Drosera is one of the remedies praised by Hahnemann; indeed, he once said that Drosera 30th sufficed to cure nearly every case of whooping cough, a statement which clinical experience has not verified. Drosera, however, will benefit a large number of the cases, if the following indications be present: a barking cough in such frequent paroxysms as to prevent the catching of the breath; worse in the evening. All efforts to raise the phlegm end in retching and vomiting. The attacks are especially worse after midnight; the child holds its epigastrium while coughing. The drosera child cries a great deal. Arnica has crying before coughing because recollection or previous soreness and pain in present. Bayes says: “Drosera is more useful in whooping cough than any other remedy in our Materia Medica.” Unlike Hahnemann, however, he claims that the higher dilutions are powerless, and he prescribes the first. Drosera acts better in pure, uncomplicated whooping cough, and while it will correspond to some epidemics it will fail in others.
Solanum Carolinense has a good clinical record in explosive and spasmodic coughs, and is recommended by electric physicians as almost specific.
Castanea vesca [Cast-v]
Has also been vaunted as a specific in the 3x dilution.
In whooping cough accompanied with convulsions, or when the paroxysms are long and interrupted, Cuprum will be the remedy. Spasms of the flexor muscles predominate. The cough is very violent and threatens suffocation. This remedy will come in sometimes very nicely after Drosera and do good work. The patient coughs up a tough, gelatinous mucus, there is much rattling in the chest, and the face and lips are bluish. A great characteristic of the remedy is the relief from a swallow of cold water. Hale mentions the usefulness of Cuprum in cases accompanied with spasms, clenched hands, etc.
Corallium rubrum. [Cor-r]
This is a very useful remedy in severe cases of whooping cough. Before the cough there is a smothering sensation. The child gaps and becomes black in the face. It is a remedy for that shot, quick, ringing cough known as the “minute gun” cough. The smothering shows itself in the form of gasping, crowing inspirations. After each attack of cough the child sinks back perfectly exhausted. No other drug produces such a violent paroxysm. It is perhaps oftener indicated in the later stages of the affection, but the neurotic element must be present, and also the constriction of the chest before the attacks. The crowing inspiration of whoop is not so pronounced as under Mephitis. Dr. Teste recommended Corallium and Chelidonium as comprising the entire therapeutics or whooping cough, and Dunham praises Corallium in violent cases.
Coccus cacti. [Coc-c]
This remedy has paroxysms of cough with vomiting of clear, ropy mucus, extending in thick, long strings even to the floor. This is sometimes seen in children who cough and cough with this tenacious mucus stringing from mouth and nose, waving to and fro until it finally gives way. The paroxysms come on in the morning, and accompanying them there is often vomiting of a clear, ropy mucus. Eructations of wind following cough are an indication for Ambra grisea. Coccus is a useful remedy for the protracted bronchial catarrhs remaining after whooping cough. The excessive secretion of mucus under Coccus is marked and causes the child to strangle. The choking is most characteristic, even more so than the strangling.
Mephitis is useful in a cough with a well marked laryngeal spasm, a whoop. Cough is worse at night on lying down, there is a suffocated feeling, and the child cannot exhale. Farrington observes that this remedy will often apparently make the patient worse, while it really tends to shorten the course of the disease. The catarrhal symptoms calling Mephitis are slight, but the whoop is prominent. The smothering comes on with cough, while with Corallium rubrum it comes on before the cough, and is followed by great exhaustion. There is not much expectoration with Mephitis. There are many spasmodic symptoms with this remedy, such as cramping of the legs at night. The writer has also seen good results from Naphthalin when the cough is very dry and catarrhal symptoms not pronounced, and the paroxysms of extreme length, and the constriction of the chest are present. It is a remedy that is especially suitable to whooping cough in adults. One of Hahnemann’s therapeutic hints in whooping cough is ledum, which has a spasmodic racking cough, and should be thought of in connection with this affection.