White Bismuth. BiO3, NO5. Bis-muthi Nitras. (L. Ph.) The Nitrate of Bismuth, called also the Trisnitrate (L. Ph. 1836), the Subnitrate, and Magistery of Bismuth. Comp. 1 Eq. Teroxide of Bismuth = 237+1 Nitric Acid = 54 = 291, Eq. Wt. When prepared according to the direction given in the Brit. Pharin., it also contains a little water.
Med. Prop and Action. Sedative, astringent and alterative. When given internally, it is absorbed into the system, and has been detected in the urine and in the milk. In very large doses, it is usually regarded as poisonous, and a death from gr. cxx. of this salt is recorded. M. Monneret, however, regards the idea of its being an irritant poison as purely hypothetical. He states that he has constantly employed it, in doses varying from 3iij. - iiss. daily, without the slightest inconvenience; that children in his hospital take it by tablespoonfuls, so innocuous is it; and that he has never observed the slightest irritation from the largest doses (iiss.) given either to the healthy or to the sick. This widely differs from the experience of others; and, until the subject has been more fully invest gated, it would be advisable to continue its use in the ordinary doses. I have constantly observed that, if benefit is not derived from gr. xv. four times daily, larger doses proved equally inefficacious. Most specimens of White Bismuth contain traces of Arsenic. M. Mon-neret observes, that post-mortem examination proves that, beyond patches of black discoloration, the Nitrate produces no effect upon the mucous membrane, the consistence of which remains normal. Prof. Graves§ usually prescribes the Nitrate with powdered gum arabic (1 part of the salt to 3 of the gum); this he directs to be mixed with a wine-glassful of warm milk, which may be allowed to stand for a quarter of an hour, and ought to be briskly stirred immediately before it is swallowed. Externally, it is a mild stimulant, and may be applied in the form of ointment (gr. cxx. - Lard oz. j.).
Offic. Prep. Trochisci Bismuthi (White Bismuth grs. mccccxl.; Carbonate of Magnesia oz. iv.; Precipitated (arbonate of Lime oz. vj.; Sugar oz. xxx.; Cum Arabic oz. j.; Water fl. oz. vj.; Oil of Cinnamon fl. drm. ss.; divided into 720 lozenges). Each lozenge contains 2 grs. of Bismuth.
Dose of White Bismuth, gr. v. - xx.
* Indian Ann. of Med. Sci., April 1856, p. 416. Ibid., vol. iii. p. 254.
Med. Chir. Rev., July 1849. § Clinical Lect., vol. ii. p. 212.
In Atonic Dyspepsia, the Nitrate of Bismuth is a remedy of great value; indeed, there are few medicines more to be relied upon. In Gastrodynia, it is, as Prof. (haves* observes, one of the best remedies we possess. In Gastralgia, its efficacy is increased by the addition of Magnesia; and Prof. Caizergues, of Montpellier, found that its action was rendered more certain and uniform by being combined with small doses of Extract of Belladonna. In Pyrosis, it is strongly recommended by Dr. Marcet; and Dr. Bardsley relates several cases which recovered under its use.