A very harsh drug in its effects upon the human body, unless it be given in very small doses. Other emetics are always to be preferred when vomiting is to be produced. Its greatest value is in small doses as a sedative and expectorant in highly inflammatory cases of pneumonia or acute bronchitis. From one-sixteenth to one-fourth of a grain for an adult will be enough, every two or three hours. For children, tartar emetic is too prostrating to be used unless for quite exceptional reasons. Coxe's hive syrup, formerly a common medicine for croup, should be excluded from the family medicine-chest, on account of its containing tartar emetic. Antimonial wine is open to the same objection; wine of ipecac, is similar in effect, but much safer.

Tartar emetic ointment is occasionally employed as a powerful counter-irritant, applied to the chest or spine. It causes a sore pustular eruption, more severe even than that made by croton oil used in the same way.