Atrophia. Atropine. C34,H23,NO6. A Crystalline Alkaloid obtained from the root of Atropa Belladonna, discovered by Brande, in 1819. Eq. Wt. 289.

Med. Prop. and Action. Similar to Belladonna, but much more powerful. Applied topically, one millionth, or even half a millionth, of a grain dilates the pupil (Garrod ||). Internally given, it is a powerful poison, and if administered at all should be prescribed with the greatest caution. It is best given in the form of Liquor AtropiAe. Externally, it may be applied in the form of ointment. Its full physiological and anodyne effects may be speedily induced by its introduction into the system by the hypodermic method, but this mode of using it and other powerful alkaloids requires great caution. For the purpose of dilating the pupil Liq. AtropiAe diluted with four times its bulk of water may be employed. One drop of this solution is to be applied to the eye. Mr. Streatfeild ¶ proposes for local use in eye diseases " Atropine paper," prepared by imbuing coloured tissue-paper with a solution of the sulphate, of such a strength. that a small square piece of it is equal to or contains as much of the salt as a drop of the strong solution in ordinary use. The little piece of paper (one-fifth of an inch square) is taken up on the top of the fore-finger, previously damped; and the patient's lower lid being drawn down, he is told to look upward, and the scrap of paper is put on the sclerotic conjunctiva below the cornea, almost without the knowledge of the patient; the lid is then let go, and the piece of paper left in situ. A handkerchief is then tied over the eyes. The full mydriatic effect is induced quite as rapidly as with the solution, and the paper is more readily carried, and more easily applied. It may be subsequently easily removed. Blue paper is preferable to white for this purpose, as it is more readily distinguishable when it has to be removed. Subsequent observations have induced Mr. Streatfeild and Mr. E. Hart, who has also investigated the subject, to substitute thin plates of atropised gelatine far paper. The gelatine being soluble in the secretions of the eye, does not require removal. Mr. Hart employs squares of this substance containing only 100,000th of a grain of atropine to the square. He finds that the higher strength originally proposed by Mr. Streatfeild (240th of a grain) produces for a time paralysis of the accommodation of the eye, and consequent inability to adjust vision for near objects. Recontraction is effected by similar squares of gelatine impregnated with Extract of Calabar Bean.** The Sulphate of Atropia was officinal in the Lond. Ph. 1851. It is omitted in the Brit. Ph.

Offlc. Prep. 1. Liquor AtropiAe (Atropia grs. iv.; Rect. Sp. fl. drm. j.; Water fl. drs. vij.). Dose, eij. - ev.

2. Unguentum Atropiae (Atropia Grs

viij.; Rect. Sp. fl. drm. ss.; Prepared Lard oz. j.).

Dose of Atropia, gr. 1/50 - gr. 1/20 or 1/15. It is rarely given internally.

* Lancet, Aug. 9, 1856.

British Med. Journ., March 29, 1857.

Banking's Abstract, vol. xxvii. p. 214.

§ Edin. Monthly Journ., Oct. 1854.

|| Med. Times and Gaz.,Feb. 20,1864.

¶ Ophthalmic Hospital Rep., April

** Lancet, July 11, 1863; Jan. 16,

1864; Med. Times and Gaz. Jan. 30,

Therapeutic Uses. These have been investigated by MM. Bou-chardt and Stuart Cooper,* by Mr. \V. Cooper, Dr. Brookes,+ and others. Bouchardt employed it successfully in the following cases: -

503. In Chorea, an obstinate case, which had resisted all other remedies, the patient, a robust man, Aet. 35, yielded completely to Atropine, gr. 1/3 daily, in divided doses.

504. In Pleurodynia, It Proved Successful In One Very Severe Case

The dose first given was gr. i, but from the constitutional disturbance which it created, it was reduced to gr. 1/10. It was applied to a denuded surface. In Asthma, the hypodermic injection of Atropine over the course of the pneumogastric nerve proved successful in the hands of M. Courty.

505. In Nervous Aphonia, 1/16 of a grain daily, in alcoholic solution, effected a rapid .cure.

506. In Hysteria, It Was Found Very Serviceable

A very severe case is related, in which gr. 1/16 daily afforded great amelioration.

507. In Ulceration of the Cornea and Hernia of the Iris, a solution of Atropine (1 part in 100 of distilled water) was successfully employed in the place of Belladonna.

508. In Tic Douloureux And Neuralgic Pains, Dr

Brookes found the application of Atropine ointment (Atropine gr. x., Lardss.) signally beneficial. Apiece the size of a peashould be applied thrice daily. Dr. Cowdell § and others have found excellent effects in these cases from the hypodermic application of Atropine. Mr. C. Hunter || finds that it acts directly on certain nerves through the circulation. The pneumogastric and sciatic appear to be directly affected. He relates a case in which Sciatica was cured by the hypodermic injection of gr. 1/30. In Dysmenorrha, it is stated to be of great service, given internally.