A liquid alkaloid obtained from scoparius. It is colorless, with bitter taste, and with sulphuric acid forms a crystalline salt, which is soluble in water.

Physiological Actions

Sparteine is slightly hypnotic, but is more important as a cardiac stimulant, increasing the force and regularity of the pulse. It acts very quickly, its influence over a weak, failing heart being shown within half an hour to one hour, but it does not last long, wearing off in four or five hours.

It is not considered equal to digitalis, but it is often given with it and with other more enduring but slowly acting stimulants. It is not accumulative, and does not disturb digestion nor impair the appetite.

It has not the diuretic action of scoparius. In larger doses it is a depressant to the brain and spinal cord, and causes death by paralysis of the respiratory centre. Doses of four to six grains produce vertigo, headache, palpitations, and a feeling of formication in the extremities; and large doses have caused loss of power in the legs, sensations of heat, with flushed face and severe pain about the heart, the symptoms beginning in about twenty minutes and reaching their climax in tour or five hours.

Average dose, gr. 1/6-0.01 Gm.