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    wealthy personages and there is good reason for thinkingthat success will attend it if some effort is now made.

    In view of what has already been done in Germany, theUnited States, and in Italy it is quite time that this countryshould bestir itself in the matter. As soon as the schemehas been made public we shall return to the consideration ofthe question.



    DR. F. W. PAVY, F. R. S., has been elected to the office ofPresident of the National Committee for Great Britain and

    Ireland of the International Congress of Medicine, in placeof the late Sir William Mac Cormac, Bart., K.C.B., who soworthily filled the office for many years.


    THE courses of lectures to be delivered at the Royal ICollege of Surgeons of England during 1902 are as (follows : On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Feb. 10th, c

    12th, and 14th, Mr. C. P. White, Erasmus Wilson iLecturer, will give lectures on the General Patho-logy of Tumours ; on Feb. 17th, 19th, and 21st Dr. T. G. Brodie, Arris and Gale Lecturer, will lecture on the l

    Pulmonary Circulation, more particularly in relationship to Variations in Cardiac Activity ; on Feb. 24th, 26th, and 28th Professor W. McAdam Eccles will lecture on the Anatomy,Physiology, and Pathology of the Imperfectly DescendedTestis. The first lecture will deal with the anatomy,the second with the physiology and a portion of the patho-logy, and the third with the rest of the pathology. Eachlecture will be illustrated by lantern slides. On March 3rd,5th, and 7th Professor F. G. Parsons will lecture on theBlood-vessels of Mammals in relation to those of Man ; andon March 10th, 12tb. 14th, 17th, 19th, and 21st Professor C.Stewart,F.R.S., will lecture on Organs of Respiration. Allthe lectures will commence at 5 P.M.

    THE first place on Wednesday, Feb. 26th, has beenobtained by ballot for the second reading of a Bill "tosecure the better training of midwives and to regulate theirpractice.



    THE annual dinner of the West London Medico-ChirurgicalSociety will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 19th, at7.30 P.M., at Frascatis, Oxford-street, W.

    THE KING has approved of the appointment of Dr.Wroughton Gerald Heath, medical officer of Montserrat, tothe Legislative Council of that Presidency.

    Pharmacological Notes.OINTMENTS AND OINTMENT BASES. ;

    IT is satisfactory to find that the ointments of the 1898edition of the British Pharmacopoeia have earned the com-mendation of those who are responsible for the preparationof the forthcoming United States Pharmacopoeia. Accordingto C. S. N. Hallberg, Ph. G., these ointments, in the opinionof the United States Pharmacopoeia Committee of Revision,are a vast advance over those of any and all other phar-macopoeias, excepting the German and Austrian (1900)revised editions, which have not yet been studied. In apreliminary report by the sub-committee on ointments it isshown that in previous United States pharmacopoeias thevarious bases for ointments have been chosen solely forpharmaceutical reasons and without any discrimination as to

    1 Pharmaceutical Journal, vol. lxvi., pp. 30 and 39.

    the general therapeutical purposes of this form of medica-tion. Considered from the therapeutical standard the oint-ments may be divided into three groups, as follows :-

    1. Protective : Non-absorbent or epidermatic.2. Emollient : Nutritive, absorbent, or endermatic.3. Constitutional, systemic : Absorptive or diadermatic.These generalisations, though empirical, afford a basis

    for the study of these preparations in the light ofthe present state of medical science. The researchesof Unna, Liebreich, and Shoemaker have demonstrated thenecessity of taking the character of the fat into considera-tion, in order that the desired effect of an ointment may beobtained. Shoemaker, in "Ointments and Oleates," says :. That the oleaginous basis possesses valuable physiological-and therapeutical properties peculiar to itself is proven bythe fact that the sebaceous secretion of the skin is of an

    oleaginous composition and consistence. In estimating the.value of an ointment we must take into consideration theseparate virtues of the fatty basis and the included drug or-drugs....... Sebum consists of fat cells, free fat andepithelial debris, and has the following chemical com-position : olein and palmitin, 40 per cent. ; casein, 13 percent. ; gelatin, 8 per cent. ; water, 35 per cent. ; and smallquantities of sodium chloride, phosphate, and sulphate. Itis unmistakeably a natural or physiologic unguent." Thesebum is related to the nutrition of the hair, maintains theskin in a soft and flexible condition, fortifies it againstchanges in temperature by regulating the heat, acts as a.lubricant, thus obviating deleterious friction, and is pro-tective against irritant discharges. It acts as a preservativeto the cuticle, protecting it from maceration by excessiveperspiration and consequent exposure of the sensitive cutis,vera. The varied uses of ointments are indicated by this.enumeration of the properties and functions of the sebum 9and the foregoing classification is useful in discussing thechoice of ointment bases.

    lon-absorbent bases.-When a purely external cortactis desired the paraffins in their three different forms-viz., liquid, soft, and hard paraffins-afford the bestbases. Such ointments may be required as (1) pro-tectives ; (2) antiseptics ; (3) astringents ; (4) counter-irritants ; (5) germicides ; and (6) parasiticides. Theseparaffins should be bland and neutral ; sometimes theyproduce irritating and stimulating effects instead of beingpurely protective, lubricating, or emollient ; these ill-effects.are ascribed to sulphur and other impurities. These bases.

    large used for the following drugs in the 1898 BritishPharmacopeeia : the nitrate, red and yellow oxides, and rediodide of mercury, ammoniated mercury, zinc oleate, creosote,eucalyptus oil, boric, salicylic, and carbolic acids, glycerir-,of lead subacetate, iodoform, and the carbonate and iodideof lead.

    1 Emollient-absorbent bases.-Lard, sometimes with ant addition of wax and oil, and, in the case of alkaloids,

    of oleic acid, afford vehicles with a range of meltingpoints well adapted to the varying pharmaceutical andtherapeutical requirements of this class of ointments.Probably fresh, pure lard is the ideal basis for ender-

    o matic medication, but the commercial article, often anemulsion-like mixture of lard, tallow, cotton-seed oil,borax, and water, is unfit for use. Carefully preparedlard, benzoinated and preserved in a cool place, resistsdecomposition for a long time and answers admirablyfor the extemporaneous preparation of many ointments,but it is easily affected by many chemical reagents-e.g., the oxides of mercury. Lard in becoming ranciddecomposes into fatty acids which produce irritation wherean emollient effect is desired. Lard and bland animal andvegetable oils penetrate into, but not through, the integu-ments. Theobroma (cacao) oil affords one of the mostelegant vehicles of this class, having an agreeable odour and-not being prone to rancidity. As a nutrient cod-liver oil isthe most effective when applied by inunction. These fats

    )n are intended for the following therapeutical purposes -.n emollient (also protective), anodyne, alterative, loca]

    irritant, resolvent, sedative, and stimulant. The drugs of0) this class officially used in the British Pharmacopoeia.ainclude- galls, opium, mercury, oleate, red iodide, sub-is chloride and nitrate of mercury, sulphur, potassium iodide,he chrysarobin, zinc oxide, belladonna, cantharidis, iodine,or sulphur iodide, the alkaloids aconitine, atropine, and veratrine, resin, stavesacre, capsicum, and liquid tar.

    _ _ The rosewater, compound mercury, and spermaceti oint-ments are also of this class.


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