Peroxide of Hydrogen. Is best obtained for medicinal purposes by the process originally proposed in 1818 by Thenard, its discoverer, in which Peroxide of Barium is used as the agent for supplying the Oxygen with Hydrochloric Acid as the displacing body. A solution charged with ten volumes of Oxygen is the best and most applicable for general use, according to Dr. B. W. Richardson,* who was the first to apply it to therapeutic uses.
Med. Prop. and Action. The Peroxide in weak solution acts as a stimulant. It probably acts by oxidizing the blood, but this effect can be arrested by the action of alkaloids and narcotics. In some cases, when employed freely, it has been observed to produce a profuse salivation. Of a solution charged with ten volumes of Oxygen, the dose for an adult is fl. drm. j. - fl. drs. iv. in a liberal quantity of water. As a general rule, it should be given separately, or if conjoined with another remedy, it should be added at the period of administration.
Dr. Richardson employed the Peroxide in 223 instances, from which he draws the following conclusions: - In the treatment of Diabetes the Peroxide, while it reduces the specific gravity of the urine, increases the quantity, so that its value in the disease is inappreciable. In Chronic and Sub-acute Rheumatism, it is of great value. In Valvular Disease of the Heart attended with Pulmonary Congestion, it largely relieves the attendant apna. In Struma, it removes glandular swellings, like Iodine. In Mesenteric Disease, it improves the digestion, and favours the tolerance of Cod Liver Oil and Iron-In Jaundice, it exercises an excellent effect by improving the digestion and causing a free secretion (of bile?). In Cancer, it seems to exert no influence. In Pertussis, its value is very remarkable: it cuts short the paroxysms, and removes the disorder altogether more quickly than any other remedy, except change of air. In Chronic Bronchitis, during the attacks of suffocative dyspnoea, it affords rapid relief. In Chronic Laryngitis, its caustic character renders its administration painful. In AnAemia, while it exerts no specific influence per se, yet, combined with Iron, it increases the activity of that drug. In Phthisis, in the first stage, it greatly improves digestion, and aids the action of Iron; while, in the last stage, it affords unquestionable relief to the breathlessness and oppression, acting, in fact, like ah opiate without producing narcotism. It was also used in a few cases of Dyspepsia, but with what result is not stated. (Ranking.)
* Lancet, Oct. 20, 1860, p. 390; and Brit. Med. Journ., March 22, 1862.