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.
Syn. Sweet Spirit of Nitre. Spiritus Nitri Dulcis.
This preparation has been treated of among the diuretics (II. 622), with which, probably, like the preceding medicine, it has a greater affinity than with the diaphoretics. But, like nitre, it will occasionally aid other more efficient diaphoretics, and will itself, if assisted with internal and external warmth, and free dilution, often act with considerable energy on the skin. it is, however, more used, along with other diaphoretics, to meet some coexisting indication, than merely with a view to promote perspiration. With its influence on the secretions it unites, in a considerable degree, the properties of a nervous stimulant, with less excitant effect on the circulation than most of the medicines belonging to that class, and therefore better adapted to cases in which there may be considerable febrile excitement. in the febrile diseases of children, and in those of a typhoid character in adults, there is often much functional nervous disorder, as restlessness, wakefulness, twitchings of the tendons, starting in sleep, mental irritation, fretfulness, etc., which sweet spirit of nitre, operating as a nervous stimulant, often very happily allays. in infants, especially, it will afford striking relief, and seems sometimes to ward off attacks of convulsions, when associated with the diaphoretic medicines employed in their febrile attacks. Even when convulsions occur, this medicine may be given in the intervals of the paroxysms with happy effects. it is most frequently associated with small doses of tartar emetic, and with the neutral mixture or effervescing draught. From thirty minims to a fluidrachm may be given every two or three hours to an adult, from ten to thirty drops to young children.
* The following is a good formula in certain cases of acute or subacute rheumatism, in which the disease lingers, after the activity of the symptoms is passed. Take of powdered opium, powdered ipecacuanha, each, six grains; powdered nitrate "Of potassa two drachms; powdered guaiac three drachms. Mix well together, and divide into twelve powders. Give one every four hours.