Calomelas

 

Source
The crystal of mercurous chloride prepared by sublimation.

Characteristics
Appearing as laminal crystals like snowflakes, with silver-white luster, easily broken into powder when compressed. Tuming to yellow and becoming smoke when heated on a plate of iron. Acrid in taste, cold in nature, toxic, and attributive to large and small intestine channels.

Indication
1. Clear away toxic material, kill parasite and alleviate itching: For scabies, tinea, syphilitic lesion, pustulosis, and eczema.
2. Induce diarrhea and relieve edema: For ascites of sthenic type with dyschesia and dysuria.

Pharmacological Action
1. It is a common preparation of cathartic. A small dose of calomel is converted to more soluble mercuric ions which inhibit the activity of sodium and other ions in the intestines and retain electrolytes and water in the bowel. This probably interprets the mechanism of the cathartic action of calomel.
2. Its aqueous solution is an fungicide and applicable to the treatment of various skin diseases.

Administration
Pill or capsule: 0.1-0.2g once or twice daily.
External use: Appropriate amount.

Caution
Calomelas is irritative and may cause erosion of oral mucosa. Contraindicated for pregnant women and those with renal insufficiency. Mercurous chloride may be converted to mercuric chloride after heated and the toxicity is increased. Hence, the drug should not be decocted for oral use.


   

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