Two facts, observes Dr. Pereira,§ give a remarkable interest to the employment of this acid in dyspeptic complaints, namely, that it is a constituent of healthy gastric juice; and also that when mixed with mucus it has a solvent or digestive power on various articles of food.
* Cyc. Pract Med., vol. i. p. 622. On Stomach and Renal Li-eases, p. 73, et seq.
Med. Gaz., Dec. 1, 1848. § Op. cit.
Hydrochloric Acid appears to prove highly serviceable. In an epidemic Typhus Fever which prevailed at Stockholm in 1841-2, Prof. Huss * states that this acid was the most relied upon, particularly in cases attended with cerebral symptoms. He employed a mixture composed of f3j. of the acid in f xij. of decoction of Mallows, in doses of a table-spoonful, every two hours. It was given in the earliest stage (after a purgative), and persisted in as long as the pulse continued full, firm, or compressible, and the sounds of the heart remained normal, or the first sound shorter than in the natural state. Its employment was not contra-indicated by the state of the tongue, or of the gastric organs; it was given whether the tongue was loaded or not, red and fissured, moist or parched; it was given also whether the abdomen was painful or not, tense or flaccid; in constipation and in diarrhoea. The sole contra-indication of its use was bronchial or pulmonary congestion, which was aggravated by it. Phosphoric Acid was substituted when the pulse began to lose its fulness. Fordyce, Paris, and others bear testimony to its great value.
In the advanced stages, after the second week, when the vital powers are much depressed, Dr. West found great benefit from the following draught: - Acid. Hydrochlor. Dil. em., Spt. Aether. Sulph. Co. (Ph. Lond.) eviij., Mist. Camph. f3iij., M., repeated every six hours. He considers it inadmissible if diarrhoea exists. At the same time, he advises gr. j. - iss. of Dover's Powder at bedtime, to check diarrhoea and to procure sleep. Food and wine are also to be given if necessary. In Scarlatina, Dr. McSherry speaks highly of Hydrochloric Acid in doses of gutt. j. - iij. largely diluted. As an adjunct he employs surface inunction. He regards the use of purgatives as injurious.
1522. In Syphilis, this acid was introduced as a remedy by Zeller, of Vienna, in 1797, after an experience of nine years' successful employment of it. From that date to the present, it has occasionally found advocates, but its use has never been general. Mr. Pearson§ observed that it could radically cure the disease, and ascribed the benefit derived from it to its salutary action upon the stomach and constitution, and also to its agency on the ulcers of the throat and tongue, as a local application. Dr. Rust || states, that in the journals of the syphilitic ward of the Vienna Hospital, he found recorded several hundred cases entirely cured by this acid, without the aid of a single grain of
* Dublin Journ., Sept. 1845. Med. Gaz., Aug. 11, 1848. Amer. Journ. of Med. Sci., Oct. 1858.
§ On Various Articles of Mat. Med., p. 117.
|| Med. Quart. Rev., 1835, pp.113 - 180.
Mercury. The formula employed was f3j. of the acid in Oij. of Barley Water daily. It is essential, he remarks, to the success of the remedy, that abstinence be enforced; he found it fail in every case when a full diet was allowed.