(See also Gypsum.)

Therapeutic Grouping of Medicinal Plasters

The vehicle for medicated plasters requires some other attribute than simply adhesiveness. From a study of the therapy of plasters they may be put in three groups, similarly to the ointments with reference to their general therapeutic uses, which also governs the selection of the respective vehicles.


Epidermatic: Supportive, protective, antiseptic, counter-irritant, vesicant. Vehicle: Rubber or any suitable adhesive. Official plasters: Emp. adhesivum, E. capsici.


Endermatic: Anodyne, astringent, alterative, resolvent, sedative, stimulant. Vehicle: Oleates or lead plaster, sometimes with rosins or gum rosins. Official plasters: Emp. Belladonnę, E. opii, E. plumbi, E. saponis.


Diadermatic: For constitutional or systemic effects. Vehicle: Lanolin or plaster-mull. Official plasters: Emp. hydrargyri.

Methods of Preparing Rubber Plasters

Mechanic Roller Pressure Method. —This method of incorporating the rubber with certain substances to give it the necessary body to serve as a vehicle is at present the only one employed. But since it requires the use of the heaviest machinery—some of the apparatus weighing many tons—and enormous steam power, its application for pharmaceutical purposes is out of the question.

As is well known, the process consists in: 1. Purification of the rubber by mascerating and pressing it and removing foreign impurities by elutriating it with water. 2. Forming a homogeneous mass of the dried purified rubber by working it on heated revolving rollers and incorporating sufficient quantities of orris powder and oleoresins. 3. Incorporating the medicinal agent, i. e., belladonna extract, with the rubber mass by working it on warmed revolving rollers. 4. Spreading the prepared plaster.

Solution in Volatile Solvents

This process has been recommended from time to time, the principal objection being the use of so relatively large quantities of inflammable solvents.

The German Pharmacopoeia Method

The following is the formula of "Arzę neibuch für das Deutsche Reich," 1900: Emplastrum adhesivum: Lead plaster, waterfree, 40 parts; petrolatum, 2.5 parts; liquid petrolatum, 2.5 parts, are melted together, and to the mixture add rosin, 35 parts; dammar, 10 parts, previously melted. To the warm mixture is added caoutchouc, 10 parts; dissolved in benzine, 75 parts, and the mixture stirred on the water-bath until all the benzine is lost by evaporation.

The Coleplastrum adhesivum of the Austrian Society is still more complex, the formula containing the following: Rosin oil, empyreumatic, 150 parts; copaiba, 100 parts; rosin, 100 parts; lard, 50 parts; wax, 30 parts; dissolved in ether, 1,200 parts, in which caoutchouc, 250 parts, has been previously dissolved; to this is then added offis powder, 220 parts; sandarac, 50 parts; ether, 400 parts. The mixture, when uniform, is spread on cloth.