Excerpt from A Reference Handbook of the Medical Sciences, Vol. 4 of 8: Embracing the Entire Range of Scientific and Practical Medicine and Allied Science; Illustrated by Numerous Chromolithographs and Nine Hundred and Seventy-Seven Half-Tone and Wood Engravings
In regard to minor emetics to be used if others are not available, a number have long been in vogue, such as alum, sulphate of copper, carbonate of ammonia, etc. Many nauseating and acrid drugs readily cause vomiting. The further we get away from the stand ard emetics the more we encounter either sluggish or uncertain action or injurious by-effects. The emetic dose of many substances is as a rule very much larger than the habitual single dose. But if vomiting is due merely to the taste of a remedy, the size of the dose may make little difference.
At the present day the chief use of emetics is in poison cases, and perhaps in obstruction of the respira tory processes in children. Generally speaking an emetic, to possess any value here must be given with great promptness. If the case be one of corrosive mineral poisoning it is usually too late to use an in emetic.
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