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SPEC. VIII.

Rabies.

Medical

Third intention.

ous and

Gen. I. at times with tolerable ease : the spastic action ran to a Entasia

greater extent over the muscular system than usual, so as Lyssa. at one time to produce emprosthotonus, and the patient

did not expire till at least a week after the attack : all treatment which are very unusual symptoms in lyssa, and have sel

dom, if ever, been combined in the same individual. Fourth in- In lyssa, however, the nervous system appears to be tention : to that which is by far the most severely tried, and to which allay nerv

the disease may be most distinctly referred. And hence spasmodic it is not to be wondered at that antispasmodics and sedairregularities by an em

tives should also have been had recourse to very extenployment of sively, and obtained a very general suffrage. In effect, antispasmodics and se whatever benefit in this disease has at any time been dedatives,

rived from ammonia, camphor, or cold-bathing, it is more easy to resolve their palliative or remedial power into the principle of their being active antispasmodics, than to any other mode of action. The more direct antispasmodics and sedatives, however, employed in this malady were musk, opium, bella-donna, nux vomica, and stramonium.

The last has been chiefly tried in India, where three drachms and a half of the leaves infused in a very large portion of water or other common drink, and swallowed daily for three days in succession after the bite, was, at

one time, a very approved and popular remedy. Musk : Musk, opium, and belladonna, however, are the anti

spasmodics which have been chiefly depended upon in Europe. They have sometimes been given in very large doses alone, but more generally in union with other medicines. Cullen seems doubtful of the powers of either, apparently from not having had sufficient opportunities of witnessing the disease, and their effects upon it, and hence refers us, in both instances, without venturing upon any decisive opi

nion of his own, “ to the labours of the learned and induslittle de trious Societé Royale of Paris, who have taken much pendence to pains, and employed the most proper means for ascertainbe placed on

ing the practice in this disease.”* With respect to musk he admits, however, that Dr. Johnston has given us two

Stramonium,

either.

* Materia Medica, Vol. 11. p. 252.380.

efficacious

facts that are very much in favour of its power : and “I Gen. I. have”, says he,“ been informed of an instance in this se

Entasia country, of some large doses of musk having proved a cure Lyssa.

Rabies. after symptoms of hydrophobia had come on.”* Hilary

Medical says, “ in these cases it acts as a sudorific”; and Gmelin treatment.

Fourth regarded it as a specific antidote f.

intention. Opium, in like manner, when employed alone, was given Opium not in large doses, and we have numerous cases on record in much more which this, like the preceding medicines, is said to have thacamous operated a cure. But unfortunately neither musk nor opium, in whatever quantity employed, have been found successful in general practice. Tode more especially has pointed out the inefficiency of the former, in the largest doses referred to s; and Raymond has confirmed his remarks ||. But a late experiment of Professor Dupuytren of the Hotel-Dieu, has given a still more striking and incontrovertible proof of its utter inefficacy, if not in all cases of the disease, in certain states and circumstances. Surlu, a man aged twenty-four, had been bitten by a dog Striking in

stance of its sufficiently proved to be mad, had been cauterized imme- eft diately afterwards, and been discharged as supposed to be troduction cured. In about a month from the time of the bite, he mutation.co. was attacked with rabies in its severest symptoms, and conveyed to the hospital. Opium was the medicine determined upon, and as the constriction of the throat prevented it from being given by the mouth, a gummy solution was injected into the veins, for which the saphæna and cephalic were alternately made use of. Two grains of the extract were in this manner thrown in, and the patient was in some degree tranquillized for an hour or two: the dose was doubled towards the evening of the same day. It was repeated at intervals, and at length increased to eight grains at a time. The relief it afforded, however, was never more than temporary: and he expired

C

* Materia Medica, Vol. II. p. 252. 380.

+ Diss. de specifico antidoto novo adversus effectus morsû canis rabidi. Tub. 1750.

Dantzic, Gazette de Santé, 1777. p. 51. § Annalen, IX. p. 33. || Med. Observ. and Inquiries, Vol. v. VOL. IV.

D D

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Rabies,

treatment. Fourth

doses com

; on the fifth day from the incursion * M. Trolliet used Spec. VIIL. Entasia it freely in the form of pills, in combination with bellaLyssa. ".

donna. But in no instance had he reason to boast of Medical his success, though he gave, in some cases, twenty-seven

grains of opium, and nine of the extract of belladonna intention in the course of twenty-four hours. Professor Brera emBelladonna ployed the bella-donna, but united it with mercury instead in large

of with opium: his doses were carried gradually to a great bined with extent, insomuch that the patients at length took the mercury.

powdered root of the belladonna, to the amount of three drachms a day; and in about forty-four or forty-six days, swallowed seven ounces and a half of this drug, and ten grains of corrosive sublimate, besides rubbing in some ounces of mercurial ointment t. The object was to keep the system, as much as possible, under the influence of mercury, evidenced by ptyalism, and of the narcotic effects

of belladonna, so long as the combination was continued. Useful as a As a preventive it seems to have been successful; though preventive.

several of the patients appear to have advanced to the first symptoms of acute affection, having had some degree of water-dread, and recurring irritation in the bitten parts, the disease did not proceed beyond these initiary steps. But we have no proof of success from this plan after the pa

thognomic signs had shown themselves. The warm-bath opium and musk when

was also combined with the above practice. In like mancombined, ner musk, opium, and belladonna, have been all united; and united

and sometimes combined with camphor, oil of amber, inunction with olive oil 1, or bleeding. Musk was also at one time very generally combined with cinnabar, and in this form supposed to be peculiarly efficacious. The

famous powder employed by the natives of Tonquin, and Tonquin introduced into this country by Mr. Cobb, on which acpowder or pulvis

count it was called pulvis Cobbii or Tunguinensis, conCobbii. sisted of sixteen grains of musk with forty-eight grains of

cinnabar, mixed in a gill of arrack. This, taken at a

. Orfila, Traité sur les Poisons, &c.
+ Mem. Soc. Ital. Scienz, Modena. Tom. XVII. . '

| Vater, Pr. de Olei Olivarum efficaciâ contra morsum canis rabiosi, experimento Dresdæ facto, adstructâ, Viteb. 1750.

Trials of

with other means.

Entasia

Medical

Fourth intention.

ions.

dose, is said to have thrown the patient into a sound sleep Gen. I. and perspiration in the course of two or three hours; and

bi Spec. VIII. where it did not, the dose was repeated till such effect Lyssa.

Rabies. was produced. And this medicine also was regarded as a specific during the short career of its triumph, and a cure treatment. was commonly supposed to follow the administration of the medicine.

The sedative power of several of the preparations of Arsenical arsenic, however, had perhaps a fairer pretension than pre any of these, and especially as, like mercury, it has for ages been employed with decided benefit in Asia, in the case of syphilis. Agricola mentions its use in his day *, but the forms in which it was then employed were rude and incommodious, and they do not appear to have been followed with much success. It is to be regretted, however, that even in the elegant and manageable form of Dr. Fowler's solution, it has not been found to be more efficacious. It has of late years been tried internally in various cases, and particularly with great skill, and in full doses, by Dr. Marcet, but in every trial it has disappointed our hopes. Applied ,externally, as a preventive, to the bitten parts, Dr. Linke, of Jena, thinks he has succeeded. But as his trials were made on dogs inoculated from the froth of rabid animals after death, no dependence can be placed on them,

Under this head I may also observe that the Prussic Prussic acid. acid has occasionally been had recourse to, but without any apparent benefit. In the form of the distilled water of the prunus Lauro-cerasus, it was not long since made a subject of experiment at Paris by M. Dupuytren, who injected this fluid into the veins of various dogs, and appears to have done so in one instance into those of a man: but in every case without effecting a cure.

There are two or three other remedies which it is diffi- Anomalous cult to arrange, but which have also acquired a consider- te able celebrity in the cure of lyssa ; and hence it is necessary to notice them.

remedies :

• Comment, in Popp. p. 64.

treatment,

alkaline.

Genl. The first is the Ormskirk medicine, so called from its
Spec. VIII.
Entasia preparer, Mr. Hill of Ormskirk, supposed, for the inven-
Lyssa.

tor could not be prevailed upon to publish his secret, to Rabies. Medical consist of the following materials : powder of chalk, half

an ounce; armenian bole, three drachms; alum, ten grains; Fourth intention. powder of elecampane root, one drachm ; oil of anise, six Anomalous drops. The single dose thus compounded, is to be taken remedies.

every morning for six times in a glass of water, with a Ormskirk medicine:

small proportion of fresh milk. If this be the real formula, and the analysis of Dr. Black concurred with that of Dr. Heysham, in determining it to be so, the inventor seems to have contemplated the specific virus to be an

acid, for the basis of this preparation is unquestionably its basis an alkaline earth. And with regard to its occasional effi

cacy, the latter writer, following the general current of opinion of the day, informs us that this has been so thoroughly established by experience, that there can be no room to doubt it. Dr. Heysham himself, however, admits of various cases in which it failed, while in many instances his successful ones do not afford proofs of an existence of the genuine disease*.

The second of the anomalous remedies I have just referred to, might possibly have been introduced under the head of the common antidotes for the bites of venomous animals; but as it has reputed powers in some degree peculiar to itself, it is best to notice it separately. This

is the alyssum, or alysma Plantago (madwort plantain), madwort.

of established reputation in America as a specific for the bite of the rattle-snake, where it seems to rival the imprescriptible claims of the ophiorrhiza Mungos, though its juice is generally given in combination with that of the common horehound-an addition that certainly does not promise much accession to its strength.

This species of alyssum has for some ages been a popular remedy for canine madness, especially in the north of Europe: and in a late communication to Sir Walter Farquhar in the Russian tongue, translated and pub

Alyssum or

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