BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS.—Leaves large, sessile, wavy, cut, or toothed; flowers large and terminal, drooping before expansion; petals 4, large, roundish, white or purplish with a darker colored spot near the claws; stigmas 4 to 20, radiating, sessile upon the disk, which covers the ovary. Capsule obovate, 1-celled; placentae extended so as to almost divide the cavity into several cells; dehiscence by small chinks or pores beneath the crown formed by the radiating stigmas; seeds numerous, reniform.
SOURCE.—Western Asia; cultivated in the elevated plains of India, in Egypt, Persia, Asia Minor, and in some parts of Europe. Varieties: (1) Smyrna, Levant, Turkey, or Constantinople; opium generally in flattish masses-the most abundant in the market, to which descriptions in text-books usually apply (2) Egyptian, in flattened, roundish cakes; (3) Persian, in cylindrical sticks or cakes of a black color; (4) Indian, in flat squares, covered with layers of mica, and further protected by a coating of wax or an oiled-paper wrapper; (5) Chinese, in flat, globular cakes; (6) European.
DESCRIPTION OF DRUG.—In irregular or subglobular lumps weighing from four ounces to two pounds, enveloped in remnants of poppy leaves and with chaffy fruits of a species of Rumex adhering; when fresh it is plastic, breaking or tearing apart, showing an irregular, chestnut-brown surface, shining when rubbed; odor peculiar, narcotic; taste bitter. When examined with a pocket lens, it is seen to be composed of yellowish, agglutinated tears. The value of the gum, however, is determined only by assay. Opium should yield not less than 9 per cent.; powdered opium not less than 12, nor more than 12.5 per cent., of crystallized morphine when assayed by the official process.
Granulated opium, or coarsely powdered opium, is an article of commerce, and is especially recommended as a form of the drug best adapted to the preparation of the tinctures.
Powder.—Characteristic elements: See Part iv, Chap. I, B.
ADULTERATIONS.—To increase the weight various articles are used, such as sand, clay, scrapings of poppy capsules, and various mucilaginous, albuminous, and saccharine matters. The writer has taken from the interior of about a two-pound lump of opium over a quarter of a pound of lead bullets.
A mixture sold for opium was analyzed and found to be mostly aloes which after suitable mixing, had been buried in the ground until the odor of aloes was gone.
Factitious opium has occasionally been met with, of soft consistence, blackish-brown color, less odorous than the genuine. It is probably an aqueous extract of the poppy plant.
Alkaloidal assay, and microscope, easily betray adulteration.
CONSTITUENTS.—Opium contains a mixture of sixteen or more different alkaloids, with meconic acid, coloring matters, and various inert substances. The principal constituents are the following alkaloids: Morphine, C17H19NO3 + H2O. codeine, C18H21NO3 + H2O (both official); narcotine, narceine, paramorphine, papaverine, meconidine, pseudomorphine, codamine, laudanine, and oxynarcotine; these are in combination with meconic and, thebolactic acids. Mineral constituents average about 6 per cent.
Preparation of Morphine.—To the concentrated infusion of opium add three volumes of a mixture composed of one part of alcohol, two volumes of ether, and one-third volume of ammonia; shake, and set aside for crystals to form.
Preparation of Codeine.—The mother liquor, from which morphine has separated, yields crude codeine on evaporation. Obtained artificially by heating morphine with methyl iodide and soda or potassa.
Preparation of Narceine.—The concentrated infusion of opium is shaken with ether. This removes narcotine. If alkali be added in excess, codeine is deposited. Prom the filtrate morphine can be crystallized, and from the mother liquor narceine may be obtained upon evaporation.
Preparation of Meconic Acid.—Add CaCl2 to an infusion of opium, which precipitates calcium meconate; decompose the latter by dilute HCl at 180°F. This deposits the calcium bimeconate, which is dissolved in warm concentrated HCl, from which the pure meconic acid deposits in cooling.
ACTION AND USES.—Stimulant, narcotic, anodyne, antispasmodic, and intoxicant. It restrains the movements and checks the secretions of the stomach and intestinal canal. The dominant action of opium, however, is upon the brain, first producing mental and emotional exhilaration, then hypnotic depression. It is a powerful respiratory depressant, death usually resulting from paralysis of the respiratory center in the medulla. Toxic doses, also, finally paralyze both the heart and vagi, and produce a rapid and feeble pulse. While the effects are due to the morphine present, the drug is not fully represented by this alkaloid. Codeine is also hypnotic, but affects the cerebrum less. Narcotine is antiperiodic. Thebaine is sudorific and excitant. Dose of opium: 1 to 2 gr. (0.065 to 0.13 Gm.).
POISONING shows three stages or degrees as follows:
- Rather slow respiration, slow heart but good blood pressure, much contracted pupils. The patient is sluggish or inattentive. There may be nausea perhaps retching or vomiting.
- A stupor which supervenes in from fifteen to thirty minutes. The face is cyanotic flushed, the skin warm, the respirations regular, only 4 to 10 per minute, slow heart but blood pressure remains good, pupils pin point, the patient in a state of unconsciousness from which he can be aroused with difficulty.
- This stage is manifested by coma and collapse. The skin is cyanotic, cold and clammy, the pulse is weak, patient cannot be aroused, respirations are very infrequent and shallow about 3 or 4 per minute.
ANTIDOTES.—Emetics, apomorphine subcutaneously injected, strong coffee and stimulants, evacuation by mechanical means (stomach-pump, etc.), or rousing and walking the patient. Atropine is the physiological antagonist.
- OFFICIAL PREPARATIONS.
- Opii Pulvis (10 to 10.5 per cent. of anhydrous Morphine), Dose: 1/4 to 2 gr. (0.016 to 0.13 Gm.).
- Extractum Opii (20 per cent. Morphine), 1/4 to 1 gr. (0.016 to 0.065 Gm.).
- Opium Deodoratum (12 to 12.5 per cent. Morphine), 1/4 to 2 gr. (0.016 to 0.13 Gm.).
- Mistura Glycyrrhizae Composita, (2 1/4 fl. dr.).
- Opium Granulatum, (1 Gm.).
- Pulvis Ipecacuanhae et Opii (1 gr. Opium and 1 gr. Ipecac in every 10 gr.), 5 to 10 gr. (0.3 to 0.6 Gm.).
- Tinctura Opii (10 per cent.), 5 to 10 gr. (0.3 to 0.6 Gm.).
- Tinctura Opii Camphorata (Opium, Camphor, Benzoic Acid, and Oil of Anise, each 0.4 per cent.), 1 to 4 fl. dr. (4 to 15 mils.)
- Mist. Glycyrrhizae Co (From Camphorated Tr.),
- Tinctura Opii Deodorati (10 per cent.), 5 to 15 <minim> (0.3 to 1 mil).
- Morphina, 1/8 to 1/2 gr. (0.008 to 0.032 Gm.).
- Morphinae Hydrochloridum, 1/8 to 1/2 gr. (0.008 to 0.032 Gm.).
- Morphinae Sulphas, 1/8 to 1/2 gr. (0.008 to 0.032 Gm.).
- Codeina, 1/4 to 2 gr. (0.016 to 0.13 Gm.).
181. PAPAVER.—POPPY CAPSULES. (Papaveris Fructus, N.F.) The nearly ripe capsules, free from seeds, of Papa'ver somnif'erum Linné. There are two varieties, distinguished by the color of their seeds. The white poppy is usually considered the true opium plant; its capsule is smooth, of various shapes, but usually subglobular and somewhat flattened at the extremities; it is of a gray or a light yellowish-brown color, 50 to 100 mm. (2 to 4 in.) in diameter, crowned with the sessile stigmas arranged in a circle; placentae parietal, projecting toward the center; odor slight; taste bitter.
CONSTITUENTS.—Morphine, codeine, narcotine, narceine, papaverosine, and rhoeadine, united with organic acids, of which meconic is the most important.
ACTION AND USES.—Hypnotic and sedative in syrup or extract; local anodyne in decoction. Dose: 15 to 30 gr. (1 to 2 Gm.).
182. PAPAVERIS SEMEN.—POPPY SEED. MAW SEED. The seed of Papa'ver somniferum, remarkable for containing so large a per cent. of fixed oil, which is very useful in the arts, and is also demulcent and anodyne. The seeds are less than a millimeter in length, kidney-shaped, with the surface regularly pitted, giving them a beautiful appearance under a lens. There is a black-seeded and a white-seeded variety under cultivation.
Fifty per cent. of oil is obtained from the seeds by warm and 30 per cent. by cold pressure. It is pale yellow, with a bland and slightly sweetish taste, totally destitute of narcotic properties. Poppy-seed oil is used for salads, paints, soaps, illumination, and to adulterate olive and almond oils.
A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.