Cantharides





=Cantharides.=--Spanish fly, or blistering beetle, is the basis of most

of the blistering preparations. It is sometimes taken as an

abortifacient or given as an aphrodisiac, but whether it has any such

action is open to question. It acts as an irritant to the kidneys and

bladder, and sometimes produces haƦmaturia and a good deal of temporary

discomfort.



Symptoms.--Burning sensation in the throat and stomach, with

salivation, pain and difficulty in swallowing. Vomiting of mucus mixed

with blood. Tenesmus, diarrhoea, the motions containing blood and mucus.

Dysuria, with passage of small amounts of albuminous and bloody urine.

Peritonitis, high temperature, quick pulse, headache, loss of

sensibility, and convulsions.



Post-Mortem.--Gastro-intestinal mucous membrane inflamed, with

gangrenous patches. Genito-urinary tract inflamed. Acute nephritis.



Treatment.--An emetic of apomorphine; demulcent drinks, such as

barley-water, white of egg and water, linseed-tea and gruel (but not

oils), with a hypodermic injection of morphine to allay pain.



Tests.--The vomited matter often contains shining particles of the

powder. The urine will probably be albuminous.





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