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. General Analysis 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 stimulating 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. Characteristic Symptoms Mind Furious delirium, talking to himself. Bad humor; apprehensive; restless; anxiety. Wild gaiety. Head Headache as from a band compressing the forehead. (Gelsemium, Nitr. ac., Mercurius, Sulphur). 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 c For many years Anthracinum has proved a successful remedy in the treatment of inflammations, carbuncles, and malignant ulcers. Also in boils and in all inflammation of connective tissue in which a purulent focus is present. Haemorrhages, black, thick, tar-like, rapidly decomposing, from any orifice. Glands swollen, cellular tissues oedematous and indurated. Septicaemia. Ulceration, sloughing and intolerable burning. Erysipelas. Black and blue blisters. Dissecting wounds. Insect stings. Bad effects from inhaling foul odors. Gangrenous Parotitis. Compare Arsenicum, Pyrogen, Lachesis, Crot., and Echinacea.
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. Some- times 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.