TINCTURA THEBAICA, vulgo LAUDANUM LIQUIDUM.
Tincture of opium, commonly called liquid laudanum.
Opium, two ounces ;
Spirituous cinnamon-water, one pound and a half.
Digest four days, and strain off the tincture.
THESE are very elegant liquid opiates,
the menstruum in the last dissolves nearly the whole substance of the opium,
and effectually covers its ill flavor. It were to be wished that the shops
were furnished with a liquid opiate, in which the proportion of menstruum
was still much larger, so as to admit of the dose being determined by weight
or measure, the method by drops seeming to precarious for a medicine of
so powerful a kind. The following preparation is contrived with this view.
Thebaic extract, half a dram ;
THIS preparation is apprehended
to be free from all the inconveniences attending the common opiate tinctures.
The menstruum dissolves the whole of the opium except the impurities, and
consequently the tincture is not liable to any uncertainty in point of strength.
The dose may be ascertained to the greatest exactness : one grain of opium
is contained in one ounce by measure, which is equal nearly to seven drams
by weight. Neither
Highly rectified spirit of wine, called alcohol, ten ounces;
Simple cinnamon-water, twenty ounces.
Digest the together until the opium be dissolved, and then filtre the
solution through paper.
the tinctures in wine not proof-spirit are so well adapted for keeping
as could be wished : in long standing, a part of the opium is gradually
thrown off from both, and consequently the tinctures become gradually
weaker : the part which thus separates, amounts sometimes, it is said,
to near one-fourth of the quantity of opium at first dissolved : it floats
on the surface of the vinous tincture, and in the spirituous sinks to
the bottom. In the preparation here recommended, it has not been observed
that any separation happens.
Instead of the cinnamon-water, pure water may be employed
in the mixture; and where aromatic additions are wanted, either with a
medicinal intention, or for covering the ill smell of the opium, any proper
tincture or distilled water may be extemporaneously joined. Saffron, an
addition once employed by the Edinburgh College, has been looked upon
as a corrector of opium; but the qualities it was supposed to correct
are merely imaginary ; nor indeed can that article be of much importance
with any intention in the small quantity that enters a dose of the tincture
: a grain of opium being accompanied with only half a grain of saffron.
A preparation is some respects similar to that here
recommended, was introduced into the Edinburgh pharmacopoeia published
in 1774, under the title of Tinctura meconii. Each ounce of this
tincture contained four grams of opium ; and it was proposed, that the
doses of it should be measured, not by drops but by weight : But as modern
physicians are much more bold in giving opium than their predecessors,
such a scrupulous accuracy in the dose is not thought at all necessary
: And it is not probable that any dangerous consequence will ever