Solution of Perchloride of Iron. (Offic. Brit. Pharm.) Perchloride of Iron (Fe3Cl2) in solution in Water. An orange brown solution, without

Lib. of Med., vol. ii. p. 19.

Dict. Pract. Med., vol ii p. 657.

Clin. Lect., vol. ii. p. 17.

smell, but possessing a strong styptic taste; miscible with Water and Alcohol in all proportions. Prep. Dilute fl. oz. x. of Hydrochloric Acid with fl. oz. v. of Distilled Water; pour the mixture in successive portions on oz. ij. of Iron Wire, applying a gentle heat when the action becomes feeble, so that the whole of the metal may be dissolved. To fl. drs. vj. of Nitric Acid add Distilled Water fl. oz. ij., and pour this mixture into the solution of Iron; evaporate the whole until the bulk is reduced to fl. oz. x. Sp. Gr. 1.338.

According to Mr. Squire,* the Liq. Ferri Perchloridi (Pharm. Brit.) has a sp. gr 1 .395, is almost black, and contains both Protochloride of Iron and free Nitric Acid.

Solutions of Perchloride of Iron are made of various strengths: the density of 30° Beaume' is advised in some cases (as Varices, &c); whilst a solution of 20°, or even 15° Baume, is deemed sufficiently strong for others, as Aneurisms, &c. When properly prepared, it is a limpid fluid of a dark brown colour, exhibiting a greenish tint when held to the light, inodorous, of a strong chalybeate astringent taste.

Med. Prop. and Action. Powerful astringent and styptic, whether administered internally or applied externally. According to M. Deleaut, it is the most powerful haemostatic known, acting as a modificator of living tissues generally, but especially of mucous membranes; hence, its value as an anti-syphilitic and anti-scrofulous remedy. As a local or external agent, it is described at length in the following sections.

Dote of Liq. Ferri Perchloridi (Pharm. Brit.), eiij. - ex. in syrup or water.

1182. Therapeutic Uses

In Aneurisms, injections of the Perchloride were first practised by Dr. Pravaz,§ of Lyons, in 1853; and numerous cases of its successful application were recorded by Velpeau,|| Bonnet,¶ Jobert,** Serre, Adams, and others; but if we are to credit M. Malgaigne,§§ the practice is fraught with so much danger, that no prudent man should have recourse to it. He states that of eleven cases treated by it there were four deaths,

It may be advisable here to explain that the density or strength of the solutions used in France is regulated according to the degrees of Baume's hydrometer. Thus a solution is said to be 45° or 30°, and so on. Now, a solution of 45° Baume (55° Fahrenheit) is of the specific gravity 1 455; one of 30° = sp gr. 1 .20; one of 20°=sp. gr. 1.16, and one of 15° = sp. gr. 1114. It has been shown by M. Burin du Buisson, that to obtain a solution of 15° it is not sufficient to add two parts of water to one of a solution of 45°, but it requires more than two and a half parts of water. He finds that 100 parts of a solution at 45° (sp. gr. 1.455)

* Companion to the Pharmacopoeia, p. 84.

contains 43 parts of the Perchloride and 57 of water. Moreover, he states that a careful estimate of the strength of the several solutions gives this general result: - 5 parts of the solution at 45° equal 10 parts at 30°; 15 parts at 20°; or 20 parts at 15°. So that any given quantity of the solution at 45° may be easily converted into either of the other strengths. Ann. de Therap., 1858, p. 213. § Ibid., 1853, p. 213. || L'Union Med., Aug. 25, 1853.

¶ Archiv. Gen. de Med., Aug. 1S53.

** Comptes Rendus, June 1854.

Archiv. Gen. de Mea., June 1853.

Med. Times, Aug. 1853.

§§ Jamin et Wahu, Ann. de Mecl., 1854, p. 131.

five serious complications, and only two cures. There can be no doubt that the brilliant anticipations awakened by Pravaz's statements have not been fully realized, but evidence is wanting in support of M. Malgaigne's condemnation. The practice consisted in injecting a few drops of a saturated solution (20° or 15° Baume) of the Perchloride by means of a fine gold trocar, the point of which was introduced very obliquely through the walls of the artery; to this trocar a syringe was adjusted, the piston of which moved by a screw, so that the liquid could be steadily injected, and the quantity be accurately estimated. A few drops (three or four) generally sufficed. The flow of blood from the artery at the time of injection was arrested by pressure above and below the punctured point.

1183. In the Treatment of Varicose Veins, injections of the Perchloride have been advocated by Carron,* Foulin, Desgranges, and others. From its use in nineteen cases, Desgranges draws the following conclusions: - 1. The injection is an innocent but an extremely delicate operation, requiring great care on the part of the surgeon; 2. Baume's solution at 30° is that best adapted for Varices; 3. Two drops suffice for the coagulation of all the blood in the largest Varicose lobules - to inject more would be both dangerous and useless; 4. The injection must not be made unless blood issuing from the canula proves that we have entered the vein; 5. Only one injection should be made at a time, an interval being then allowed, and a spot next selected as remote as possible from the previous injection; 6. "When both legs are subject to Varix, the injection may be employed on both on the same day, if the patient is in good health; 7. We must pursue the Varices as long as the veins are penetrable, so that the mean duration of treatment cannot be assigned; 8. As regards the pain, the accidents, and the results of the operation, the injection of the Perchloride is preferable to other means of treatment; 9. The obliterated vein remains impermeable to the blood; 10. The injection exerts the best effects on Varicose Ulcers, changing their nature, and causing rapid cicatrization. Cases of NAevus cured by the injection of the Perchloride are recorded by Mr. Cooper,§ Mr. C. Forster,|| and others. It seems to produce simple coagulation of the blood, with little or no inflammation. The practice, however, is dangerous. Instantaneous death has followed in several instances. One of these occurred in the practice of Mr. R. B. Carter.¶

* Ann. de Therap., 1857, p. 170.

Braithwaite's Retrospect, xxix. p. 296.

Mem. de la Soc. de Chir. de Paris, 1856, vol iv. p. 7.

§ Association Med. Journ., April 5, 1856.

|| Lancet, Dec. 24, 1853. ¶ Med. Times and Gaz., Sept. 5, 1863.

1184. In Hospital Gangrene, the value of the local application of the Perchloride is attested by M. Maupin* and M. Salleron. It is thought to be superior to the mineral acids. The pain it causes is at first excessive, but this soon subsides. To Fungous Tumours, Uterine Polypi, Hemorrhoidal Tumours, &c, it has been found a valuable application, not only for arresting hAemorrhage, but as a curative agent. As a means of arresting hemorrhage in Cancer of the Uterus, injections of the Perchloride (3V. ad Aq. 3lxxx.) are advised by Dr. Remilly. He mentions four cases thus treated with benefit. A severe case of Onychia, cured by the application of an ointment composed of equal parts of the Perchloride and Lard, is recorded by Dr. Alcantara. § In Zona, at any period during its evolution, Dr. Gressey|| recommends the application of a concentrated alcoholic solution of the Perchloride. The vesicles should not be opened, in order to save the patient useless pain.