Nitric acid. [Nit-ac]
Excoriating discharges are characteristic of this remedy. In diphtheria, however, there is a peculiar symptom; there is much distress and uneasiness at the stomach and vomiting of all food; withal, there is prostration and a membrane in the nose and throat. Especially is **Nitric acid a remedy in nasal diphtheria, with a white deposit in the nose and ulcerative conditions which are sensitive, thus differing from the potashes; there is foetid odor and sticking pains in throat; the pulse is intermittent; swallowing is difficult and painful.
Pain in the back and limbs, a general aching all over with great prostration are general characteristics of this remedy, and if we get, in addition to these, highly-inflamed throat, which is much swollen, so sore and sensitive that deglutition is almost impossible, pain shooting to ears, thick- coated tongue, foetid breath, swollen glands, high, rapid and weak pulse and a grayish membrane, we have a picture of diphtheria that **Phytolacca will cure. Great burning in the throat is also an indication, and chilliness as the disease commences.
Drs. Burt and Bayes recommend the tincture and also the use of a gargle. Other observers also consider the remedy as specific, and it probably is with the foregoing indications.
Last, but not least, we have **Arsenicum, and it may save when no remedy will. It is mainly a remedy indicated by its general symptoms alone, such as low fever, prostration, restlessness, thirst, foetid breath, etc., hence it is not a true diphtheria remedy. It is most useful in the later stage of the disease when indicated by these very symptoms, and when, perhaps, in spite of other remedies, the patient has been constantly going down hill, until the very adynamic condition, met so well by **Arsenicum, has been reached.
The throat will be much swollen inside and out, the membrane will be dark, and there will be much foetor, and there will be present considerable oedema. It may correspond to the prodromal stage also, with the tired-out feeling, thirst and feverish flush.
**Arsenic iodide may prove curative for the septic conditions and hoarseness which sometimes remain after diphtheria.