This section is from the "Elixirs And Flavoring Extracts. Their History, Formulae, & Methods of Preparation" book, by John Uri Lloyd. Also available from Amazon: Elixirs and flavoring extracts,: Their history, formulae, and methods of preparation;
This preparation has for several years enjoyed quite a reputation, and is still a favorite with many physicians. The original "McMunn's elixir," a proprietary preparation, was a denarcotized solution of opium. In connection with the history of this elixir, we find that Mr. Augustine Duhamel contributed to the American Journal of Pharmacy, 1846, as follows:
"A preparation much in vogue at the present time, and known as McMunn's elixir of opium, is supposed to be a solution of meconate of morphine, obtained from a cold infusion of opium, to which wine has been added in sufficient quantity to insure its preservation."
In 1851 Mr. Eugene Dupuy, of New York, in a communication to the same journal, proposed as a substitute for McMunn's elixir an aqueous solution of opium preserved with alcohol. Afterward (1864) the Medical and Surgical Recorder, of Philadelphia, published what we have every reason to suppose is the authentic formula. This was found among the effects of the late Dr. J. R. Chilton, who stated that he obtained it from Dr. John B. McMunn, the originator of the elixir. The process may be summarized as follows:
Exhaust gum opium with successive macerations in sulphuric ether. After the final decantation of the ether, boil the opium in water until all odor of sulphuric ether has disappeared, and then strain the solution, permit it to settle, decant the clear liquid, and add rather more than its bulk of alcohol.
It will be observed that the foregoing process produces simply a solution of opium from which the narcotine and opium odor have been removed by means of previous maceration with sulphuric ether, and the officinal (18883) deodorized tincture of opium may be considered a substitute.