3117. Other Diseases

In Erysipelas, emetics are advised by Liston, Chelius, Desault, Nunneley, Donellan, &c. Their good effect is limited to the early stage, and they are chiefly indicated when there is derangement of the digestive organs. Mr. Nunneley objects to the use of Tartar Emetic.

3118. In Neuralgia Arising From Dyspepsia, Mr

Hunt advises the exhibition of an emetic, followed by an aperient draught of Rhubarb, &c., previous to the use of Quinine or Arsenic. In those cases in which the paroxysm is regularly intermittent, an emetic should be given an hour before its expected arrival. (Mr. Hunt.)

3119. In Hysteria, an emetic of Ipecacuanha, given when a paroxysm is impending, often has the effect of altogether preventing it. (Conolly.)

3120. In the Plague, emetics are highly spoken of by Clot Bey, if given in the earliest stage of the disease, not only unloading the stomach, but determining freely to the surface.

3121. In Hospital Gangrene, emetics in the early stage are advised by Pouteau, Dussassoy, Briggs, J. Thompson, Hennen, and others. They prove chiefly useful, however, as observed by Mr. Blackadder, when the stomach is foul and loaded.

3122. In Aphonia, arising from an Atonic or Paralytic state of the Larynx, an emetic of Ipecacuanha, or the Sulphate of Copper, or the Sulphate of Zinc, followed by tonic and stimulant medicines, sometimes proves useful.

3123. In Gout, at the commencement of an attack, emetics sometimes mitigate the attack, whilst in other instances they have little or no effect upon it. They ought to be employed with great caution. If the tongue be much loaded, and if heartburn, acrid eructations, or nausea be complained of, neither pain nor tenderness of the epigastrium being present, an emetic will generally be of service. But if vascular depletion be indicated, it should precede the exhibition of the emetic. (Dr. Copland.*)

3124. Otalgia is sometimes immediately relieved by the exhibition of an emetic; and in Atonic Deafness, depending upon accumulation of mucus in the Eustachian Tube, the same measure is attended with benefit. But in both these cases, emetics are inadmissible when much cerebral congestion or plethora is present. Under such circumstances, they may prove highly injurious.

3125. In Urticaria, arising from the ingestion of noxious and indigestible substances {as poisonous fish, &c.), no time should be lost in obtaining the ejection of the offending matters. For this purpose the Sulphates of Zinc or Copper are best suited. A simple cathartic should afterwards be administered. (E. Wilson, ) In Chronic Urticaria, a course of emetics, one every other morning, to be taken fasting, is sometimes effectual in removing the disease.

3126. Emmenagogues are medicines or agents which tend to establish or restore a healthy condition of the menstrual secretion. They may be conveniently divided into three classes, viz., direct, indirect, and constitutional.

1. Direct Emmenagogues comprise all those agents which act directly or specifically upon the uterus. Of these, the chief are electricity, which stimulates the nerves of that organ; and Ergot of Rye, which acts directly on its muscular fibres. Leeches to the os uteri, which relieve any existing local congestion, and thus permit the secreting vessels to perform their functions; and stimulant applications, as the Nitrate of Silver, Liq. AmmoniAe, &c., belong to the same class. Amongst the minor remedies may be mentioned Savine, Borax, Cinnamon, and Chenopodium.

2. Indirect Emmenagogues include a large number of powerful cathartics, as Aloes; and some diuretics, as PotassAe Nitras, which stimulate the pelvic organs in the neighbourhood of the uterus, the stimulant action being conveyed, by sympathy, to the latter organ. Their efficacy is extremely doubtful. In some cases, perhaps, where the suppression of the secretion depends upon congestion of the vessels of the uterus, a hydragogue cathartic, or powerful diuretic, may act favourably as a derivative; but not unfrequently they are productive, not only of no benefit, but of much mischief.

* Dict. Pract. Med., vol. ii. p. 47. Diseases of the Skin, p. 158.

3. Constitutional Emmenagogues are those which establish a healthy tone and condition of the general system, and restore a natural action of all secreting organs, the uterus included. Those most commonly employed, and on which most reliance is to be placed, are, the salts of Iron. They are chiefly indicated when Amenorrha is combined with anaemia or debility, and operate by restoring the deficient constituents in the blood.