E. A. Farrington was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. In 1866 he graduated from the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street.
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ANTIMONIUM TARTARICUM, or TARTAR EMETIC, as it is also called, is a compound salt of antimony and potash, both of which substances depress the circulation. Hence you will expect to see symptoms due to this cause intensified under Antimonium tartaricum. It causes more weakness of the heart and lungs than does Antimony itself.
Under Antimonium tartaricum we find the head confused, with warmth of the forehead and confused feeling, as if the patient ought to sleep. This drowsiness is worse in the forenoon. Often there is a headache, with sensation as if a band were tied around the forehead. This is a common headache in passive congestion of the brain. You find it under GELSEMIUM, MERCURIUS, CARBOLIC ACID, SULPHUR, and several other remedies. Cool air and moving about seem to brighten the patient up. Bathing the head relieves; this is rather contrary to Antimonium crudum. There is sometimes throbbing, particularly in the right side of the head. Still another form of headache is drawing in the right temple, extending down and into the jaw-bone. This is a sort of rheumatic tearing pain in the periosteum. If the patient is a child we note an unwillingness to be looked at or touched. If you persist in your unwelcome attention it will have convulsions. On awaking from sleep the child seems stupid. Vertigo is often an accompaniment of the Antimonium tartaricum ailment; this vertigo seems to alternate with drowsiness.
We often find Antimonium tartaricum indicated in cases of suppressed eruptions when there result these symptoms of the head. Particularly is it called for when the eruption of scarlatina, measles or variola does not come out properly, or has been repelled ; then we have, in addition to the symptoms I have already mentioned, great difficulty in breathing. The face is bluish or purple, the child becomes more and more drowsy, and twitches. There is rattling breathing. All of these symptoms indicate a desperate case. Antimonium tartaricum will frequently restore the eruption and save the child. Now, these symptoms that I have mentioned accompany two grand sets of phenomena for which Antimonium tartaricum may be useful, namely, pulmonary and gastro-enteric affections.
For children it is an invaluable drug in diseases of the chest. You find it, for instance, indicated in whooping-cough, and in fact in any cough, whether from dentition or other causes, when the cough is provoked whenever the child gets angry, which is very often. Eating brings on the cough, which culminates in the vomiting of mucus and food.
Again, there is another form of chest trouble in which it is indicated. A nursing infant suddenly lets go of the nipple, and cries as if out of breath, and seems to be better when held upright and carried about. Now, this is the beginning of capillary bronchitis. There are fine sub-crepitant rales all through the chest. Antimonium tartaricum here nips the whole disease in the bud, and saves the child much suffering. Again, there is another form of cough in which it may be used. There is marked wheezing when the child breathes. The cough sounds loose, and yet the child raises no phlegm. This symptom increases until the child grows drowsy. Its head is hot and bathed in sweat. The cough then grows less and less frequent. The pulse is weak. Symptoms of cyanosis appear. The quicker in these cases you give Antimonium tartaricum the better for your patient.
Now for a few of the concordant remedies in these cases. I will first say, in addition to what I have already said, that Antimonium tartaricum is also indicated in affections of old people, and particularly in orthopnoea, or threatening paralysis of the lungs in the aged. You hear loud rattling of phlegm in the chest, and yet the patient cannot get up the phlegm. Here BARYTA CARB. is complementary to Antimonium tart., and often succeeds when the latter remedy only partially relieves.
IPECACUANHA often precedes Antimonium tartaricum in catarrh of the chest in children. Loud rales are heard through the chest. When they cough they gag, but raise but little phlegm.
In this threatening paralysis of the lungs you must compare Antimonium tartaricum with several other drugs; with LACHESIS, which has aggravation when arousing from sleep; with KALI HYDRIODICUM, especially when there is oedema pulmonum and a great deal of rattling of mucus in the chest. What little sputum is raised is frothy and greenish, looking like soap-suds.
CARBO VEG. also suits these cases, but here the rattling is accompanied by cold breath and by coldness of the lower extremities from the feet to the knees.
MOSCHUS in paralysis of the lungs, when there is loud rattling of mucus and the patient is restless. It is especially indicated after typhoid fever. The pulse grows less and less strong, and finally the patient goes into a syncope.
Also, do not forget AMMONIUM CARB. in this condition.
Antimonium tart is indicated in the asphyxia at the beginning of life, asphyxia neonatorum, when there is rattling of mucus in the throat. LAUROCERASUS is useful in the asphyxia of new-born children when there is great blueness of the face, with twitching of the muscles of the face, and gasping without really breathing.
Antimonium tartaricum produces a perfect picture of pleuro-pneumonia. Certain portions of the lungs are paralyzed. Fine rales are heard, even over the hepatized portions. There is great oppression of breathing, particularly towards morning. The patient must sit up in order to breathe. It may also be indicated in bilious pneumonia, that is, pneumonia with hepatic congestion and with well-marked icterus. The pit of the stomach is very sensitive to touch or pressure. There are meteorism, nausea and vomiting. It may be used in the pneumonia of drunkards with these complications.
Antimonium tartaricum produces pustules very nearly identical with those of small-pox, hence it may be a very useful remedy in that disease. It is very useful in the beginning before the eruption appears, and the patient has a dry teasing cough, which under other circumstances might suggest BRYONIA. Here, however you should give Antimonium tart., because it covers all the symptoms. It suits the cough and also the reason for the cough. It also suits the eye symptoms which occur during eruptive diseases, as small-pox, scarlatina, measles, etc.
In diseases of the intestinal tract we find it indicated by the following symptoms: Nausea with great anxiety, eructations tasting like rotten eggs, and drowsiness. The vomited matters are green and watery, and sometimes frothy, and contain food. The vomiting itself is associated with trembling of the hands, and is followed by drowsiness. Vomiting and purging may take place, with every symptom of collapse, coldness of the surface, the hands and feet are like ice, and the stools are profuse and watery. Here you have an almost perfect picture of VERATRUM. The distinction between the two remedies is that Veratrum has more cold sweat on the forehead, and Antimonium tart. more drowsiness.
When Antimonium tart. has produced pustules, the antidote is CONIUM.