Laennec successfully treated several cases of acute Hydrocephalus with Tartar Emetic, in doses of gr. xij., and subsequently gr. xviij. - xx., daily. Dr. Mills adopted a modification of this treatment, combining small doses of Antimony with Calomel, or Calomel and Opium; and it is stated by Dr. Cheyne that, given in this manner, it is sometimes beneficial. The object of this treatment is to reduce the inflammatory action of the brain, and to assist in restoring the secretions of the abdominal organs and of the skin. It is of inferior effi cacy either to Calomel or Iodine (q. v.)
* Cyc. Pract Med vol. i. p. 407.
Recamier advised the use of baths containing Tartar Emetic in solution, in proportion of j. of the salt to a pailful of water. He states that it appeared to reduce the size of the head, at the same time that it acted as a diuretic. (Dr. Joy.*)
In Bilious Erysipelas, or in that originating with strongly-marked gastric disorder, Desault advises Tartar Emetic in one-grain doses, largely diluted. He states that he has seen the symptoms entirely subside under its use, although the medicine produced no other sensible alteration in the animal economy than an increase of perspiration and of urine. When the symptoms resisted these evacuations, he administered an Antimonial Emetic. In Phlegmonous Erysipelas, a bleeding preceded the use of this remedy. More recently, Dr. Walsh expresses his opinion, that this salt acts specifically on Erysipelatous inflammation. He says that there is no form of the disease which should not, in the first instance, be attacked with Tartar Emetic, whether there be high inflammatory fever, low fever, vomiting, or purging; under all and every circumstance, we shall And, he adds, that the disease will yield to this remedy. He advises it in the doses used by Desault. Tonics will complete a cure.
256. Inflammation of the Mamm after delivery, in many instances, subsides under the continued use of Tartar Emetic. It should be given in such doses as to keep up nausea without vomiting. It has been successfully employed by Dr. E. Kennedy, Dr. Ashwell, and Dr. Lever.§
257. Acute Rheumatism has been successfully treated by the French physicians with large doses of Tartar Emetic. Bricheteau || speaks of this treatment as being in the highest degree satisfactory. Dr. Griffin ¶ made a fair trial of its virtues in these cases, and states that, though in some instances it proved effectual, in others it failed to afford relief. He administered gr. j. every hour for many successive hours. The first dose or two generally caused vomiting, but subsequently it produced no disturbance of the system. It appears to be inferior in efficacy to Colchicum, Nitre, or Lime-juice. In Acute Articular Rheumatism, however, it has been found highly successful, particularly by Laennec, who states that it effected a cure in the majority of cases in seven or eight days. A curious case, illustrating the tolerance of the system to bear this remedy, is related by Prof. Forget, of Strasburg.* He gave Tartar Emetic to a robust man, aged 40, labouring under Acute Articular Rheumatism; first, in 8-grain doses, then in doses of 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, and lastly 72 grains, without any disorder of the intestinal canal or general disturbance. In three days he took 3x. ! He was relieved for a time, but a relapse occurred; and he was ultimately cured by Colchicum.
* Cyc. Pract. Med. vol. ii. p. 477.
oeuvres Chir. t. ii. p. 54.
Dublin Quart. Journ. Aug. 1850.
§ Lond. Med Gaz. vol. xx. p. 761. || Clinique Medicale, 1S35. ¶ Med. Problems.