Solution of Potash. Aqua PotassAe. Aq. PotassAe CausticAe. Sp. Gr. 1.058.
Med. Prop. and Action. Antacid, alterative, diuretic, and lithontriptie, in doses of ex. or more, in milk, thrice daily. "Its primary influence," observes Dr. A T. Thompson, "is exerted on the stomach; if any acid is present, it is neutralized; but if an alkali predominate, or if no acid be present, it first acts as a sedative, allaying morbid irritability of the stomach, and, entering into the circulation, is carried undecomposed to the kidneys, upon which it acts, and can be readily detected in the urine." When absorbed into the blood, it renders that fluid more alkaline, and diminishes the plasticity of the fibrin. If given in long-continued doses, it acts as a liquefacient and resolvent, and Mr. Farr observed, that, when continued for a long period, it produced petechias and bleeding from the surfaces of scrofulous ulcers, &c.; in fact, it gave rise to an impoverished state of the blood, not unlike what is observed in Scurvy. This state is removed by acids (see also Alkalies, part ii.). As a blood alterant and resolvent, it may be given in inflammation of serous membranes attended with fibrinous deposits, also in Scrofula, Rheumatism, &c.
Dose, ex. - exl., freely diluted.
Incompatible*. Acids and acidulous salts; all earths and oxides held in solution by Acids; Calomel; Corrosive Sublimate. Dr. Garrod§ has shown that Liquor PotassAe destroys the activity of Henbane, Belladonna, and Stramonium; hence they should not be prescribed together.
In Scrofula, Liq. PotassAe was first proposed by Brandish, || who exhibited it in doses of f3ss. - f3iss., thrice daily, for an adult, in malt tea, or some bitter infusion. Mr. Farr¶ employed it in much larger doses (f3ij. - f3iij. thrice daily), and conjoined it with mercurial frictions. Both these writers regard it almost as a specific; and subsequent experience has shown, that though not deserving of the high encomiums passed on it by Brandish, it is in reality a remedy of considerable efficacy. Dr. Ranking** observes, that, given in doses of f3ss. - f3j. thrice daily, it occasionally produces a rapid diminution of glandular tumours; but that it does not appear to have any effect in correcting the scrofulous diathesis. Cod Liver Oil and Iodine offer a better chance of success in the majority of cases.
Camp-bell strongly recommends Liq. PotassAe on the theory that the elements of tubercle exist in the blood, and that they are soluble in the strong alkalies. He adduces many experiments and arguments in support of this opinion, and advises Liq. Potas. in doses of f3ss., three or four times daily for adults, and exv. - xxv. for children under twelve years old, to be given in milk. When there exists acidity of the primAe viAe, it should be combined with the Carbonates of Soda or Potash. The medicine may be continued for a considerable period without producing any injurious effects; but should any of the symptoms described above supervene, it should at once be discontinued. The conclusions arrived at by Dr. Cotton* with regard to its use in Phthisis are as follow: - 1. Liquor PotassAe in moderate doses (gutt. xv. thrice daily) rarely disagrees with consumptive patients, but is quite as rarely productive of any good effect. 2. That the so-called tubercular crasis is very much more likely to be relieved by the mineral acids than by the alkalies.
* Med. Gaz., July 4, 1851. Cyc. Praet Med., vol. i. p. 629. On Scrofula, 8vo, Lond. 1820. § Proceedings of Med.-Chir. Soc, Nov. 24, 1857. II On the Use of Caustic Alkalies in Scrofula, Lond. 1811.
¶ On Scrofula, Svo, Lond. 1820.
** Trans. of Lugol on Scrofula, p. 244.
On Tuberculous Consumption, 8vo, 1841, Lond
2210. In Chronic Bronchitis, Bronchial Congestion, and Catarrh, where the expectoration is scanty, thick, and viscid, Liq. PotassAe proves useful. In dry catarrh it is highly spoken of by Dr. C. B. Williams, who advises the following formula: - Liq. PotassAe, T. ScillAe aa ex., T. Camph. Co. f3ss., Aq. Camph. fj., M. ft. haust. Alkaline baths, conjointly used, prove useful.
2211. In the advanced stages of Pneumonia, when the expectoration continues viscid, much advantage results by combining expectorants with alkalies, and no better formula can be employed than that of Dr. Williams', advised in the last section.
2212. In Calculous Affections, and in some Diseases of the Bladder, when the Urine is acid, and there is much irritability of the Urinary Organs, Liq. PotassAe, in doses of fl. drm. ss., combined with T. Opii, is productive of much benefit. Dr. O. Rees states that he has often used it with the best effect; but, owing to the small quantity of Potash which we may venture to exhibit in the caustic state, the urine is not rendered alkaline by this remedy so speedily as when the tartrate or citrate of the base is used. He also mentions a fact brought to light by this mode of treatment, that the urine is secreted acid in many cases of alkaline urine. Now, if we begin in the early stage to exhibit small doses of Liq. PotassAe (exv. - xx. thrice daily), we shall occasionally find, that whilst this alkali is being exhibited, the urine which was alkaline will become acid. (See further Acids, part ii.) Ardor UrinAe, attendant on Gonorrha, or arising from other causes, is greatly relieved by the addition of Liq. PotassAe to mucilaginous drinks, &c.
2213. Acidity of the Primes Vim, Cardialgia, and other anomalous Affections arising from this cause, will often yield rapidly to Liq. PotassAe, in doses of ex. - xv., in milk. Its effect is not so transitory as that of the carbonated alkalies.
* Med. Times and Gaz , .April 13, 1861.
Cyc. Pract. Med., vol i. p. 367. Med. Gaz., July 4, 1851.