VENOM OF LACHESIS TRIGONOCEPHALUS.
It was procured by Dr. C. Hering, and proved under his auspices. The results were published in "Archiv," and in his monograph "Schlangengift."
The symptoms given by him are both those of the bite and those produced by internal use. There is an evident correspondence between the two varieties of symptoms, the latter presenting finer shades of subjective symptoms than could be observed under the severe effects of the bite.
SENSORIUM. Absence of mind, inability to think; has to think how words are spelled; errors in writing and reading; vertigo; giddiness, especially on closing the eyes, on sitting or lying down (Theridion) ; vertigo, with staggering; deadly paleness (nausea and vomiting sometimes).
HEAD. Pains deep seated in various parts of the head, worse on the left side. In the left frontal protuberance a sore pain, worse early in the morning—worse on pressing the parts; sore aching above the eyes, extending to the root of the nose and down the nose; heaviness on waking, with nausea and vertigo, such as is produced by exposure to the heat of the sun; curative in sunstroke ; pressing pain in the forehead from within outward; bursting, throbbing and undulating pain in the forehead, generally worse after sleep and on stooping, attended by vertigo and sometimes by nausea and by weakness of the limbs and of the mind.
SCALP. Sensitive, especially the left side, as if it had been burned by the sun.
EYES. Most of the symptoms are subjective, and consist of pains above the eyes; aching and pressure in the eyes, worse on touch and motion; and itching and stinging in the eyes.
Given on the strength of these symptoms, and others affecting other organs, Lachesis has been curative in inflammation of the margins of the lids, and in ulceration of the cornea. Vision is affected; it becomes weak—objects are not easily discerned; there is a mist before the eyes, also black flickering objects before the eyes, and a bright ring around the candle flame.
EARS. Soreness of the mastoid region; swelling between the ear and mastoid process, with stiffness, pain and throbbing; stinging and piercing pain deep in the left ear, with a disagreeable sensation between the ear and throat. The ears feel obstructed, and there is deafness; at the same time abnormal sounds are heard in the ears—chirping, roaring and the hammering sensation or sound which is peculiar to Lachesis. These sounds cease for a while after inserting the finger in the external meatus and shaking it. They probably depend upon obstruction of the Eustachian tube.
NOSE. Epistaxis is a frequent symptom both from bites and from internal use. It precedes the menses, accompanies the headache, occurring especially early in the morning, and is often induced by blowing the nose.
Soreness with discharge of water, and the soreness remains long after the coryza has ceased. Obstinate coryza, alternately fluent and dry, breaking out suddenly.
Lachesis has proved a valuable remedy in obstinate coryza, in complaints seeming to depend on suppressed coryza, and in the sequelae of influenza; also in ozaena with suspicion of a syphilitic taint.
FACE. Complexion pale, yellow, earthy. Eyes sunken.
Prosopalgia. Tearing above the orbit. Drawing and tearing in the malar bone, extending to the ear. Digging and screwing around in the malar bone. Swelling of the face, closing the eyes, worse on the left side.
Erysipelas of the face, worse under the left eye; swelling of the lip, distortion of the face.
TEETH AND JAWS. Tearing and throbbing, especially about the roots of the teeth, worse after sleep and by cold or warm drinks, with swelling of the gums (ending in discharge of pus). An excellent remedy in periodontitis from dead nerve pulp in the fang of decayed or plugged molar, which must end in abscess. The gums bleed easily.
MOUTH. Burning in the mouth and soreness of the roof of the mouth.
Ptyalism. Burning as from pepper. Tongue white, yellow, blackish. Tongue stiff, difficult to protrude. It trembles when protruded. Paralysis of the tongue.
Tongue swollen; ulcerated.
Gangrene of the tongue. Difficult speech, as if the tongue were too heavy. Unintelligible talking after an apoplectic fit.
Inflammatory swelling of the velum pendulum palati.
PHARYNX AND (ESOPHAGUS. Feeling of hollowness in the throat, as if the pharynx had disappeared. (Phytolacca decandra.) Rawness in the pharynx. Sensation as of a lump in the pharynx, generally on the left side, impeding deglutition, worse on deglutition, and a sharp pain then goes into the ear. Constant desire to swallow, as if a sponge or a button adhered to the left side of the pharynx, worse from swallowing food. Lumps dark red, with ulcers or gangrenous spots. Fetor of breath.
Difficult deglutition. Abnormal contractions of pharyngeal muscles; food returns by the nose. As if a piece of dry skin were in the pharynx.
(Tonsillitis beginning on the left side. Lycopodium where it begins on the right side. Lippe.)
Taste. Bad, bitter, putrid, flat. Loss of appetite, but faintness from fasting. Empty, faint feeling in the stomach.
Weakness of digestion, distress from food, especially in drunkards.
STOMACH. Regurgitation of food. Nausea and vomiting with vertigo and faintness.
Tenderness in the epigastrium. Gnawing before a meal.
Pressure toward the heart. All the symptoms are worse after sleep.
Sensation in the stomach and abdomen, as if a lump were accumulating.
HYPOCHONDRIA. Cannot bear tight clothing about hypochondria (characteristic). Pain as if ulcerated on coughing. Pain in the liver as if forming a lump, as if something had lodged there.
ABDOMEN. Tension. Pain as if diarrhoea would set in. Stitches in various directions, as from the right os ilium through the abdomen and chest as far as the shoulder. Stabbings during the menses, soreness and sharp pain in the left ovarian region, cannot lie on the left side because it hangs and rolls over. Sensitive; cannot, when standing, bear down weight and pressure of clothing; must hold it up, it produces pressure on the uterus.
Painful swelling and induration in the right side of the abdomen, between the crista ilii and umbilicus; burning, pulsating, etc., and pains extending to the hip joints, etc.
STOOL. Constipation. Hard fragments like sheep-dung; difficult evacuations, as from spasm of the sphincter; feels as if faeces press against it without passing.
Stools light colored, and alternately loose and dry and hard.
Cadaverous odor of diarrhoeic stool. Blood and pus.
Drawing and hammering in the anus. Urging as of stool, worse when sitting; makes lame, cannot rise. Prolapsus ani, with bleeding.
URINARY ORGANS. Micturition frequent. Urine scanty and dark, and turbid with dark sediment.
MALE SEXUAL ORGANS. Depressed condition.
FEMALE. Menses scanty and inclined to delay, preceded and attended by many accessory symptoms (nervous attacks). Leucorrhoea BEFORE menses, copious and acrid and thick. Uterus very sensitive to contact. Cannot bear external pressure on the uterine region nor the weight of clothes.
At the climacteric period flashes of heat. Pain in the uterine region, increasing day by day till a bloody discharge appears, then ceasing, to re-appear in a few days.
LARYNX AND COUGH. Pain when touching the larynx and on lying down. Throbbing and sensation of narrowness. Swelling sensation, rawness, scraping and desire to swallow. Sensation as of a plug which moves up and down, with short cough. Hoarseness, worse in the evening, and with a sensation as of something which ought to be hawked up..
Cough generally dry, spasmodic, provoked by tickling in the throat, by smoke, by pressure on the larynx as by touch, throwing the head back, etc.; worse every time he wakes; worse from eating; has always to leave the table. Sometimes mucus and bloody (latter generally when sympathetic with heart trouble), again thick yellow sputa in suspected phthisis pulmonalis.
CHEST. Dyspnoea on exertion, or attending other symptoms. In paroxysms, suffocative fullness. Cannot lie down; must have windows open. Stitch in the left side, with dyspnoea, worse when coughing or on inspiration; neglected pneumonia.
Spasmodic pain about the heart. Constrictive sensation in the region of the heart. Irregular beating of the heart; every intermission attended by strange sensation in the heart, and as if the circulation were restored by coughing a little. Palpitation, with anxiety and weakness; spasmodic, suffocative feeling, with palpitation on exertion.
TRUNK. Pain in the loins. Stiffness from the sacrum to the loins, and extending down the thighs (with tenderness in the right ileo-caecal region). Drawing pains and stiffness in the back and nape. Beating in the back and anus as with little hammers.
Great painfulness of the neck to touch and pressure. Outer swelling with inward inflammation and soreness. Swelling and pain in the submaxillary and parotid region.
Lameness, tension and NUMBNESS in the hands and feet. Limbs weak, weary and trembling.
Ulcers bluish, livid, worse in the evening, surrounded by smaller ulcers, and burn when touched.
SLEEP. Drowsiness and stupor all the time. At night easily disturbed, not refreshed, always worse after sleep.
FEVER. Not regular, periodic. Fever of low type; prostrate with stupor; muttering; sunken face, dropping of the jaw, red or black tongue, cracked and bleeding, and which trembles when protruded.
SKIN. Ulcers, etc. Gangrene traumatic, of an ashy gray color and very offensive.
GENERAL SYMPTOMS. Languor, weariness, pains. Aching in bones. Awkward, stumbling gait, numbness of the hands and feet, paralysis, mental and bodily languor. Constant desire for rest.
Faintness, trembling. Vertigo.
DISPOSITION. Depression, melancholy. Anxiety about her illness, nervous irritability. Inertness.
Lachesis, in common with other serpent poisons, produces, first, direct weakness of the heart's action; second weakened respiration and difficult deglutition ; third, an incoagulable condition of the blood, and third, as Mitchell proved by experiment with Crotalus venom, actual disorganization of the muscular tissue. Locally it produces gangrene.
From this we may have, first, death from syncope or suffocation; second, ecchymoses and death from blood disorder; third, local gangrene.
Again, we have special peculiarities of heart and throat symptoms, etc., which characterize Lachesis.
The throat action begins, according to Lippe, on the left side, and extends to the ear, accompanied by tightness in the larynx. Internally, deep red or purple; externally, swelling as though the cellular tissue were infiltrated; external tenderness, no coating of tongue like mercury; no defined sharp prick like Hepar sulphuris, nor fever, etc., like Belladonna, which has bright redness.
Scarlatina, two applications; first, in the foudroyant style of invasion; second, when there is infiltration and threatened sloughing of the throat and gangrene.
Typhilitis. Haemorrhoids. Diseases of women.
In neglected pneumonia, or when resolution lingers, or after whooping cough.
Heart affection, weakness of action, palpitation, irregular beats, aching, etc., but especially cannot lie down, and cough sympathetic. Ulcers. Paralysis.
(This paper is supplemented by an additional one on the same drug in the second volume.)