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Homeopathic Materia Medica by Farrington



THE PREPARATIONS OF ANTIMONY

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We take up for study today two of the preparations of antimony, ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM and ANTIMONIUM TARTARICUM. The term Antimonium crudum does not imply that it is the metallic antimony but that it is the ore, the form in which it is most frequently found in nature. Antimonium tartaricum is a compound salt, the tartrate of antimony and potash. There are other Antimony preparations used in medicine, but we shall only consider the above-named as they are the most important.

Antimony exerts a depressing influence on the heart and circulation. Respiration too is disturbed by it, and in the majority of cases, perspiration is increased. The next important seat of action of antimony is the mucous membranes, particularly that of the alimentary canal. It causes nausea, vomiting and purging, with faintness and relaxation. The vomited matters you will find at first to consist of mucus and food. Later they contain bile and finally, blood. It is not because antimony has a special effect on the liver that we have this bilious vomiting, but because it causes a regurgitation of bile. Cramps occur in the limbs. These are accompanied by purging and thus you have a perfect picture of collapse such as you find in cholera or cholera morbus. Now, the emetic properties of antimony are not local. Experiments have been made by which the stomach has been exterminated, a bladder placed in its position, and antimony injected into the blood. Retching will ensue and yet there is no stomach. It acts through the pneumogastric nerves.

Antimony will cause convulsions. This convulsive action is traceable to disturbance in the circulation at the base of the brain.

The lungs become engorged with blood by any preparation of antimony. It is said that hepatization of a portion of the organ may follow poisoning by it, especially by its tartrate. This has been doubted of late. It has been claimed that this so called hepatization was in reality atalectasis.

You also find antimony causing emphysema, particularly of the borders of the lungs.

 

Animals fed on antimonic acid will have fatty degeneration of the liver, heart, etc.

The skin is attacked by the antimonies. The irritation they here produce is rather slow and tardy, but the result is very characteristic. There will be, at first, slight redness; this is followed by development of papules, and these papules become pustules. Pustular eruptions are very characteristic of antimony, particularly of the tartrate. These pustules resemble the eruption of small-pox so much so that Antimonium tartaricum has been suggested as a remedy in that disease.

Antimony is particularly useful when pustules appear about the genital organs, whether they be syphilitic or not.

While the preponderance is in favor of Antimonium tartaricum for pustulation, Antimonium crudum carries off the palm for horny excrescences and callosities on the feet and hands.

We will now consider ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM.