Chapter 28 - Medicinals A - Z

28.24 Z

Zinc. Several preparations of this metal are used in medicine, as follows :

Acetate of Zinc (Zinci Acetas). This is used as an external remedy only, generally as an astringent wash for inflammations of the eye, and as an injection in gonorrhea, but only after the acute stage of these diseases has past. The strength of these solutions generally should be one or two grains to a fluid ounce of soft water.

Chloride of Zinc (Zinci Chloridum). This is a powerful escharotic, and is employed as an external application to cancers and obstinate ulcers. A weak solution of it is occasionally employed in old chronic gleet, also in whites and purulent discharge from the neck of the womb.

Iodide of Zinc (Zinci Iodidum). This is in the form of white needles, and is tonic and astringent. It is not much used, except externally, being applied in a solution of twenty grains to a fluid ounce of water, to enlarged tonsils, by means of a camel's hair pencil or a piece of sponge tied to the end of a stick.

Oxide of Zinc (Zinci Oxidum). This is an inodorous white powder, insoluble in water and alcohol. It is tonic and antispasmodic, and is given in chorea, epilepsy, whooping cough, and other similar diseases; but it is more especially employed to arrest the night sweats of consumption, for which purpose we have at present no other article of equal efficacy. It is sprinkled externally upon excoriated surfaces, and is used in ointments. Dose, from two to five grains, in the form of pill.

Precipitated Carbonate of Zinc (Zinci Carbonas Preecipitas.) This is employed for the same purpose as prepared calamine, being adapted only to external use. Prepared Calamine (Calamina Preoparata). This is in the form of a pinkish or flesh colored powder, of an earthy appearance. It is employed only as an external application, being dusted on excoriations and superficial ulcerations, as a mild astringent. It should be a very fine powder.

Sulphate of Zinc (Zinci Sulphas). This is a colorless, transparent salt crystallizing usually in small four sided prisms. It is tonic and astringent, and in large doses, a prompt emetic. Used as a tonic in cases of debility attended with irritation. In obstinate intermit, tents, it is sometimes conjoined with sulphate of quinia; it is chiefly employed, however, in such spasmodic diseases as epilepsy, chorea and whooping cough. As an astringent, it is used externally, being applied in solution to bleeding surfaces, as a wash in ophthalmia, and as an injection in whites and chronic gonorrhea.

Valerianate of Zinc (Zinci VaZerianas). This is in white, pearly scales, with a faint odor of valerianic acid. It is tonic 'and antispasmodic, and is used in the various nervous affections which accompany chlorosis. Dose, one or two grains, several times a day, in the form of a pill. Vaseline (Petrolatum). This is a transparent, fat like substance, obtained in the distillation of crude petroleum. It is very extensively used in the domestic materia medica, in the treatment of colds and many other ailments. Its efficacy has been, however, much overrated, its chief utility being that of a neutral, simple unguent, and as a vehicle for the application of more active remedies, for which purpose it is preferable to the animal fats generally employed.

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