DISCUSSION ON THE TREATMENT OF INTERMITTENT FEVER



DR. R.C. ALLEN: About three months ago., I had a young lady patient suffering from Intermittent Fever. I gave here QUININE, Rhus Tox., Nux Vomica, Dextro-Quinine, without avail. One day I went to see her, I found cold, pale face, anxious-looking thin lips, and sweat on the face. I thought of Camphor, and gave it, and cured her. Since then I have given Camphor to every case with uniform success.

DR. TRITES: I have collated a number of sure cures for chills, such as tying a tarred rope around the waist, walking across running water, going downstairs backwards, etc. Yet when you come down to the real treatment I know of nothing upon which I have more confused ideas. I was unfortunate enough to be brought up in the midst of Malaria. Just after I graduated at this college I succeeded in contracting malarial fever. I was treated by the best methods, but I shook for there months. QUININE will suppress the disease but will not cure it; yet in my practice I resort to QUININE.

I cannot find cases that will go to bed, or patients that will shake three or four weeks. They say I must give relief right away. When I give it, I give it as an Allopath would. I give it in two-grain doses until ten grains have been taken, generally on the day between the chills. Probably they will have no chill. After that the patient is comparatively well. I always tell such patients that they are not cured. It seems to me that by and by Pasteur will have something to tell us about this disease. There is some poison in the system which QUININE has the ability to smother, but will not wipe out.

The assertion that after using QUININE the Homoeopathic remedy will not act, is not according to my experience. The difference in our experience is because you do not see the disease as I see it. I have a very severe case. It is the wife of a lock-tender, who has had chills and fever since September. She sent for me a week ago disgusted with QUININE. I gave her her Ipecac. and she has improved somewhat. There is a case that shows that after long dosing with QUININE the Homoeopathic remedy will act. I agree with Dr. Martin, that people who have once contracted Malaria re never free from it. It is so in my own case. Every Spring I have a periodical trouble which usually yields to QUININE, but it will return. I was in hopes that would learn how to treat these cases. I live where we have chills and fever to perfection. I have not succeeded in curing any case excepting with QUININE or the Tincture of China.

DR.DUDLEY: Neither Dr. McClatchey nor I said that there was constant curative relation between Cinchona and Intermittent Fever. We both insisted on the remedy when indicated, and we both asserted that there are cases when it is not indicated. The point that I wish to make is this, a Homoeopath should no more be ashamed to administer QUININE than he should be to administer Natrum Mur. Suppose you are treating a case of dyspepsia, and the patient apparently gets well; you stop medication and back comes the trouble, in the same way as do chills and fever. In this case, has, the disease been suppressed? No; you have not given your remedy long enough to do its work. I believe that cases are suppressed by QUININE, and I as fully believe that cases have been cured. I heard of one case that had been suppressed by QUININE for thirty-eight years, and reported as such by a Homoeopathist in New York State. The disease may come back after that sort of “suppression” by any other remedy. Let us follow the law of cure, whether it leads us to QUININE or Natrum Mur. and let us use it in the preparation which we know will cure.

Dr. McCLATCHERY: I made no claim for QUININE in Intermittent Fevers except that which is founded on its Homoeopathic relations to the disease. I said that I believe my success in curing chills to be due to the fact that I always prescribe Homoeopathically. I do not give QUININE or China in chills, except when it is indicated Homoeopathically, which is pretty nearly always. I wish to tender my congratulations to the society on the very remarkable degree of unanimity exhibited in this discussion. We all seem to be of one mind on the subject, our differences being all minor and un-important ones. If there is one physician present who has not used QUININE, it is because QUININE is not homoeopathic to ague, but it is because certain medical popes or bosses have said he must not use it, and that it is not homoeopathic to Ague at all. Now., I take no stock in medical popes or bosses, and I do not even believe in the blind worship of Hahnemann and his opinions simply because they are his.

I do believe in the truth, and always try to find it. If there is anything true in homoeopathy, it is that QUININE is homoeopathic to fever and Ague-it presents the periodicity, the alteration of states, and all the symptoms ordinarily presented by an attack of Intermittent Fever, more so than any other remedy. It has the symptoms that have made other medicines famous in Intermittents, such symptoms as have passed as the keynotes to these remedies. I referred to a number of these from memory, but Dr. Dudley has taken the time and trouble to collate the symptoms from Allen. Dr. MOHR says he could do the same with other remedies, such as Arsenic, Pulsatilla and Eupatorium. I think not. Arsenic would fill a good many such symptoms but not so many as QUININE.

If I had suppressed an Ague, or a diarrhoea, for thirty-eight years, I should feel that I had done a good thing. I think QUININE cures Ague, and not merely suppresses it. If my patients have a relapse after a given time, I give more QUININE if they relapse again, I give still more. I find that they return again and again, in spite of QUININE, I try something else, whatever I think is best- indicated Homoeopathically, and having done this I feel that I have done all I can. Some cases won’t get well, and some patients must die. Such frequent relapses are rare; I don’t know that I ever saw even one. I give QUININE in the 1 st and 2nd decimal trituration up to five grains of the pure drug. My favorite dose is pills of two grains each, once a day, for a week or two, and then wait for future developments. Lately I have been using two-grain pills of Cinchonidia with very good effect. I prescribe Homoeopathically, but how the medicine acts when in the system I don’t pretend to know. I don’t know that any one does. Similia similibus curantur is the only guide for the selection of the medicine.

I do not wish to be held responsible for the heavy drugging of the old school. They have the right remedy, but, as is often the case with Homoeopaths, the wrong dose.

It is rather late in the day to deny the curative powers of Cinchona in Ague. I have read somewhere, that in the seven years preceding the introduction of Peruvian Bark, into England, there were 15,000 deaths from ague, while in the seven years after its introduction there were but 13 deaths. Now, Sidney Smith has said that there is nothing more fallacious than facts, except figures; but surely such a table means and proves something, especially when QUININE has carried the banner to this day despite all the abuse heaped upon it.

E. A. Farrington
E. A. Farrington (1847-1885) was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. He began his study of medicine under the preceptorship of his brother, Harvey W. Farrington, MD. In 1866 he graduated from the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street. Books by Ernest Farrington: Clinical Materia Medica, Comparative Materia Medica, Lesser Writings With Therapeutic Hints.