The Sedative Effect of Calomel in Large Doses.—In an interesting little book, entitled “Rough Notes on Remedies,” Dr. Wm. Murray, of Newcastle, draws attention to the danger of forgetting some of our old friends amid the host of new remedies. Speaking of calomel he instances the great sedative value of this drug in large doses and the good effects which follow the administration of ten grains at the outset of delirium tremens occurring in a robust subject. Such was the practice, he tells us, of the late Mr. Sep. Rayne. He farther gives his own experience of the beneficial action of large doses of calomel in states of maniacal excitement: thus, in one case, an epileptic, suffering from acute mania, having first by a little manóuvring got the patient sufficiently under chloroform, he administered 30 grains of calomel to him. On returning in two hours he found the patient “on the night commode, perfectly subdued, very limp and nauseated. After much profuse purging and vomiting he became as quiet as a child and fell into a sound sleep, to awake in a perfectly calm frame of mind.” In another case “the patient was a man of immense strength, and naturally of a ferocious disposition;” he was in a state of acute mania, and though secured hand and foot could scarcely be approached, having bitten his attendants severely. Dr. Wm. Murray contrived to throw a towel saturated with chloroform over the patient's head and to maintain it there until the man was unconscious. He then administered a teaspoonful of calomel, which proved to be about 80 grains. The patient became “nauseated, subdued, and occupied by his own internal sensations, and ere long his fury entirely left him.” The patient was then removed to an asylum and made a good recovery. Dr. Murray thinks that the “nausea peculiar to calomel” is most valuable in these cases, also that the action upon the disordered secretions generally present in these cases is most beneficial. These are the remarks of a practical man.
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