Emesis has long been recognized as one of the most annoying of the side actions of the digitalis bodies, and this effect is almost universally attributed to a direct irritant action on the gastric mucous membrane. We have recently shown,1 however, that this wide-spread belief has no support in direct experimental evidence with therapeutic doses, but that the emesis following the use of amounts comparable to those used clinically is due almost entirely to a direct action on the vomiting center in the medulla.
In the present investigation we have compared the relative emetic and cardiac activities of certain of the more commonly used digitalis bodies, including digitalis, crystalline digitoxin, true digitalin (not German digitalin), strophanthus, amorphous strophanthin, ouabain (so-called crystalline strophanthin), squill, convallaria, apocynum, adonis, digalen, digipuratum, digitalysatum and the fat-free tincture of digitalis.
Single small doses of the drug were injected intravenously from a hypodermic syringe, or
EGGLESTON C, HATCHER RA. THE EMETIC ACTION OF THE DIGITALLS BODIES. JAMA. 1913;60(7):499–503. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340070011004
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