Contains 32.5% ether, with alcohol and ethereal oil.
It is a carminative, antispasmodic, and stimulant.
Dose, ʒ i.-4 mils, diluted with very cold or iced water.
A solution of sodium nitrite in alcohol, with the addition of sulphuric acid, monhydrated sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. Sweet spirit of nitre is volatile and inflammable. It should not be kept long, as it becomes acid with age. It is a diuretic and diaphoretic, acting by relaxing and dilating the renal and cutaneous vessels. It is also a nerve sedative and antispasmodic.
The action on the skin is made more prominent by keeping the patient warmly covered in bed, and on the kidneys when kept cool, or out of bed. Like all preparations of ether it should be largely diluted and given very cold, as this lessens the strangling feeling in the throat.
The inhalation of sweet spirit of nitre has caused alarming symptoms - viz.: pallor, weak pulse, muscular weakness, pain about the heart, and headache.
Taken internally, in large quantities, it has in one or two instances caused death.
Preparations of ether are given hypodermically as heart stimulants, and should be injected deeply into the muscular tissues to avoid irritation and formation of abscesses.
Made by distilling together alcohol, sulphuric ether, and potassium bromide. It is colorless, volatile, and highly inflammable. Ethyl bromide is used as a general anaesthetic in short operations, or before beginning chloroform anaesthesia. It is administered by means of a mask, as in giving ether. Anaesthesia lasts on an average for a minute and a half with one administration of the anaesthetic. Consciousness returns more quickly than from any other anaesthetic, but the inhalation is not pleasant and patients complain of great depression and discomfort afterwards. Ethyl bromide is liable to decomposition when kept long and is often furnished in impure form. It ought to be perfectly colorless, as a yellow color indicates decomposition, often with the presence of free bromine. The inhalation of from one to six drachms should give the desired result.