(From to pour out). A drop; alunsel. Drops are an uncertain form of administering medicines; and, where great exactness is necessary, they should not be prescribed. The shape of the bottle, or of its mouth, from whence the drops fall, as well as the consistence of the fluid, occasions a considerable difference in the quantity administered.
Gutta is also a name of the apoplexy, from a supposition that its cause was a drop of blood falling from the brain upon the heart.
Gutta gamba. See Gambogia. Gutta nigrae. The black drops, occasionally called the Lancashire or the Cheshire drops, is a secret preparation of opium, more active than the common tincture, and supposed to be less injurious, as seldom followed by headach. One drop of this medicine is equal to about two and a half of the tincture of opium. We are informed by Dr. Cassells, that there are two preparations in use undeivthis title. In the first, five ounces of purified opium, with pimento and cinnamon, of each two drachms; saffron and Seville orange peel, of each one drachm; are digested for a week in rectified spirit of wine, which is separated from the faeces by pressure. In the other, four ounces of opium are digested for three weeks in as many pints of the juice of quinces or verjuice, to which saffron, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, of each an ounce, are added, and the digestion continued another week. Neither appears to us the real preparation; but we shall resume the subject in another article. Vide Opium. Gutta opaca. See Cataracta. Gutta rosacea, according to Dr. Cullen, is synonymous with varus, and bacchia; and these are placed as varieties of the phlogosis phlegmone. It is sometimes called simply rosacea, from the little red drops, or fiery-tubercles, dispersed about the face and nose; rubedo maculosa, Ionthos, butiga, gutta rubea, ruonia, and rosea. Nicholaus Florentinus distinguishes three degrees of it, viz. 1. rubedo simplex, seu facies rubra; 2. pus-tuiosa; and, 3. ulcerosa.
The cause is supposed to be in the liver, and this idea is supported by observing, that often on the disappearance of fiery pimples in the face, an indurated liver and a dropsy follow; on the contrary, disorders of the liver are sometimes relieved by eruptions in the face, so that repellents should be carefully avoided. Whether it be the cause or effect of a diseased liver, those addicted to spirituous liquors are most subject to this complaint; but the most abstemious are sometimes affected with it, by suddenly drinking a draught of cold water when they are hot, or by any partial suppression of the perspiration. The disease is peculiarly obstinate, and often resists every attempt to relieve it; nor will the eruptions disappear till the constitution is completely ruined.
In general, a temperate regimen is proper; but if the patient is accustomed to generous diet, a sudden alteration is not advisable: violent exercise should be avoided; and the mind kept as calm as possible. Scarborough water is generally esteemed very useful; spirits, spices, and every thing but the mildest food, should be avoided.
Practical writers abound with variety of topical applications; but great caution is required in their use. The hydrargyrum nitratum, if cautiously employed, is sometimes safe, and is the medicine called the golden ointment.
Internally, mercurial deobstruents, with antimonials; saline, acidulous, and ferrugineous waters, are useful. The decoction of sarsaparilla, of mezereum, or of ether, with that of the elm bark, or the root of the water dock, adding as much of any neutral salt as will keep the bowels loose, are the best assistants of the mercurials and antimonials. See Heister's Surgery; Turner's Diseases of the Skin; Medical Observations and Inquiries, vol. i. p. 189.
Gutta serena. (See Amaurosis.) On recurring to this article, we perceive that we omitted to mention Mr. Ware's very ingenious remark, that it may be sometimes occasioned by a dilatation of the circulus arteriosus, that circle which surrounds the sella turcica, and which on the fore part passes over the optic nerve. The anterior arteries are branched from the carotid; but others rise soon after, which, passing backward, join the basilar artery, and form the posterior portion of the circle, which lies over the nervi motores oculorum. This cause probably produces the disease when it is accompanied by an inability of moving the upper eye lid; and we can easily suppose that it may affect the optic nerve, without producing any change on the motory nerves, as the larger portion of the blood may be carried off by the anastomosing branches of the basilar artery.
We need scarcely apologise for omitting the singular fancy of Richter, who attributes gutta serena to infarctcd viscera, and combats it by deobstruents and antispasmodics.