This section is from the book "A Text-Book Of Materia Medica And Pharmacy For Medical Students", by Velyien Ewart Henderson. Also available from Amazon: A Text-Book of Materia Medica and Pharmacy for Medical Students.
Aqua, (Water) - A solution of volatile substances in water, - some are simple solutions, such as Aqua Chloroformi, while others (Aqua Cinnamomi) are prepared by distillation if made in accordance with the British Phar-maccepia. In the colonies a pharmacist is allowed to make a Water containing a volatile oil by first triturating the oil with calcium phosphate and then suspending the triturate in water. The oil being very finely divided remains suspended in the water. The Waters are very commonly used in mixtures as flavoring vehicles for the administration of less pleasant drugs. They are in some cases of value on account of their own pharmacological action.
Charta, (Paper, e.g. Charta Sinapis) - A strip of cartridge paper smeared with a preparation of an active drug. They are applied to the surface of the body.
Collodium, (Collodion, e.g. Collodium Flexile). - A solution of Pyroxylin in Ether and Alcohol, either alone or containing also some other drug in solution. It is applied to the skin and when the ether or alcohol has evaporated it leaves a thin film upon the surface.
Confectio, (Confection, e.g. Confectio Sennae) - A soft sticky mixture of sugar or syrup with some active drug. These preparations are very little used at the present day.
Decoctum, (Decoction, e.g. Decoctum Haematoxyli) - There are only three official decoctions and it is rarely that they are used .
Emplastrum, (Plaster, e.g., Emplastrum Plumbi) - A preparation composed of some active drug incorporated with an adhesive and permanent base such as lead oleate, soap, or resin, and of such consistence that they can be spread upon linen, muslin, or leather and will remain adherent if applied to the skin.
Extractum, (Extract) - An extract which has been evaporated to a solid or semi-solid consistence. If the extract has been made with water it is known as an Aqueous Extract, if with alcohol, as an Alcoholic Extract. As in proportion to their bulk they contain 2-6 times as much of the active constituents as the crude drug, they have a much smaller dose and are of especial value in the preparation of pills.
Extractum Liquidum, (Liquid or Fluid Extract, e.g., Extractum Filicis Liquidum.) - A concentrated extract of such strength that each fluid ounce of the product of the extract represents the active principles of an ounce by weight of the drug. They may be made with alcohol, water, or ether. They are very convenient preparations for incorporating in a mixture, but as they may contain substances which are soluble in the solvent with which they are made, but not soluble in other solvents they may give rise, if mixed with other solvents, to precipitates of inactive ingredients which may be filtered off.
Extractum Viride, (Green Extract, e.g. Extractum Hyoscyami Viride) - These are the partially or completely dried juices of plants obtained by expression. As they contain the active constituents in a concentrated form and are usually adhesive, especially if a little water is added, they may frequently be used for the preparation of pills.
Glycerinum, (Glycerin, e.g. Glycerinum Tragacanthae). - A solution of a drug in glycerin. They are useful on account of the special solvent or preservative properties of glycerin.
Infusum, (Infusion, e.g. Infusum Digitalis) - an extract prepared by infusion.
Injectio Hypodermica, (Hypodermic Injection, e.g. Injectio Morphinae Hypodermica) - A solution of a potent drug in water. They are administered by means of a syringe underneath the skin. Great care must be taken that they are sterile. This is obtained by boiling or by care in preparation or by the addition of an antiseptic.
Lamella, (Disc, e.g. Lamella Atropinae) - a thin transparent plate of gelatin and glycerin containing a small quantity of an alkaloid. It is placed in the conjunctival sac and allowed to dissolve . In this way a purely local effect of the drug stuff may be obtained.
Linimentum, (Liniment, e.g. Linimentum Camphorae) - A liquid preparation dissolved in a menstrum of alcohol, water, or oil, with soap, camphor, or glycerin. They are intended to produce a local action of the drugs they contain by being rubbed into the skin.
Liquor, (Liquor or Solution, e.g. Liquor Arsenicalis) - Solutions of definite chemical substances in water. They are suitable preparations for dispensing in mixtures.
Liquor Concentratus, (Concentrated Solution, e.g. Liquor Calumbae Con-centratus) - Weak extracts of such a strength that two parts represent one of the crude drug. They are intended to facilitate the making of infusions, for which purpose they need only be diluted with water.
Lotto, (Lotion, e.g. Lotio Hydrargyri Flava) - A suspension of a drug in water. It is applied to the skin as a wash or in lint saturated with it.
Mel, (Honey, e.g. Mel. Boracis) - Syrupy liquids containing honey.
Mistura, (Mixture, e.g. Mistura Ferri) - A preparation containing drugs dissolved or suspended in water.
Mucilago, (Mucilage, e.g. Mucilago Acaciae) - A viscid solution of gums or starch. Used for the making of pills or the suspension of insoluble powders in mixtures.
Oxymel, (Acidulated Honey, e.g. Oxymel Scillae) - A preparation containing honey and acetic acid.
Pilula, (Pill, e.g. Pilula Ferri). A spherical or spheroidal mass which contains one or more potent drugs held together by some adhesive substance known as the excipient. In this way a disagreeable drug-stuff of small bulk may readily be administered to a patient.
Pulvis, (Powder, e.g. Pulvis Ipecacuanha Composita) - A mixture of drugs reduced to a fine powder. When two or more unimportant drugs are included in a powder it is usually known as a compound powder, Pulvis Composita. Usually only insoluble drug-stuffs are administered in this form. They are given by the mouth.
Spiritus, (Spirit, e.g. Spiritus Camphorae) - Solutions of volatile substances prepared by either simple solution in Rectified Spirit or by distillation. They are frequently ingredients of mixtures.
Succus, (Juice, e.g. Succus Conii - )The juices of fresh plants obtained by expresssion and preserved by the addition of Alcohol. Unimportant.
Suppositorium, (Suppository, e.g. Suppositoria Morphinap) - Conica masses usually made by incorporating some drug with Oil of Theobromal (This is a solid). They are made to weigh about fifteen grains each and are used by inserting them into the rectum. Suppositories made for use in the vagina are made to weigh about a drachm and are called pessaries, while those used for the urethra are elongated rods, made with Cocoa Butter or gelatin, and are called Bougies.
Syrups, (Syrup, e.g. Syrupus Tolutanus) - Viscid liquids prepared by dissolving active medicines in a syrup made from cane-sugar and water. Used as flavouring vehicles and to suspend insoluble powders in mixtures. Tabella, (Tablet) - The only official tablet is that of Nitro-glycerin which is composed of nitroglycerin incorporated with Chocolate and moulded to a flat ,circular shape.
Tinctura, (Tincture) - Fluid preparations of drugs prepared by solution, maceration or percolation with alcohol. That of Lobelia alone is prepared with ether. Those containing more than one active principle are known as Compound Tinctures. They are weaker in pharmacological action than the Liquid Extracts and are the most suitable form in which drugs soluble in alcohol may be incorporated in mixtures which contain alcohol as the main solvent. (If much water is present ingredients not of pharmacological importance which are present in the tincture may be precipitated).
Standardized Tinctures are such as must show by assay a certain quantity of certain of its constituents. The term standardized may also be applied to Extracts.
Trochiscus, (Lozenge, e.g. Trochisci Potassii Chloratis) - A large dry tablet prepared by mixing an active drug or drugs with Refined Sugar and Powdered Acacia forming a mass by the aid of one of four bases, Fruit Basis (Black Current Paste), Rose Basis (Rose Water), Tolu Basis (Tincture of Tolu) or Simple Basis (Water) and then dividing the resulting mass with a suitable mould into lozenges of definite weight, which are then dried
Unguentum, (Ointment, e.g. Unguentum Hydrargyri) - A preparation made by incorporating solutions or finely divided drugs with a fatty base. This is commonly Wool-fat, Lard, or a Paraffin. They are smeared or rubbed into the skin.
Vinum, (Wine, e.g. Vinum Ipecacuanhæ) - Solutions of drugs in either Sherry (Vinum Xericum) or Orange Wine (Vinum Aurantium). They are but little used.