Dr. Beddoes* considered that "the majority of cases will yield to simple Foxglove;" and Dr. Mossman stated that he could "arrest pulmonic inflammation with Digitalis, with as much certainty as he could an intermittent by means of Cinchona." Others were equally laudatory of its virtues, particularly in the first stage. Dr. Cowan, however, observes, "It is now, very rationally, almost entirely rejected as a cure for consumption, and merits only to be regarded as one of the many means occasionally useful in this disease, and which may sometimes assist the operation of more important measures" Its chief effect is to diminish the frequency of the pulse. If given, it should be combined with iron.
1103. In Hmoptysis, attended with high vascular action and much irritability of the system, Digitalis is occasionally of great service as a sedative; but it must only be regarded as an auxiliary to other treatment. Dose of the Tincture, ex. - xx. given every six, eight, or ten hours. In Haemoptysis from tubercular disease it should be given combined with Tinct. Ferri Perchlor. In Acute Epistaxis, it has also been advised, but is inferior in efficacy to other remedies. In Menorrhagia and other forms of Uterine Hmorrhage unconnected with organic disease, Digitalis appears to exercise a remarkable and decided sedative action. The evidences of its power adduced by Mr. W. H. Dickinson§ are incontestable. He employed it in the form of infusion. When given in large doses (fj. - fiss.), the discharge never appeared after the second day; when smaller ones were used, it never appeared after the fourth day. Its modus operandi appears doubtful: the effect is evidently not due solely to its sedative qualities. It deserves further trial.
1104. Chronic Bronchitis and Coughs, attended with much dyspnoea and violent palpitations, are greatly relieved by the use of the Tincture, in doses of exv. - xx., every four or six hours, or by a combination of Digitalis, Squills, and Mercury.
Currie,|| Ferriar, Darwin, Uwins, Burrows, Ellis, Cox, Hallaran, and others; and in some cases it proves serviceable. In Germany it is regarded almost as a specific in Mania. M. Foville limits its use to those cases where the disease of the brain is dependent upon disease of the heart, and particularly where there is increased fulness and pulsation of the carotid and temporal arteries. Dr. Mayo,* an advocate for its use, advises the following formula: - T. Digitalis exv., Pot. Nit. j., Mist. Camph. f3x., ft. haust. ter in die sumend. Dr. Prichard regards it as inferior to Antimony, which he says will answer all the purposes for which Digitalis has been adopted, is more speedy in its effects, and much more manageable. (See Ant. Tart.) The efficacy of Digitalis in very large doses in Delirium Tremens has been proved by numerous cases in the practice of Dr. Jones, of Jersey. Dr. Peacock,§ Dr. M. Mackenzie,|| and others. Dr. Peacock draws the following conclusions: - 1. That Digitalis, when exhibited in full doses, does not by any means produce the amount of depression which our previous experience of its action in small doses would lead us to expect; and, 2. That the remedy, in conjunction with other means, may probably be very usefully employed in certain cases of the disease, and especially when it occurs in young and robust persons whose strength has not been broken down by prolonged habits of intemperance. Dr. Laycock.¶ on the other hand, regards the evidence in favour of the calming effect of Digitalis in this disease as of the vaguest kind, and states that there is no indication of the class of cases in which it may be safely prescribed. Mr. J. W. Robinson** recommends that Digitalis be given in combination with Opium.
* Obs. on the Management of the Consumptive, 1801.
Essay on Scrofula and Glandular Consumption.
Trans. of Louis, p. 275.
§ Med Times and Gaz., Dec. 15, 1855.
|| Mem. of Med. Society of London, vol iv. art. 2.
1106. In Epilepsy and Epileptic Mania, Digitalis, in large doses, has been recommended by Drs. Withering, Currie, Mills, Semoine, W. Scott, and others. Dr. Sharkey relates several cases in which he administered from f3ij. to fss. of the Tincture of Digitalis in a single dose, and in the majority it was productive of decided benefit. There appears to be a peculiar tolerance of Digitalis in these affections; but its use in the above-named doses can hardly be regarded as safe or admissible in the majority of cases. In smaller doses it may prove useful, when the affection is connected with cardiac derangement. It failed in the hands of Dr. Percival. Dr. J. Osborne §§ considers the efficacy of Digitalis in Epilepsy greatly increased by union with Tincture of Cantharides.