Dr. Copland* states that he has never seen a case of the disease which has not been much relieved by purgatives; taking care, however, that they should not lower the energies of the constitution, by combining them with tonics, &c, and allowing light nutritious food.
Osborne observes that the use of purgatives may be easily overlooked, in our anxiety to strike at the root of the disease; but that their value can hardly be overestimated, and is, indeed, limited by the tendency to gastritis and enteritis, which so generally prevails. If it be true that the stomach and bowels have the faculty of eliminating urea, the tendency now mentioned must be viewed as an effort of nature to relieve herself, when the proper emunctories fail to do so. Certain it is, that a powerful purgative, such as Elaterium, given at intervals, tells more on the swellings, and exhausts the strength less, than the plan of daily purging.
* Dict. Pract. Med., vol. i.
Dub. Quart. Journ., Aug. 1851.
3045. In Gout, purgatives were forbidden by Sydenham and Mead, but their use was re-introduced by Hoffmann, and, of late years, they have been very generally employed. Mild carminative aperients certainly appear beneficial. A dose of Calomel (gr. iij. - iv.), followed by a saline aperient, is sometimes useful.