Hyposulphite of Soda. NaO, S2O2 + 5 HO. It occurs in the form of transparent, four-sided, odourless crystals, of a cool saline and afterwards bitter taste, readily soluble in Water, but not in Alcohol. Discovered by Chaussier in 1799.
* Lancet, March 17, 1860. Med. Times and Gaz., April 27, 1861.
X Lancet, April 25, 1863.
Med. Prop. and Action. This salt, according to M. Dupasquier,* possesses no poisonous properties, and may be taken to the extent of j. - iss. without inconvenience; he considers that its action is similar to that of the Sulphate of Soda and other neutral alkaline salts, as he found it purge in the same doses, and produce analogous effects. In small doses (gr. xx. - gr. lx.) it is regarded as alterative and resolvent. Externally, it is applied in the form of lotion or baths: for the latter purpose, oz. j. - oz. iv. should be added to each bath. Pereira states, that sometimes a small quantity of dilute Sulphuric Acid or Vinegar is added to the bath whilst the patient is immersed, by which means Sulphurous Acid and Sulphur are set free.
In Chronic Cutaneous Affections, it was first employed by Chaussier and Biett, but it fell into disuse till 1844, when it was again used with great success by M. Quesneville, who regards it as peculiarly serviceable in the skin diseases of scrofulous subjects. In Psoriasis, Cazenave recommends the following: - ℞ SodAe Hyposulph. gr. lxxiv., Syr. SarsaparillAe, Syr. DaphnAe Mezer. āā fv., M. Dose, a tablespoonful night and morning. From the fact that Sulphurous Acid destroys vegetable life, a solution of this salt decomposed by the addition of an acid is a valuable application in Skin Diseases connected with vegetable parasitic growths, as Porrigo.
Neale § found great advantage from the Hyposulphite in doses of gr. x. - xv. in infusion of Quassia. Its efficacy in this and allied diseases doubtless depends upon the disengagement of Sulphurous Acid, which it is well known is very destructive of the lower forms of organic life.
J. H. Warren, who ascribes to it powerful diuretic virtues (Dunglison).||