Elaterium is a sediment obtained from the juice of the fruit of Ecballium Elaterium. It contains a neutral active principle, elaterin, which is the official preparation, elaterium being of variable strength.

The most active hydragogue cathartic known, producing excessive watery evacuations in a very short time. If the dose is not too large there is little or no pain or irritation, although in excess it is a gastrointestinal irritant. It is also irritant if applied to the skin. The purgative action of elaterium is exhausting, and the condition of the patient must be watched. Catharsis is also produced when it is injected hypodermically, but it cannot be safely used in this way, as it is very irritant to the tissues, and has been followed by tetanus.


There is no official preparation of elaterium, but only of its active principle.

Elaterinum. Elaterin

Average dose, gr. 1/20-0.003 Gm.

Trituratio Elaterini. Trituration Of Elaterin

Strength 1 to 10. Dose, gr. ss.-0.03 Gm.