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The actions of drugs

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Pages: 182

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Torald Hermann Sollmann

Excerpt from book: Uses of Caustics.—Caustics are sometimes, but rarely, used to produce severe counter-irritation. More commonly they serve for the removal of abnormal tissue growths—warts, polypi, cancer, etc. Their use against cancer is not to be advised, since they generally fail to destroy it completely, in which case it is apt to recur with greater virulence. It will then be too late to adopt operative procedures. When swallowed, the caustics produce very violent symptoms, which will be discussed presently. EMOLLIENTS AND DEMULCENTS Irritation or inflammation, as we have seen, is a departure from normal, a pathological condition, or disease. As such, it may be induced intentionally for correcting other diseased conditions: on the other hand, it may itself require treatment. This may be accomplished in some cases, particularly those of long standing, by modifying the type of inflammation through a special class of irritants, called astringents, which we will consider presently. In acute cases the treatment consists in protection by fatty, oily or gummy substances. These,. by forming a difficultly permeable covering or pellicle over the inflamed surface, tend to exclude external irritants. The same object may be accomplished by the use of indifferent dusting powders, such as talcum, lycopodium, and the basic bismuth salts. The latter, however, also have antiseptic, astringent and stimulant properties. The character of the protective substances must vary somewhat, according to whether they are to be applied to the skin or to mucous surfaces. The skin requires fluids which do not dry readily, such as the oils, fats and unguents. Since these also soften the skin, they are calledemollients (to soften). Internally this is not so essential, and the gummy substances are more suitable, si...  

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