THE SELECTION AND REPETITION OF MEDICINES.

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One of the most delicate and important points in the practice of Homoeopathic medicine is the choice of appropriate remedies. Unless the remedy is specifically adapted to the disease to be treated, the administration of it may be wholly inefficacious, but no farther injurious to the patient, than the delay occasioned by its use.

When the remedy has been rightly chosen, the proper time for repeating it is determined by.the greater or less progress of the disease. When the case is urgent, the remedy may be given every twelve, six, or four hours, and even less if it do good.— This repetition, however, is not even quick enough for the dangerous and rapid advance of some acute diseases. Thus in Cholera Asiatica, one of the most speedily fatal diseases that we are acquainted with, at the beginning of the disease, we must administer every four or five minutes, two or three drops of a mild solution of Camphor, in order to secure prompt and certain relief-When the disease has fully developed itself, the appropriate remedies, such as Cuprum, Ipecacuanha, Veratrum, Phosphorus, Arsenic, &c, are given every hour or two. In cases of colic, cramps or spasms, the remedy best adapted to the respective disease, is to be repeated at short intervals, say every fifteen or twenty minutes, as the urgency of the symptoms and the effects of the medicine may indicate. In these and similar cases, it is convenient to dissolve twelve or fifteen globules of the medicine or a drop of the tincture, if this form of the medicine be used, in six or eight teaspoonfuls of water, and give one of them every ten minutes. If the patient is not speedily relieved by the remedy first chosen, another must be selected and tried in the same manner, always remembering not to use the same glass or cup for different medicines, unless first well cleaned. In Croup* that scourge of infancy in this country, the appropriate remedies* viz: Aconite, Hepar sulphuris and Spongia Usta, are to be exhibited in quick succession. For example, if there is fever, give two or three doses of Aconite at intervals of fifteen or twenty minutes, until it makes some favourable change in the case, then ten or twelve pellets of each of these other medicines may be dissolved in six or eight teaspoonfuls of water, and a teaspoonful of each remedy in solution may be given every fifteen minutes, till the urgent symptoms abate, and afterwards the intervals between the doses may be increased.

In diseases less dangerous and rapid in their course, the administration of a suitable remedy in doses of five or six globules placed upon the tongue, or dissolved in a spoonful of water, once in twenty-four hours, will be sufficiently often. In other cases, where aggravations and remissions in diseases occur daily, remedies adapted to each state may be given during its manifestation. In intermittent fevers the remedies to be chosen should have the faculty of producing in a healthy individual, the most prominent symptoms exhibited by the patient during the paroxysm and intermission, carefully attending to the accessory phenomena. The time of administering it is immediately or very soon after the termination of the paroxysms. Thus given, it has time to produce in the system, all the effects which it is capable of towards a restoration of health. If the period between the paroxysms is very short, the remedy must be given as soon as the fever subsides, or the sweating stage begins.

In chronic diseases, medicines are to be repeated less frequently than in other cases. Hahnemann thinks that Sulphur in its mildest form ought not in most cases to be given oftener than once in seven days—and this period is to be lengthened in proportion as the patients are more delicate or excitable. Each remedial agent must be adapted to each individual, as well with respect to the symptoms as with respect to the strength of the dose and its repetition. Each case must be studied by itself, and treated distinctly, and the nature of each must lead to the discovery of the remedy, the dose and the repetition.

 

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