Fluoric acid. (HFI). Dilutions. The lower dilutions are prepared with water and must be kept in gutta-percha bottles on account of the corrosive action of HFI on glass.
FLUORIC ACID is an exceedingly powerful caustic and destroys the mucous membranes whenever it comes in contact with them.
Experiments have made on mammals with the fluorides, especially with sodium fluoride, and the symptoms elicited may be taken to be mainly due to the fluoric acid in the compound.
The first symptoms are lachrymation, increase of saliva and quickening and deepening of respiration followed by weakness and sleepiness. fibrillary trembling of the muscles supervenes with occasional twitches, general convulsions follow, with profound coma in the intervals between them. Respiration finally cases during a convulsion, while the heart continues to beat for some time longer. The respiratory centre seems to be first stimulated and then paralysed.
The fluorides absorbed are excreted by the urine very slowly and a large proportion of them are stored in the body, in the liver and skin and, above all, in the bones, where they are deposited as calcium fluoride, crystals of which are found in masses in the Haversian canals and increase the hardness and the brittleness of the bones.
It has been observed that workers in certain departments of glass factories seem to be immune from tuberculosis, owing it is thought to a small amount of fluoric acid being present in the atmosphere. Prolonged administration of fluoric acid in small quantities affects the teeth and gums, destroying the enamel of the former and making the later spongy.
Of fluoric acid in the human subject produced in the head a feeling as if apoplexy were coming on, a determination of blood to the head, with sensation of fulness going on to pain of a dull heavy character. All parts of the head were affected but chiefly the forehead, temporal regions and the occiput.
The mind was affected in a peculiar way; one prover experienced ungovernable rage, but only in thought, it did not issue in corresponding action; another felt very irritable towards people, even to hatred and spoken abuse, but on meeting them felt quite different. There was a disposition towards disgusting imaginations caused by fluoric acid, also an aversion to family and relations, and a generally discontented mood. On the other hand, increased buoyancy and courage were displayed by others.
Face, -Sparkling red photopsies occurred and itching of the eyelids with acrid lachrymation. The face became hot and there was a desire to bathe it with cold water; much pain occurred in both upper and lower jaws of a burning character, associated with numbness and sometimes jerking, and the same was felt in the nasal bones, the bones of the forehead and those of the orbits. A painful, spasmodic contraction in both joints of the jaw was a symptom.
Digestion-Fluoric and produced increase of saliva, prickling heat in the tongue, an acrid taste, and a greasy sensation in the mouth. With these were sore throat and hawking of much mucus mixed with blood, and great pain on swallowing. Nausea was present with aversion to coffee. In the abdomen occurred a sensation of warmth and pressing-down pain from the navel towards the bladder, with diarrhoea. When constipation occurred the evacuations were protracted, insufficient and lumpy.
The urine was in most cases increased in quantity, acrid and of pungent, offensive odour, while there was pain in the lower part of the bladder both before and after urination. There were drawing pains through the left testicle to the abdominal ring and spermatic cord.
In the respiratory system were experienced frequent attacks of coryza that came on suddenly and as suddenly disappeared, and also on oppression in the upper part of the chest, which was not relieved by deep inspiration but was better from bending the trunk backwards. Wheezing occurred and a cough that caused soreness in the larynx, which was very sensitive to touch. the circulation was poor and the extremities were cold except[ during fever.
In the limbs burning and pricking pains were universally caused, and with the pains numbness was often associated. The parts especially affected were the arms, wrists and fingers, where the pains seemed to be both in the bones and the soft parts and were often accompanied with itching an the formation of fine vesicles, There was sticking pain at the ends of the fingers and under the nails, which were deformed, furrowed longitudinally and very brittle. Both hands, especially the palms, were red and perspiring. There were severe pains in all the toes, and acrid perspiration between them caused excoriation. Another feature due to fluoric acid was that the right upper arm and shoulder felt bruised and numb on waking, though sleep had been on the other side trembling of groups of muscles was sometimes seen, the site of the trembling shifting from place to place.
Skin.-The itching vesicular eruption was not confined to the fingers but occurred on the face and all parts of the body and had a special affinity for old cicatrices, which became red and covered with small burning blisters that finally formed crusts. a similar formation of crusts on the forehead and scalp was produced. Itching alone without vesicles was often present. it occurred as a prickling itching on detached spots, mostly on the left side of the chest and thighs, and cicatrices itched independently of vesicles being formed on them. Another skin phenomenon wa the presence of small light red pimples over the abdomen, thighs and legs, on which a crust formed, and also carmine spots resembling little fleshy warts which were really enlarged capillaries raising the cuticle.
In the back were pains form the nape down the neck, a deep- seated pain below the level of the point of the shoulder blade more towards the left, and a prickling, burning, itching near the coccyx.
Sensations of heart predominated and with them a warm, acrid (sticky) offensive perspiration.
It will be seen from the above symptoms experienced by the provers that the chief action of fluoric acid is on the skin (including hair and nails) and bones and on tissues subjected to chronic irritation. It is a slowly acting remedy and is suitable for conditions of the system that result from long-standing disease such as old syphilitic cases or occur in old debauchees with broken-down constitutions. It has been found to be a valuable remedy for caries of the bones, especially the long bones, the bones of the face and the temporal bones and, in connection with the latter, for diseases of the middle ear when the ossicles are affected and there is chronic offensive otorrhoea.
It is useful for syphilitic ozaena when there is caries of the nasal bones, for secondary syphilis of the mouth and tongue, and for syphilitic rupia and chronic syphilitic liver complaints.
It helps old libertines with increased sexual desire and long-lasting erections at night preventing sleep, and enables them to regain their self-control. It is likewise serviceable in gonorrhoea when there is oedema of the prepuce (can.sat.) and much itching of the meatus.
Fluoric acid is one of the most valuable remedies, vying with silica, for fistulae whether rectal, dental, or lachrymal.
Fevers.-It is useful in chronic, long-continued fevers with little rise of temperature, but of nightly recurrence, which are accompanied by gastro-intestinal disturbances usually of a diarrhoeic character. In these febrile conditions the patient feels too hot, he has a sensation all over as though burning vapour were emitted from his body, the soles burn, he wants to put the feet out of bed or to find a cool place for them (Sulphur), the palms burn and perspire; fingers are inflamed; he is continually hungry (iod.), food relieves the hunger only for a short time; he desires pungent, highly-seasoned food, and is made worse by tea and coffee and alcoholic stimulants, especially by red wine. He craves cold water; drinking warm water upsets the stomach and brings on diarrhoea, with which there is intense itching of the anus and perinaeum. He has a great inclination to uncover and to wash himself with cold water.
In the chronic deep-seated complaints, for which fluoric acid is the remedy, some of the above symptoms are usually found, as well as certain others which are characteristic of it, such as a headache, which is relieved by micturition and becomes worse the longer that act is delayed; and the presence of warm, acrid sweats that are clammy and offensive, and occur principally on the upper part of the body and between the toes, where they cause excoriation. The nails are deformed, brittle and furrowed, the hair is matted and brittle, lacks lustre and falls out. It is a remedy for alopecia. The splinter sensation beneath the nails suggests its employment in whitlow, and it is very efficacious in that complaint. The teeth lose their enamel and become black and rough. The toothache, contrary to the general modality of fluoric acid, is made worse by drinking cold water. The tongue is deeply and widely fissured, and often has on its surface a central ulcer. Various indolent ulcers appear on the skin which itch and pile up crusts, especially old varicose ulcers. For varicose veins on the lower limbs fluoric acid is one of the principal remedies. The skin eruptions that indicate it consist of small isolated spots or vesicles, and there is much itching of the skin, or jerking, burning pains confined to small spots. Numbness occurs in various parts, and has the distinguishing feature of being worse on the parts not lain on. It has been founded useful for goitre. One great characteristic is that the patient has constantly an irresistible desire to walk in the open air and, broken down though he appears to be, the exercise does not fatigue. Mentally, he is given to reticence and silence, he feels angry and enraged, but does not express it outwardly. In other cases he feels unusual buoyancy, is self-satisfied and fears nothing. There is sometimes aversion to relatives and friends.
1) Desire for cold and the open air.
2) Desire for muscular exercise, especially walking, which does not fatigue.
3) Aversion to his wife and family.
4) Necrosis of bones.
5) Fistulae, varicose veins and ulcers, especially in multipara.
6) Old cicatrices become red and painful.
7) Constitutions broken down by disease, especially sexual diseases, and by mercury.
8) Suitable for some old-age diseases, and for patients, prematurely aged.
From warm weather, warm drinks, warm applications; warm rooms; after eating; wine, especially red wine; stimulants such a tea and coffee; sweets; delayed menstruation, defecation; urination; standing and sitting.
From cool open air, cold drinks (except toothache), cold bathing, walking and muscular exercise, bending backwards (oppression of chest); urinating (headache).