Synonyms—Adonis Apennina, Pheasant's eye.
- Adonidin. Dose, from 1/10 to 1/3 grain.
- Fluid Extract of Adonis Vernalis; miscible in water without material precipitation. Dose, one to two minims.
- Specific Medicine Adonis. Dose, from one-fourth of a minim to one minim. It is usually prescribed: ten drops in four ounces of water, a teaspoonful every two hours.
Adonidin—The constituents of adonis were studied by Cervello, who obtained from it only one active substance, which he named "Adonidin." This substance is extremely energetic and seems to be present only in small proportion. It is a non-nitrogenous, colorless, odorless and extremely bitter amorphous powder.
Physiological Action—From a careful clinical and physiological study of the effects of adonis vernalis, Dr. Budnow concludes that the active principle excites the inhibitory nerves in the heart at the central end; that its further action is to paralyze the peripheral end of the vagus; that it likewise excites the accelerator nerves, sometimes directly (through the blood pressure), sometimes indirectly; that at the moment of the vagal paralysis, the two systems of cardiac innervation interfere; that at the termination of the toxic effect, paralysis of the motor nervous apparatus of the heart occurs; that after death there. is either complete loss of excitability or the cardiac muscle is very much weakened.
Durand sums up his observations as follows: In doses of 1/3 grain Adonidin increases arterial tension, regulates the heart beat, diminishes the frequency of the pulse, increases the force of the cardiac contractions. Acting with rapidity, its effect being present only during administration increases diuresis, is well tolerated, but increased doses irritate the stomach.
He commends its use especially in mitral insufficiency and interstitial myocarditis, and in palpitation of the heart.
Therapy—Adonis is indicated in chronic weak heart where the venous circulation is engorged, and where there is a tendency to varicosed ulcers. In functional heart disorders with weakness, the agent is contraindicated.
In the treatment of varicosis, one writer advises it in small doses persisted in.
The agent is of value in those conditions which result from imperfect arterial tension, due to incompetent heart action. It is useful in many cases of dropsy, especially if the kidneys are inefficient in their action. It contracts the enfeebled and dilated heart muscle and improves its tone. In general dropsy its influence is quite as satisfactory as that of the other heart remedies, probably, however, not more so than digitalis, although its diuretic influence is sometimes great. In those cases in which digitalis fails to produce diuresis, the diuretic influence of adonis vernalis is more constant. It is valuable in irregularity of the heart and in dyspnea from feeble heart. It is also serviceable in dyspnea from asthma with cardiacal feebleness. It has produced marked results in these cases.
It has been advised by some prominent authorities in the treatment of epilepsy The following formula has been suggested: Forty grains are dissolved in five ounces of water and filtered. To this are added 160 grains of potassium bromide and three grains of caffeine. A teaspoonful of this four times daily has cured some stubborn cases. The agent is often given in infusion.
The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.