This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol2", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
This is a new antimonial, introduced for its supposed efficiency in the treatment of pneumonia, and probably deserving more attention than it has yet received. It was brought to the notice of the profession by Prof. Hannon, of the University of Brussels, in a communication to the Journal de Pharmacologic of Brussels, in January, 1860.
For therapeutic use, Dr. Hannon recommends that it should be prepared by introducing into a wide-necked flask nine grammes of an alloy of zinc and antimony (six parts of the former to three of the latter) with three grammes of either tartar emetic or chloride of antimony, and then adding every hour, at the time of using the medicine, two or three grammes of muriatic (hydrochloric) acid, until thirty grammes have been employed. As muriatic acid gas is also evolved, a piece of sponge, moistened with an alkaline solution, must be introduced into the neck of the flask so as to neutralize this acid, while the antimoniated gas passes free from impurity. it is important that the metals employed in the process should be pure, and especially must they contain no arsenic.
Antimoniated hydrogen is a gaseous compound of antimony and hydrogen, colourless, inodorous when pure, inflammable, and unaffected by water or alkaline solutions when passed through them. it is destitute of irritant properties, and may be inhaled without inconvenience.
it is chiefly as a remedy in pneumonia and capillary bronchitis that this gas has been recommended; but it is indicated also in all inflammatory conditions of the lungs, in which it is desirable to promote expectoration, and has been used advantageously in some cases of phthisis. it is administered by inhalation; the patient respiring it for five minutes every hour. in the intervals, the flask may be allowed to remain in the apartment, with the sponge removed, so as somewhat to impregnate the air of the chamber. Under the influence of this agent, the respiration is said to be lessened in frequency and the pulse in force, and the urine to increase, without nausea, vomiting, or diaphoresis. it becomes instantly tolerated by the system, and the tolerance is permanent. in pneumonia, the pain in the side, if existing, speedily ceases; the expectoration is rendered easier, and the sputa lose their rusty colour and tenacity, becoming pale and liquid; and the fever ceases in two or three days. A cure is said to be more quickly obtained than by any other method. (Dublin Hosp. Gaz., March 1, 1860, p. 78; and Ann. de Thérap., 1860, p. 143.)