back Antimonium Tartaricum

Synonym. - Tartrate of Antimony and Potash.

Common name. - Tartar Emetic.

Preparation. - Alcoholic dilutions from a watery solution, or triturations of the pure crude tartar emetic.

 

Acts directly upon the nerve centers at base of the brain and in the medulla oblongata;  through these Tartar Emetic exerts its power on the mucous membranes of the stomach, lungs and liver, at the same time through the pneumogastric nerve, depressing in a remarkable degree the circulatory and respiratory systems.  On the mucous membranes we have catarrhal inflammation established, or as another result of the drug's action we may have a pustular inflammation.  This latter condition also extends itself to the cutaneous tissues, giving rise to a condition closely simulating that of variola.  The drug promotes a rapid waste of tissue.  The most essential characteristic of Tartar Emetic is the large accumulation of mucus in the chest, causing much rattling especially in children, with vomiting and drowsiness.

 

Mind.- Furious delirium, talking to himself. Bad humor, apprehensive; restless; anxiety. Wild gaiety.

Head.- Headache as from a band compressing the forehead (Gels., Nitr. ac, Merc, Sulph.). Intoxicated condition as from wine. Confusion in head mornings; feels as if he ought to sleep. Heaviness, on lifting head from pillow (Cact.). Pressive pains in the forehead, stitching extending downward into left eye.  Throbbing in the right side of forehead.  Painful drawing in the right side of temple, extending down to the zygoma and upper jaw. Trembling of the head, particularly when coughing.

Eyes. - Obscuration of sight; flickering before the eyes, worse on rising from a seat.  Eyes bloodshot. Weak eyes.  Eyes feel so tired that they would close.  Inclination to press the eyes tightly together.

Nose. - Sneezing, fluent coryza, and chilliness, with loss of taste and smell (Puls.).  Stupefying tension across the root of the nose, as from a band. (Ars., Camph., Verat. alb.).

Face. - Pale, sunken face (Ars., Carb. v., Verat. alb.); bluish.  oTearing pains in whole side of face, even into the head and neck.  Lips dry and scurfy, or cracked (Ars.).

Mouth. - Tongue covered with a thick, white, pasty coat; red in streaks, very red, dry in middle (Rhus tox.).  Difficult, even painful, to move the tongue.

Throat. - Sharp pain in the throat.  Swallowing difficult and painful.

Stomach. - Desire for acids (Ant. crud., Cinch.);  for apples, with increased thirst.  Entire absence of thirst (Apis, Nux m., Puls.).  Empty eructations at night, as from foul eggs (Agar., Arn., Psor., Sep.).

Qualmishness in stomach after dinner.  Nausea, causing anxiety, with slight pressure in pit of stomach, followed by headache in forehead; incessant, with vomiting, the whole night.

Vomiting with great effort; intense and long lasting (Ipec), till he becomes faint;  followed by languor, drowsiness (Ailanth., Nux m.), and loathing, with headache and trembling of the hands (Plat.). Fullness and heaviness in stomach.

Abdomen.- Abdomen feels as if stuffed full of stones, though he has eaten nothing, and it does not feel hard.  Sharp, cutting colic before stool (Coloc, Merc).  Meteorisrn of the abdomen. (Phos. ac).

Stool and Anus.- Watery, slimy, bloody diarrhoea.  Diarrhoea and vomiting (Ipec).  Very offensive diarrhoeic stools.

Urinary Organs.- Burning in the urethra during and after urination (Canth., Can. sat.).  Urging to urinate; scanty discharge; last drops bloody, accompanied by violent pains in the bladder.  Urine dark, brownish red, turbid (Chel.), with strong odor (Benz. ac, Nit. ac).

Respiratory Organs.- Respiration short, rapid, heavy, anxious, difficult ; must be supported in a sitting posture in bed (Acon., Ars.); at 3 a.m.; in the evening; better from cough and expectoration. Suffocated and oppressed; cannot get air; has to sit up in bed (Acon., Ars., Samb.).  Shortness of breath from suppressed expectoration.  Oppression of breathing, relieved by expectoration.

Short cough, with a shrill sound.  Cough compels the patient to sit up; is moist and rattling, but no expectoration.  Cough grows less frequent; patient shows signs of "carbonized blood. "

Much rattling of mucus in the chest (Ipec, Phos., Senega., Stan.). Chest seems full of phlegm without ability to expectorate.  Anxious, with oppression of the chest and rising of warmth to the heart; constriction of the chest.

Coughing and gaping (Op.) consecutively, particularly children with crying or dozing, and twitching in the face.  oThe child always coughs on getting angry.

Heart and Pulse.- Palpitation of the heart (Acon., Ars., Cact., Calc. c, Spig., Sulph.).  Pulse rapid, weak, trembling. Oppression of the heart.  Pulse full and slow (Can. ind., Digit.), or contracted and hardly perceptible (Acon.).  Great praecordial anxiety, with vomiting of mucus and bile.

Back.- oViolent pain in the sacro-lumbar region; the slightest-effort to move causes retching and cold, clammy sweat.  Lumbago.  Pain as from weakness, better after eating and while sitting.  oThe vertebrae feels as if rubbed against each other.

Limbs.- Insensibility and coldness of the limbs.  Weakness in all the limbs.

Upper Limbs. - Trembling of the hands (Agar.).

Lower Limbs.- Tension in the hamstrings on walking (Amm. mur.), in evening (Rhus tox.).  Feet "go to sleep" immediately after sitting down (Sec. c.).

Generalities.- Trembling; whole body (Physos.); internal; head and hands. Child wants to be carried (Cham.); cries if touched (Ant. crud.); will not let you feel the pulse.   Convulsions and tetanic spasms.  Excessive restlessness (Acon., Ars., Rhus tox.).  Great weakness and lassitude; faintness.  Great prostration and sluggishness of the body.  Throbbing and pulsating in all the vessels of the body.

Skin. - Thick eruptions like pocks; often pustular; as large as a pea.  oRed areolae. Vesicular eruptions over the whole body. Pustular eruption leaves bluish-red marks on face; also similar eruptions on genitals, thighs, etc.;  painful.

Sleep. - Great sleepiness (Apis); irresistible inclination to sleep (Nux m.);  yawning.  Shocks and jerks during sleep.  Trembling during sleep, and drawing up of arms and feet.

Fever. - Trembling and chilliness over the whole body.  Unusual heat of the whole body.  Cold, clammy sweat over the whole body.  Profuse sweat all over;  frequently cold and clammy.

Compare.- Ars., Ant. crud., Cham., Digit., Ign., Kali b., Ipec., Lob., Nux v., Phos., Tabac, Verat. vir., Sec. c.

Antidotes.- Asaf., Cinch., Coccul., Ipec.Lach., Op., Puis., Sep. To large doses: Cinch., Ipec.

 

THERAPEUTICS. The chief sphere of usefulness of Tartar Emetic is in the treatment of catarrhal inflammations of the respiratory tract, more especially the capillary bronchitis of children, characterized by much rattling of mucus in the chest, oppressed breathing, rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting and drowsiness.  Sometimes this accumulation of mucus in the chest threatens suffocation, and cyanotic symptoms become manifest.  In all cases the patient is at once relieved if it succeeds in expectorating, or if vomiting occur.  In all respiratory troubles where there is much rattling in the chest, catarrhal colds, incipient bronchitis, croup, whooping cough, asthma, broncho-pneumonia, pleuro-pneumonia, etc., Tartar Emetic is the chief remedy.  A valuable clinical observation in such cases is that the child always coughs on getting angry.   In catarrhal pneumonia of old people, where there is a great accumulation of mucus, and but little or no expectoration, great debility, cold perspiration, and threatened paralysis of the lungs, Tartar Emetic is an invaluable remedy.  In oedema of the lungs with dilated heart, characterized by great dyspnoea and cyanosis, it is often an excellent remedy.  In asphyxia neonatorum, Tartar Emetic is useful where there is much rattling in the chest and cyanosis. Also in the spasms of young children accompanied by cyanotic symptoms, etc. Tartar Emetic is useful in gastric and enteric catarrh.  In the former there is continual nausea and vomiting, or efforts to vomit, cold perspiration, great prostration, etc.  In enteric catarrh the same symptoms may be present accompanied by sharp cutting colic and watery or grass-green, slimy stools.  Tartar Emetic has also been used in lumbago and sciatica, the symptoms agreeing.  On account of the similarity of the pustules produced by this drug to that of small-pox it has been successfully employed in that disease, especially in adynamic types, and where other symptoms of the drug are present. It has also been used in varicella and for pustular eruptions on the skin and mucous membranes in general.


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