Properties of Lactic Acid. It is a syrupy, oily liquid, of specific gravity 1.213, and difficult to obtain pure. It should be given in quantity sufficient to render water distinctly sour, and always well diluted. It is found in the stomach, being a product of the food, and combines with bases in the blood, forming lactates, which being oxidized are converted into carbonates. Dose, ℨss-℥ss, well diluted.
Physiological Action. It aids digestion, and promotes the appetite; in large doses causing flatulence and much epigastric pain. Injected into the peritoneal cavity of animals, it excites endocarditis, and given in diabetes it has caused acute rheumatism and rheumatic endocarditis. Hence its supposed causation of acute rheumatism, when in excess and free in the blood.
Therapeutics. It is used in diabetes, atonic dyspepsia, oxaluria, and in the lithic and phosphatic diatheses when due to imperfect digestion and assimilation. As a solvent of false membrane in croup and diphtheria, it is unquestionably of great service, but is difficult of application, as in a solution of sufficient strength to act upon the membrane it causes considerable smarting pain. In chronic cystitis it arrests the ammoniacal decomposition of the urine.
A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Prescription Writing, 1902, by Sam'l O. L. Potter, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.