An Internal Secretion of Suprarenal Glands
Adrenaline or Epinephrine, the active principle of the medulla of the suprarenal gland, (cortical secretion not as yet isolated), is employed as a chemical messenger in the regulation of the activities of the body; in fact, its presence is essential to the activity of the sympathetic nerve. Adrenaline action on any part is the same as stimulation of the sympathetic nerve endings thereto. Local application (1: 1,000 solution) to mucous membranes promptly induces transient ischemia, seen in a blanching, persisting several hours from conjunctival instillation. Its action is very prompt, efficient, evanescent, owing to rapid oxidation and therefore practically harmless, unless too frequently repeated, when atheroma and heart lesions–myocardial–in animals have been reported. Arteries, heart, supra-renal bodies and vaso-motor system are prominently affected. The main action of Adrenaline is stimulation of the sympathetic endings, notably the splanchnic area, causing constriction of the peripheral arterioles, with resulting rise in blood pressure. This is especially observed in stomach, intestines; less in uterus, skin; nil in brain and lungs. Furthermore, is noticed, slowing of pulse, (medullary vagus stimulation), and strengthening of heart beat (increased myocardial contractility), resembling Digitalis; increased glandular activity, glycosuria; depression of respiratory center; contraction of muscular tissue of eye, uterus, vagina; relaxation of muscular tissue of stomach, intestines, bladder.
Uses.–Its chief therapeutic use depends on its vaso-constriction action; therefore a most powerful and prompt astringent and hæmostatic; and invaluable in checking capillary hæmorrhages, from all parts, where local or direct application is feasible: nose, ear, mouth, throat, larynx, stomach, rectum, uterus, bladder. Hæmorrhagic condition not due to defective coagulation of the blood. Complete bloodlessness, ischemia, may be induced with impunity. Locally, solutions (1: 10,000-1: 1,000) sprayed or applied on cotton have been very efficient in bloodless operations about the eye, nose, throat, and larynx.
Congestions of the ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses, also hay fever, have been markedly alleviated by warm spray of Adrenaline chloride, 1: 5,000. Here compare, Hepar 1x, which will start up secretions and so facilitate drainage. Werlhoff’s disease, hypodermically, 1: 1,000. Externally, it has been used in neuritis, neuralgia, reflex pains, gout, rheumatism, as an ointment, 1-2 m of (1: 1,000) solution, along the nerve trunk at point of skin nearest its origin which could be reached (H. G. Carlton).
Therapeutically, Adrenaline has been suggested in acute congestion of lungs, Asthma, Grave’s and Addison’s diseases, arterio-sclerosis, chronic aortitis, angina pectoris, hæmophilia chlorosis, hay fever, serum rashes, acute urticaria, etc. Dr. P. Jousset reports success in treating, homeopathically, cases of angina and of aortitis, sub-acute and chronic, when Adrenaline has been prescribed per os and in infinitesimal dose. The symptom guiding to this is, Sensation of thoracic constriction with anguish. This, with vertigo, nausea and vomiting have been produced by the drug. Abdominal pain. Shock or heart failure during anæsthesia, as it causes very prompt rise of blood pressure by its action on nerve endings in the vessel wall.
Dose.–Hypodermically, 1-5 m (1: 1,000 solution, as chloride) diluted in water. Internally, 5-30m of 1: 1,000 solution.
Caution.–On account of its affinity for oxygen, the drug easily decomposes in watery and dilute acid solutions. The solution must be protected from air and light. It must not be too frequently repeated, owing to cardiac and arterial lesions. For homeopathic use 2x to 6x attenuation.