Belladonnae Folia, B.P.
Belladonna leaves are obtained from the deadly nightshade, Atropa Belladonna, Linn. (N.O. Solanaceae), a tall branching herb, widely distributed over Central and Southern Europe, and cultivated in England. The leaves and young branches are collected when the plant is in full flower, and used while fresh, or after drying. The dried leaves alone are official in the U.S.P., when they should yield not less than 0.3 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids. The Brussels Conference agreed that the leaves only should be used, and that the entire leaf should be powdered. Belladonna leaves are from 8 to 20 centimetres long, broadly ovate in outline, acute and entire, tapering towards the base. They are generally quite glabrous, but hairs may be found on young leaves. The flowers, which are solitary and pendulous, have bell-shaped gamopetalous corollas of a livid purple colour. The dried leaves exhibit under the lens minute whitish prominences, but are best identified by their histological features; they have a bitterish taste, but are almost inodorous. The epidermal cells of belladonna leaves are large and possess wavy walls and a striated cuticle; in the interneural mesophyll, large cells filled with minute sandy crystals of calcium oxalate occur; the transverse section of the midrib exhibits bicollateral bundles devoid of sclerenchymatous fibres. Hairs, when present, are either long, simple and three or four celled, or short and glandular. Stomata occur on both surfaces of the leaf. Some of the dried belladonna leaves of commerce are of English origin, but much is imported from Germany. The leaves should be of good colour and free from excess of stalk. The leaves of Phytolacca decandra, Linn. (N.O. Phytolaccaceae), and of Scopola carniolica, Jacq. (N.O. Solanaceae), have been substituted at times for belladonna leaves. They are best distinguished by their histological features. Phytolacca leaves contain raphides instead of sandy calcium oxalate, whilst scopola leaves possess stomata on their under surface only, and the cells with sandy calcium oxalate are much rarer than they are in belladonna leaves.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of belladonna leaves are the alkaloids atropine and hyoscyamine, the total quantity present in fresh leaves of good quality being about 0.4 per cent., the greater part of which is hyoscyamine. The leaves also contain β-methyl-aesculetin (scopoletin, chrysatropic acid), and it is possible that they may contain minute quantities of other alkaloids (belladonnine, etc.), but not in sufficient quantity to contribute to their physiological action. The dried leaves frequently contain considerably more than 0.4 per cent. of alkaloids.
Action and Uses.—The medicinal value of belladonna leaves is due to the hyoscyamine and atropine they contain. The leaves are used principally in the form of the green extract, and in mixtures in the form of the juice. The extract is essentially the. fresh juice evaporated to the consistence of a soft extract, whereas the unaltered juice is preserved by the addition of alcohol. Several unofficial preparations are in common use. Occasionally the leaves are employed as an ingredient of cigarettes for spasmodic asthma.
Dose.—1/2 to 3 decigrams, (1 to 5 grains).
- Collyrium Belladonnae, B.P.C.—BELLADONNA EYE LOTION.
- Green extract of belladonna, 0.5; distilled water, to 100. Used as a soothing application to allay irritation. It dilutes the pupils slightly.
- Emplastrum Belladonnae, U.S.P.—BELLADONNA PLASTER, U.S.P.
- Extract of belladonna leaves, 30; adhesive plaster, U.S.P., 70. It should contain 0.38 to 0.42 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids.
- Emplastrum Belladonnae Viride, B.P.C.—GREEN BELLADONNA PLASTER.
- This plaster contains 0.25 of the alkaloids of belladonna leaf, and is made with a rubber basis.
- Extractum Belladonnae, P.I.—EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA, P I.
- A solid extract containing about 10 per cent. of water, prepared with alcohol (70. per cent.)
- Extractum Belladonnae Exsiccatum, B.P.C.—DRIED EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA. Syn.—Extractum Belladonnae Foliorum Exsiccatum; Dried Extract of Belladonna Leaves.
- A hygroscopic powder which contains 1 per cent. of the alkaloids of belladonna leaves. Dose.—15 to 60 milligrams (1/4 to 1 grain).
- Extractum Belladonnae Foliorum, U.S.P.—EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA LEAVES.
- Belladonna leaves, in No. 60 powder, 100. alcohol (95 per cent.) mixed with half its volume of water, a sufficient quantity. The belladonna leaves are exhausted with the diluted alcohol, the percolate is evaporated to a pilular consistence, and the strength adjusted so that it shall contain 1.4 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids, adding milk sugar, if necessary, as a diluent. Average dose.—10 milligrams (1/5 grain).
- Extractum Belladonnae Viride, B.P.—GREEN EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA.
- Press out the juice from the bruised fresh leaves and young branches of belladonna, heat it to 54°, and strain it through calico to remove the chlorophyll. Heat the strained liquid to 93°, remove the coagulated albumin by filtration, evaporate the filtrate to a thin syrup by the heat of a water-bath, add the previously separated chlorophyll after passing it through a hair sieve, stir, and evaporate to a soft extract at a temperature not exceeding 60°. This extract is not standardised, but when made from herb of good quality it contains about 1 per cent. of alkaloid. Extractum Belladonnae Viride is commonly prescribed in pill form, with purgatives, to diminish their tendency to gripe; with camphor and quinine, against nasal catarrh; with camphor or the valerianates as a sedative. For external use the green extract is sometimes softened with warm water and spread upon leather for local application, or used in the form of Glycerinum Belladonnae to allay pain or arrest glandular secretion. The green extract is sometimes specified for use in suppositories; it must be rubbed to a smooth consistence with a few drops of warm water before mixing with the just melted fat. Excess of heat separates the chlorophyll. When "Extractum Belladonnae" is prescribed, it is customary to dispense Extractum Belladonnae Viride, except in such cases as described under Extractum Belladonnae Alcoholicum. Dose.—15 to 60 milligrams (1/4 to 1 grain).
- Glycerinum Belladonnae, B.P.C.—GLYCERIN OF BELLADONNA.
- Green extract of belladonna, 50; distilled water, boiling, 6.25 glycerin, to 100. Used as a local application to allay pain and inflammation; it is also applied to the breasts of nursing women to arrest secretion.
- Succus Belladonnae, B.P.—JUICE OF BELLADONNA.
- The juice expressed from the fresh leaves and young branches, preserved by the addition of one-third its volume of alcohol. Dose.—3 to 10 decimils (0.3 to 1 milliliters) (5 to 15 minims).
- Tinctura Belladonnae, B.P., 1885.—TINCTURE OF BELLADONNA, B.P., 1885.
- Belladonna leaves, 5; proof spirit, sufficient to produce 100. Dose.—3 to 12 decimils (0.3 to 1.2 milliliters) (5 to 20 minims).
- Tinctura Belladonnae P.I.—TINCTURE OF BELLADONNA, P.I.
- Strength, 10 per cent. Prepared by percolation with alcohol (70. per cent.).
- Tinctura Belladonnae Foliorum, U.S.P.—TINCTURE OF BELLADONNA LEAVES.
- Belladonna leaves, in No. 60 powder (containing not less than 0.3 per cent. of alkaloids), 10; alcohol (49 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. The tincture contains 0.03 per cent. w/v of alkaloids. Average dose.—5 decimils (0.5 milliliters) (8 minims).
- Unguentum Belladonnae, U.S.P.—BELLADONNA OINTMENT, U.S.P.
- Extract of belladonna leaves, 10; alcohol (49 per cent.), 5; hydrous wool fat, 20; benzoated lard, 65.
Belladonnae Radix, B.P.
Belladonna root is obtained from Atropa Belladonna, Linn. (N.O. Solanaceae), a tall branching herb, widely distributed over Central and Southern Europe. It is also official in the U.S.P., when it should yield not less than 0.45 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids. The root is collected in the autumn when about three or four years old, cut into pieces, and. carefully dried. Belladonna root usually occurs in cylindrical pieces about 10 to 30 centimetres long, and 1 to 2 centimetres thick. It is covered with a thin, greyish-brown, wrinkled cork, and breaks with a short fracture, exhibiting a white, starchy interior. In the transverse section the cambium is readily discernible as a dark line, within and near to which are scattered groups of vessels. The cortex is firmly adherent to the wood, and devoid of fibres. The root is often crowned with the remains of large hollow aerial stems, and near these the transverse section exhibits one or more circles of well-developed radiate wood. A transverse section of belladonna root exhibits under the microscope wood and cortex chiefly composed of parenchymatous cells filled with starch grains, and occasionally with sandy calcium oxalate. In the wood there are numerous groups of large pitted vessels associated with tracheids and fibres, but the cortex is devoid of bast fibres. The starch grains range mostly from 5μ to 20μ in length; the simple ones are rounded or oval, but many are compound and consist of two, three, or four constituent grains. These characters are sufficient to identify the entire or crushed root, and to limit the drug to young root collected in the late autumn, when it is said to be richest in alkaloid. The substitution of poke root (Phytolacca decandra, Linn.) for belladonna may be detected by the transverse section, which exhibits several concentric rings of wood bundles and calcium oxalate in the form of acicular, not sandy, crystals. Scopola rhizome (Scopola carniolica, Jacq.) is horizontal or oblique, and bears on the upper surface numerous scars of aerial stems. It is occasionally found in belladonna root, and contains the same alkaloids, but in the rather larger proportion of about 0.6 per cent.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of belladonna root are the alkaloids hyoscyamine and atropine. Hyoscyamine exists in the larger proportion; indeed, it appears doubtful whether the crude drug contains atropine at all, it being probable that in the process of extraction part of the hyoscyamine is converted into the isomeric atropine. Traces of scopolamine are also said to be present, as well as the crystalline fluorescent substance β-methyl-aesculetin. The total amount of alkaloid in the root varies from 0.4 to 0.6 per cent., rarely rising to 1 per cent., wild plants yielding more than cultivated, and young roots more than old.
Action and Uses.—The medicinal properties of belladonna root depend upon the presence of hyoscyamine and atropine. It is used to check excessive secretion and to allay inflammation, particularly in secretory glands, such as the breast. Small doses allay cardiac palpitation, and the plaster is applied to the cardiac region for the same purpose. It is a powerful antispasmodic in intestinal colic and spasmodic asthma; given with purgatives it depresses the inhibitory nerves of the intestine and allays griping. Belladonna is well borne by children and is given in large doses in whooping cough, urinary incontinence, and false croup. For its action on the circulation it is given in the collapse of pneumonia, typhoid fever, and other acute diseases. It is of value in acute sore throat, and relieves local inflammation and congestion. Belladonna decreases gastric secretion and should not be given just before or after meals. The root is the basis of the principal pharmaceutical preparations of belladonna. A standardised liquid extract is prepared, from which the official plaster, alcoholic extract, liniment, suppository, tincture, and ointment are made; these all contain a definite proportion of total alkaloid. A chloroformic solution of the root alkaloids is prepared under the name of Chloroformum Belladonnae and is suitable for mixing with olive oil or camphor liniment. In cases of poisoning by belladonna, emetics should be given or the stomach pump used; stimulants and strong coffee may be given, and pilocarpine nitrate injected hypodermically.
Dose.—1/2 to 3 decigrams (1 to 5 grains).
- Cereoli Belladonnae B.P.C.—BELLADONNA URETHRAL BOUGIES.
- Contain 12 centigrams (2 grains) of alcoholic extract of belladonna in each.
- Chloroformum Belladonnae, B.P.C.—CHLOROFORM OF BELLADONNA. 1 (liquid extract) in 2.
- Painted on the unbroken skin with a camel hair brush to relieve neuralgia. It is sometimes mixed with 7 parts of liniment of belladonna for application on flannel or impermeable piline in rheumatism; applied in this manner the chloroform renders the rubefacient and the anodyne action more marked; it may also be mixed with olive oil or soap liniment. A similar preparation is Linimentum Belladonnae cum Chloroformo.
- Collodium Belladonnae, B.P.C.—BELLADONNA COLLODION. Syns.—Emplastrum Belladonnae Fluidum; Liquid Belladonna Plaster.
- Liquid extract of belladonna, 50; Canada turpentine, 4; castor oil, 2 camphor, 1.5; pyroxylin, 2.5; methylated ether (specific gravity, 0.720), to 100. Used as a cleanly substitute for belladonna plaster; it is especially suitable for painting over joints, or wherever a plaster cannot conveniently be employed.
- Emplastrum Belladonnae B.P.—BELLADONNA PLASTER.
- Liquid extract of belladonna, 4; resin plaster, 5. Concentrate the liquid extract by distilling off the alcohol and evaporating on a water-bath, until the residue weighs 1; then add the previously melted plaster and mix. This preparation contains 0.5 per cent. of the alkaloids of belladonna root. Belladonna plaster relieves pain and diminishes secretion; it is applied in intercostal neuralgia, lumbago, and to relieve the pain due to adhesions following pleurisy. It is also applied to the cardiac region to relieve pain and palpitation. Belladonna plasters of suitable shape applied to the breast are said to decrease the secretion of milk; but there is reason to believe that non-medicated plasters would have the same effect. Cases of poisoning by absorption have arisen owing to the use of belladonna plaster over too large a surface.
- Emplastrum Belladonnae Mitius, B.P.C.—MILDER BELLADONNA PLASTER.
- Contains 0.25 per cent. of the alkaloids of belladonna root, and is less likely to produce poisonous symptoms than Emplastrum Belladonnae B.P. If this plaster be desired of a bright-green colour, chlorophyll may be added in sufficient quantity.
- Extractum Belladonnae Alcoholicum, B.P.—ALCOHOLIC EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA.
- Liquid extract of belladonna, 100. milk sugar, a sufficient quantity to make an extract containing 1 per cent. of the alkaloids of belladonna root. Alcoholic extract of belladonna is a yellowish-brown, slightly coherent powder. It is sometimes found in the form of a paste which tends to absorb moisture on exposure to air. Such extracts are made from liquid extract of belladonna prepared by modifications of the official process, which yield an undesirable amount of extractive, the presence of which is the more inconvenient because it displaces an equal weight of milk sugar. Only the powder form should be used in dispensing, on account of its greater permanency. When "Extractum Belladonnae" is prescribed it is customary to dispense Extractum Belladonnae Viride, except (in the case of prescriptions written since 1898) for the preparation of suppositories and pessaries, in dispensing which Extractum Belladonnae Alcoholicum should be used, as in the official formula for Suppositoria Belladonnae. Dose.—15 to 60 milligrams (1/4 to 1 grain).
- Extractum Belladonnae Liquidum, B.P.—LIQUID EXTRACT OF BELLADONNA.
- Belladonna root, in No. 20 powder, 256; a mixture of alcohol 7, and distilled water, 1, a sufficient quantity. Divide the drug into four equal portions. Moisten one portion with 48 of a mixture of 7 of alcohol and 1 of distilled water and set aside for six hours; pack firmly in a percolator, add 48 of the same menstruum and set aside for twenty-four hours; then percolate slowly, collecting the percolate in small portions, and adding more of the menstruum as required, Repeat the operation with a second portion, moistening the drug with the first 48 of percolate, and using as menstruum the liquid collected from the first percolator. Again repeat the process with the third and fourth portions, using the liquid from the second percolator to extract the third portion, and the liquid from the third percolator to extract the fourth. Collect 100 of the strong percolate from the fourth percolator, and standardise and adjust so that the finished product shall contain 0.75 per cent. of alkaloids. Liquid extract of belladonna has a deep sherry colour, a specific gravity of 0.917 to 0.925. and contains from 12 to 13 per cent. of total solids. Liquid extracts of a darker colour and containing a higher percentage of total solids are found in commerce. These are probably made by processes which yield more extractive than the official process, the drug being exhausted by percolation and the percolate concentrated by evaporation—thus causing a darkening in colour and possibly alteration of the alkaloids by the heat employed. Liquid extract of belladonna is used in the preparation of the official plaster, alcoholic extract, liniment, tincture and ointment of belladonna. A dose is not given, as on account of its powerful nature, it is only intended to be prescribed for internal use in the diluted form as Tinctura Belladonnae.
- Fluidextractum Belladonnae Radicis, U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF BELLADONNA ROOT.
- Belladonna root, in No. 60 powder, is exhausted with a mixture of 4 of alcohol (95 per cent.) and 1 of water. The strong percolate is reserved, the weak percolate is evaporated at a temperature not exceeding 50° to a soft extract and dissolved in the reserved portion. The strength of the product is adjusted so that it shall contain 0.4 per cent. w/v of mydriatic alkaloids. Average dose.—5 centimils (0.05 milliliters) (1 minim).
- Linimentum Belladonnae B.P.—LINIMENT OF BELLADONNA.
- Liquid extract of belladonna, 50 camphor, 5; distilled water, 10; alcohol, sufficient to produce 100. Used as an anodyne application for lumbago, neuralgia, and rheumatic pains. Diluted with an equal quantity of soap liniment or compound camphor liniment it is rubbed over the painful part or applied on impermeable piline. It contains 0.375 per cent. of total alkaloids.
- Linimentum Belladonnae, U.S.P.—BELLADONNA LINIMENT.
- Camphor, 5; fluidextract of belladonna root, sufficient to produce 100.
- Linimentum Belladonnae cum Chloroformo, B.P.C.—LINIMENT OF BELLADONNA WITH CHLOROFORM.
- Chloroform, 1; liniment of belladonna, to 8: Specially suitable for close application to the skin on flannel or piline to relieve neuralgic pain.
- Pessus Belladonnae B.P.C.—BELLADONNA PESSARY.
- Each pessary contains alcoholic extract of belladonna, 12 centigrams (2 grains), For use in leucorrhoea and inflammatory conditions of the cervix uteri.
- Suppositoria Belladonnae, B.P.—BELLADONNA SUPPOSITORIES.
- Each suppository contains 1 1/2 grains of alcoholic extract of belladonna (or 1/60 grain of the alkaloids of belladonna root) together with oil of theobroma. Belladonna suppositories are used to allay pain.
- Tinctura Belladonnae, B.P.—TINCTURE OF BELLADONNA.
- Liquid extract of belladonna, 1; alcohol (60 per cent.), to 15. The product should be yellow, not brown. It contains about 0.05 per cent. of total alkaloids. Dose.—3 to 10 decimils (0.3 to 1 milliliters) (5 to 15 minims). Larger doses are sometimes given.
- Unguentum Belladonnae, B.P.—BELLADONNA OINTMENT.
- Liquid extract of belladonna, 80; benzoated lard, 90. Reduce the liquid extract by evaporation on a water-bath to 10 by weight, and incorporate the lard. Belladonna ointment should contain 0.6 per cent. of total alkaloids. The ointment is applied over neuralgic areas to relieve pain; it is also applied to the anus in fissure to relieve pain and muscular spasm.
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.