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PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS OF ZINC

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 984 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS OF ZINC COMPOUNDS Zinc chloride is a powerful caustic, and is prepared with plaster of Paris in the form of sticks for destroying warts, &c. Its use for this purpose at the present day is, however, very rare, the knife or galvanocautery being preferred in most cases. The salt is a corrosive irritant poison when taken internally. The treatment is to wash out the stomach or give such an emetic as apomorphine, and, when the stomach has been emptied, to administer demulcents such as white of egg or mucilage. Numerous other salts of zinc, used in medicine, are of value as containing this metal. Certain others are referred to in relation with the important radicle contained in the salt. Those treated here are the sulphate, oxide, carbonate, oleate and acetate. All these salts are mild astringents when applied externally; as they coagulate the albumen of the tissues and of any discharge which may be present. In virtue of this property they are also mild haemostatics, tending to coagulate the albumens of the blood and thereby to arrest haemorrhage. Lotio Rubra, the familiar " Red Lotion," a solution of zinc sulphate, is widely used in many catarrhal inflammations, as of the ear, urethra, conjunctiva, &c. There are also innumerable ointments. These salts have been extensively employed internally, and indeed they are still largely employed in the treatment of the more severe and difficult cases of nervous disease. The sulphate is an excellent emetic in cases of poisoning, acting rapidly and without much nausea or depression. For these reasons it may also be given with advantage to children suffering from acute bronchitis or acute laryngitis.
End of Article: PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS OF ZINC
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