PURGATIVES GOUT - MEDICINAL TREATMENT.
The employment of purgatives in the treatment of gouty con ditions must be conducted with moderation and precaution. Chola gogues and cathartics are for the most part beneficial only so far as they promote good digestion and obviate hepatic congestion. For this reason it is unwise to have recourse to violent purgation as a means of clearing the system 1)f toxic substances. Gentle and stimulating laxatives are preferable to any powerful cathartic drug. Rhubarb. aloes or :doh], enonymin, podophyllin in small doses, gnaiacnm, sulphur, and magnesia are the favorite laxatives. In many instances, where the liver is engorged, and the hemorrhoidal veins are over-distended, a few doses of calomel or blue-pill are very beneficial. The following prescription is often of great value iu such cases: The old-fashioned " black draught" also renders excellent service in many of these cases.
When acid dyspepsia is troublesome, much relief may be obtained from the various preparations of magnesia, or from the bicarbonate of sodium. The ordinary neutralizing cordial and the mistura rhei et sole are valuable laxatives in such cases. In mild forms of gastrointestinal catarrh, with constipation and a tendency to dull headaches, great benefit may often accrue from the protracted use of sulphur and bitartrate of potassium, in small doses combined in a soluble tablet. One or two such tablets after each meal will be
found very useful in obstinate cases of constipation. • Podophyllin, colocynth, colchicum, and all of the more energetic cholagogue cathartics should be used in small and laxative doses. It was probably a neglect of this precaution that led Sydeuham to con demn the use of cathartics in gouty conditions of the body. There can be no doubt that their abuse tends to the production of debility, and to the degradation of acute forms of gout into the chronic and i atonic varieties of the disease. Whenever it is desirable to obtain a laxative effect together with gentle stimulation of the cutaneous circulation, guaiacum will be found beneficial. It may be given in doses of five grains with a scruple of potassium bicarbonate in half a tumbler of lemonade. This forms a pleasant effervescent draught that disguises the taste of the powder in a very satisfactory manner. Repeated every four hours this prescription is very effectual iu gouty tonsillitis, and in cases of myalgia and "muscular rheumatism" which are so often of gouty origin.