Veratrine. Sabadilline. An alkaloid, C64H52N2O16 (not quite pure), obtained from Sabadilla fruit (which see), the root-stock of Veratrum Album, and other plants.
Med. Prop. and Action. Acrid and sedative; but, from the violence of its action, it is rarely administered internally. Externally, it is used in the form of embrocation (gr. lx., Proof Spirit fl. oz ij.) or ointment. Veratria appears to act chiefly on the spinal cord. After it has been swallowed the patient experiences a dull, burning pain in the sacral region, various uneasy feelings through the abdomen, increased watery and slimy evacuations from the bowels, but seldom any diuresis. If its use be continued, it causes dryness, and a sense of burning in the mouth, intense thirst, nausea, vomiting, bloody stools, coldness of the limbs, trembling, syncope, delirium, and paralysis; the urine is generally scanty, thick, and of a deep red colour (Reiche). When rubbed on the cuticle," observes Dr. Turnbull,§ " it produces a strong
* Cyc. Pract. Med , vol. ii. p. 583.
Diseases of Women.
Med.-Chir. Rev., No. lxvii. p. 232.
§ On the Med. Prop. of the Ranun-culaceae, p. 115.
sensation of tingling, or rather a feeling similar to that caused by receiving a succession of small electric sparks on an uncovered part of the body: this feeling is transitory." It may be rubbed on the skin for a short time without producing any redness of the parts. Dr. Reiche observed that its endermic us on the epigastrium excited nausea, a sense of tightness of the chest, electric-like dartings through the chest and abdomen, and painful twitchings of the limbs.
Offic. Prep. Unguentum VeratriAe (Veratria grs. viij.; Prepared Lard oz. j.; Olive Oil fl. drm. ss.).
In Neuralgia, Tic Douloureux, and Hemicrania, Dr. Turnbull* speaks highly of the external application of the Veratria ointment (ante), rubbed in diligently, until it causes a sense of heat and tingling. Occasionally, it affords great temporary relief, but it often fails entirely: it is inferior in every respect to Aconitine. M. Lafargue advises ten or twelve punctures to be made with a lancet charged with a saturated solution of the alkaloid over the seat of pain. He states that it affords great benefit when thus applied. In Chronic Gout and Rheumatism, in the absence of inflammatory symptoms, Veratria ointment (3ss. ad Adipis j.) is advised by Dr. Turnbull, and appears occasionally to be of service. In Gout it has the recommendation of Sir Charles Scudamore.
Vogt, of Berne. He commences with five milligrammes (a milligramme is .0154 of an English grain) every two or three hours, until it produce vomiting or diminution of the pulse. It is generally given in pills, but, if necessary, it may be given in solution. If the stomach is too irritable, the dose is reduced, and the Veratria is administered in an effervescing draught, or with a little opium: the action on the pulse is more slow in developing itself, but it appears at last. Under this treatment, the proportion of deaths in serious cases did not exceed 8 per cent.
2810. In Paralysis, the diligent use of Veratria externally is occasionally followed by great improvement; but it often fails to effect any beneficial change. It should be persisted in till it produces the tingling sensation above described. Dr. Foreke§ relates nine cases in which it was productive of the best effects. In Incontinence of Urine in Adults, Dr. Kennard,|| of New York, found the following ointment, rubbed into the perineum thrice daily, an effectual application: - VeratriaAe, MorphiAe Sulph. āā gr. x., Axung. j., M. In Dysmenorrha, M. Vannaire ¶ found that 3ss. of an ointment containing 1/100th
* Op. cit.
Med.-Chir. Rev., No. lxxx.
Bull. Gen. de Therap., Jan. 1860.
§ Med-Chir. Rev., No. lix. p. 229.
|| Amer. Journ. of Med. Sciences, Jan. 1857.
¶ Braithwaite's Retrospect, vol. xlv. p. 278, 1862.
its weight of Veratria, rubbed over the hypogastric region twice daily, greatly relieves the pain.