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..
C10H8=127.7. Synonym. - Naphtalene.
A Hydrocarbon obtained from Coal Tar by distillation between 356o and 482o F.; 180o and 250° C. The impure Naphtalin is treated successively with Sodium Hydroxide and Sulphuric Acid, and is purified by distillation in the presence of steam, and by treating with concentrated Sulphuric Acid and distilling.
Colorless, shining, transparent laminae, having a strong, characteristic odor resembling that of Coal Tar, and a burning aromatic taste; slowly volatilized on exposure to air. Solubility. - Insoluble in water; soluble in 15 parts of Alcohol, very soluble in Ether, Chloroform, Carbon Disulphide, and fixed or Volatile Oils.
Dose, 1 to 20 gr.; .06 to 1.20 gm.
Since naphtalin is not absorbed by the system, it acts only upon the mucous membrane of the bowels. It is a true intestinal antiseptic, and is of great value in dysentery, and in catarrhal, typhoid and tuberculous diarrhoea, where it markedly lessens or entirely abolishes the foetor of the movements. It has also been used as a vermifuge (dose, 3 to 6 gr.; .20 to .40 gm.). Success in the treatment of dysentery usually requires a daily dose of from one to two drachms; 4. to 8. gm., best administered in starch wafers with oil of bergamot.