It was formerly largely used as a hypnotic, and many fatal consequences
ensued. It is prepared from alcohol and chlorine.
Symptoms.--Deep sleep, loss of muscular power, diminished or abolished
reflex action and sensibility, followed by loss of consciousness and
marked fall of temperature. Pulse may become quick, and face flushed or
livid and bloated. Prolonged use of this drug may produce a peculiar
on on the skin. Supposed to act in the blood by being decomposed
into chloroform and sodium formate. Its effects are due chiefly to
depression of the central nervous system, the medulla being the last
part of the nervous system to be attacked.
Method of Extraction from the Stomach.--By distillation in strongly
alkaline solutions, when it may be obtained as chloroform and tested as
Treatment.--Stomach-tube or emetic. Hypodermic injections of
strychnine. Keep patient warm, and inject a pint of hot strong coffee
into the rectum. Nitrite of amyl and artificial respiration.
Tests.--Heated with caustic potash, it yields chloroform and potassium
formate. The chloroform is readily recognized by its odour, and, if the
solution be concentrated, by separating as a heavy layer at the bottom
of the test-tube.