Stramonium leaves (Stramonium, U.S.P.) are obtained from Datura Stramonium, Linn. (N.O. Solanaceae), a bushy annual cultivated in England, Germany, Hungary, etc. The commercial drug consists of the leaves and young shoots collected while the plant is in flower, and subsequently dried, but the official description permits of the use of the leaves only. These shrivel considerably as they dry; when expanded they are seen to be sinuate-dentate in outline (10 to 15 centimetres long), usually unequal at the base, and glabrous, or nearly so, although when quite young they bear scattered hairs. Portions of the lamina, when cleared with solution of chloral hydrate and examined under the microscope, exhibit wavy epidermal cells, stomata surrounded by three or four cells, of which one is smaller than the others, and numerous cluster-crystals of calcium oxalate. The leaves have a characteristic, disagreeable odour, and saline, bitterish taste. In addition to the leaves, the commercial drug usually contains the shrivelled, bristly, young fruits, tubular calyx and yellowish corolla. Stramonium leaves are sometimes imported in a broken (laminated) condition, and are then not infrequently adulterated; in such cases microscopical examination is necessary. The yield of ash varies front 13 to 20 per cent.
Constituents.—The drug contains from 0.1 to 0.3 per cent. of alkaloid, the average being about 0.22 per cent. (U.S.P. not less than 0.25 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids), localised chiefly in the midrib and veins, the interneural parenchyma containing much less. This consists chiefly of hyoscyamine associated with atropine and scopolamine.
Action and Uses.—The properties of stramonium are virtually those of the alkaloid hyoscyamine. The drug is used chiefly to relieve the spasmodic contractions of the bronchioles in asthma: it paralyses the peripheral ends of the vagi in the bronchioles, so that the latter relax. It is administered as Tinctura Stramonii in mixture form, often with tincture of lobelia and potassium bromide. The leaves are smoked in cigarettes, or are mixed with potassium nitrate and other antiasthmatic substances, then burned and the fumes inhaled (see Pulvis Stramonii Compositus). The treatment is, however, only palliative, and the causation of the attack is not affected.
Dose.—3 to 6 centigrams (1/2 to 1 grain).
- Extractum Stramonii Exsiccatum, B.P.C.—DRIED EXTRACT OF STRAMONIUM. Syn.—Extractum Stramonii Foliorum Exsiccatum; Dried Extract of Stramonium Leaves.
- Dried extract of stramonium contains 1 per cent. of alkaloids. It must be kept in well-stoppered bottles, and stored in a cool, dry place. The extract is hygroscopic, and to counteract this it is desirable to use as diluent a powdered leaf of such high alkaloidal content that the finished product will contain at least two of diluent to one of extract. Dose.—15 to 60 milligrams (1/4 to 1 grain).
- Extractum Stramonii, U.S.P.—EXTRACT OF STRAMONIUM, U.S.P.
- Fluidextract of stramonium, 100. The fluidextract is evaporated to a pilular consistence, and, if necessary, milk sugar is added to malic the extract contain 1 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids. Average dose.—10 milligrams (1/5 grain).
- Fluidextractum Stramonii, U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF STRAMONIUM.
- Stramonium leaves, in No. 40 powder, 100; alcohol (64 per cent.), a sufficient quantity. This preparation is standardised to contain 0.25 per cent. w/v of mydriatic alkaloids. Average dose.—5 centimils (0.05 milliliters) (1 minim).
- Pulvis Stramonii Compositus, B.P.C.—COMPOUND STRAMONIUM POWDER.
- Stramonium leaves, 50; lobelia, 6; anise fruit, 12; tea leaves, 6; oil of eucalyptus, 1; potassium nitrate, to 100. Used several times daily, as may be necessary, for asthma. About half a teaspoonful is pressed by, the fingers into the shape of a cone, which is then lighted at the top; the patient inhales the fumes as the powder burns. Pulvis Lobeliae Compositus is a similar preparation
- Tinctura Stramonii B.P.—TINCTURE OF STRAMONIUM.
- Stramonium, in No. 20 powder, 20; alcohol (45 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Add 20 of the alcohol to the drug to moisten it, and complete the percolation process. Tincture of stramonium is used with other anti-spasmodics in asthma; its action is due to hyoscyamine. Dose.—3 to 10 decimils (0.3 to 1.0 milliliters) (5 to 15 minims).
- Tinctura Stramonii, U.S.P.—TINCTURE OF STRAMONIUM, U.S.P.
- Stramonium leaves, containing not less than 0.25 per cent. of mydriatic alkaloids, in No. 60 powder, 10; alcohol (49 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. This preparation is made to contain 0.025 per cent w/v of mydriatic alkaloids. Average dose.—5 decimils (0.5 milliliters) (8 minims).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.