This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol1", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
In these pills, as in the preceding, there is a mere mixture of opium and soap; but the proportions are so arranged, that five grains of the mass contain one grain of opium. The preparation affords a ready method of obtaining small fractions of a grain of opium, when wanted. as they frequently are, for children. Another advantage is that they may be prescribed, without a knowledge, on the part of the patient, of what has been directed for him. The London College, upon the same grounds, formerly directed the Compound Pills of Storax, in which storax and saffron were employed, not only to dilute the opium, but to cover its taste and smell; but the preparation has been omitted in the Br. Pharmacopoeia. The proportion of opium was the same as in the U. S. preparation, namely, one grain in five of the mass.