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.
Oil of turpentine has been so fully considered in all its medicinal relations, that nothing more is necessary here than to treat of its character as a vermifuge. Until the introduction of koosso into use, this medicine stood at the very head of the remedies employed against the tapeworm, and is still second only to that anthelmintic. As a general vermifuge, it is among the most effectual; and may be given, with good hope of advantage, in any case of worms, in which it may not be contraindicated by the state of the system. in the roundworm, however, it is probably inferior in efficiency to several others in habitual use, as spigelia, and American and European wormseed.
But even in this variety of worm, it seems to be peculiarly efficacious, when, as sometimes happens, the animal finds its way into the stomach. The late Dr. Joseph Klapp, of Philadelphia, first, I believe, called attention to this application of the oil, and I have had occasion to confirm his observations in regard to it. The medicine here comes into action against the worm with its full force, without having previously been diminished by absorption, or impaired in activity by dilution in its passage through the bowels. it must not, however, be expected that the worm should always be discovered in the evacuations. if killed in the stomach, it would undergo digestion, like any other dead animal matter.
In the treatment of ordinary worms, it may be used in moderate doses; but for the tapeworm, much larger quantities are required than medical men are in the habit of using for other purposes. Yet they seem to be very well borne by the system, and I have never personally known any evil effects accrue from them. For the phenomena resulting from these large doses, the reader is referred to the article on oil of turpentine as an arterial stimulant. Of its relative efficiency, independently of the general results of experience, we have the evidence of Dr. Küchenmeister's experiments, who found the oil to destroy the tapeworm in from an hour to an hour and a half, while three hours or more were required by the ethereal extract of fern, and the bark of pomegranate root. (Arch. Gén., 4e sér., xxix. 205.) Very often the worm, or a part of it, comes away in two or three hours, with the first cathartic operation of the oil. if the first trial should not succeed, or should be partial only in its effects, it may be repeated in the course of a few days, with an increase of the dose, until the outside limits are attained to which it may be safe to go.
For the roundworm, or long threadworm, a fluidrachm may be given twice or three times a day to an adult; from five to twenty drops to a child, according to its age, from one to six years. After three or four days, a dose of castor oil should be given, or, in children, a purgative dose of calomel. For the small threadworm, or seatworm, the oil should be administered by enema; at least two fluidounces being employed at one time, made into an emulsion with eight fluidounces of water, by the intervention of mucilage, or the yolk of one or two eggs. For the tapeworm, from half a fluidounce to two fluidounces should be given at once by the mouth, followed, if it do not act on the bowels in two hours, by a full dose of castor oil. Some recommend the simultaneous administration of castor oil; but I doubt the expediency of this plan; as the oil of turpentine, for full effect, should be left for an hour or two in contact with the worms. it is affirmed that much smaller doses of the oil, as one or two fluidrachms, for example, taken morning and evening for several days, have proved equally effectual. But the probability is that, in these doses, more inconvenience would be experienced from the absorption of the oil, than from a full purgative dose given at once.
The oil may be exhibited dropped on sugar, or in emulsion with mucilage or the yolk of eggs and some aromatic water, or simply floating in water, flavoured or not as the patient may desire. Sometimes it is drank from the glass, without dilution.