Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hypnotic -- or worse

Advertisement found in the Eclectic medical gleaner, Vol 2. 1906.

Let's see. Chloral Hydrate and Cannabis and hyoscyamine in one easy-to-abuse elixir. Wonder how many turn-of-the-century Michael Jacksons died from that?

Or Mickey Finns?

Bromidia was still for sale in 1922, when the Journal of the American Medical Association published the case report ACUTE DELIRIUM APPARENTLY DUE TO BROMIDIA POISONING. It begins:

Mrs. R. B., aged 32, white, actress, admitted to the service of Dr. M. H. Bochroch in the psychopathic wards of the Philadelphia General Hospital, June 5, 1922, was unconscious, May 30, when her husband arrived home in the evening. In about ten minutes she revived, and talked rationally. That night she became delirious and talked at random, but had no fever. The next day she imagined that she was receiving electric shocks; she heard voices saying bad things about her, and thought that people were persecuting her father, and also trying to kill her with radio. No visual hallucinations were present. The history was unimportant until December, 1920, when the patient developed a pelvic inflammatory condition. At this time a physician prescribed Bromidia for insomnia. The patient took from one-half to 1 ounce daily of her own accord for nervousness, sleeplessness and pain for eighteen months.
Not sure it's worth paying for the rest of that article, but -- wow.

UPDATE: Another Google Book from the era [Nostrums and quackery from the AMA] lists the ingredients as

Chloral hydrate 15 grains
Potassium bromid 15 grains
Ext. cannabis indica 1/8 grain
hyoscyamus 1/8grain

I'd say Mrs. R. B. wasn't the only delirium sufferer due to this concoction. Libertarians take note: you are denied the opportunity to indulge yourself with Bromidia. Revolt!

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