .06 gm., of the extract as powder dry on the tongue and swallowed without water thrice daily, but the dose should be rapidly pushed to 5 gr.; .30 gm.. The gastric contents have no effect upon the extract. It should never be given hypodermatically on account of the collapse which it causes when administered in this way. It is of great value in the treatment of " Hay-fever " given internally and also applied locally. It is useful in the treatment of acute and chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, congestion and oedema of the lungs, haemoptysis, and oedema of the glottis. It may be cautiously used in diseases of the heart, which it stimulates from direct action on the heart muscle. Some writers claim that it benefits Addison's disease, but others have failed to notice any improvement.