The definite plan of treating pneumonia is so called because it uses definite agents for definite objects, on definite indications. It does not exclude, but definitely includes, rest, diet, fresh air (the open air if possible, but with regulated temperature), and all other methods of good nursing, together with the free use of water and alkaline-saline drinks (chlorids, citrates, carbonates, bicarbonates).
Its pharmacodynamic center is quinin, and the principal pharmacodynamic aids are solution of hypophysis and digitalis. These substances are not "specifics" and are not advocated as such; but their use under definite indications is of special advantage. The indications are the important elements. They constitute the plan of treatment. The drugs are merely the present means of carrying out the purposes for which they are respectively indicated, and might be superseded by other agents found by experience to be superior, without affecting the fundamental principles involved. Thus far, however,
COHEN SS. PRESENT STATUS OF THE DEFINITE TREATMENT OF THE PNEUMONIASOBJECTS, INDICATIONS, AND METHODS OF USE OF QUININ, PITUITARY PRINCIPLE AND DIGITALIS. JAMA. 1919;73(23):1741-1743. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610490005002