Chlorodyne

1891 advertisement for J. Collis Browne's Chlorodyne
1891 advertisement for a rival brand of Chlorodyne

Chlorodyne was the name for one of the most famous patent medicines sold in the British Isles. It was invented in the 19th century by a Dr. John Collis Browne, a doctor in the British Indian Army; its original purpose was in the treatment of cholera. Browne sold his formula to the pharmacist John Thistlewood Davenport, who advertised it widely, as a treatment for cholera, diarrhea, insomnia, neuralgia, migraines, etc. As its principal ingredients were a mixture of laudanum (an alcoholic solution of opium), tincture of cannabis, and chloroform, it readily lived up to its claims of relieving pain, as a sedative, and for the treatment of diarrhea.

Imitations

Chlorodyne sold extremely well for many years; as its active ingredients were well known, local chemists' shops would also make up cheaper generic versions for sale to their customers. Here is an example of such a generic formulation, from Materia Medica by William Hale-White & A.H. Douthwaite, 21st edition (1932):

"Tinctura Chloroformi et Morphinæ Composita intended to be an imitation of the proprietary medicine called chlorodyne. Mix chloroform 75, tincture of capsicum 25, tincture of Indian hemp 100, oil of peppermint 2 and glycerin 250 with alcohol (20 per cent) 450. Dissolve morphine hydrochloride 10 in the mixture. Add to it diluted hydrocyanic acid 50 and enough alcohol (90 per cent) to make 1000. Strength. 1 millilitre contains chloroform 7.5 centimils; morphine hydrochloride 1 centigram; acidum hydrocyanicum dilutum 5 centimils. Dose 5 to 15 minims - 0.2 to 1ml

Besides the generics, a number of rival sellers marketed their own branded versions of the formula, brands such as "Freeman's", "Teasdale's", and "Towle's". It can be seen from the illustrations that the authenticity of these rival brands was hotly contested.

Decline

Though the drug was effective in many ways, its high opiate content also made it very addictive,[1] and deaths from overdoses, either accidental or deliberate, became a frequent occurrence. A common feature of the coroner's report in such cases would be the description of the deceased's body being found in a flat or bedsit littered with empty Chlorodyne bottles. Over the decades of the twentieth century, the cannabis was removed from the formulation, and the amount of opiates in the medicine were progressively reduced. The name of Collis Browne lives on in Britain in a mixture sold under the trade name "J Collis Browne's Mixture" for the relief of coughs and diarrhea. This modern formulation contains morphine and peppermint oil.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chlorodyne — Chlo ro*dyne, n. [From chlorine, in imitation of anodyne.] (Med.) A patent anodyne medicine, containing opium, chloroform, Indian hemp, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chlorodyne — Chlorodyne, Mischung aus Chloroform, Morphium, Hanftinktur, Pfefferminzöl, Spanischpfeffertiuktur und Alkohol, wird als krampfstillendes und erregendes Mittel benutzt …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • chlorodyne — noun /ˈklɒɹədaɪn/ A narcotic drug, made from chloroform, morphia and other substances. Then he began, for he had a good memory, quoting a few of the more important notes in the papers slowly and one by one as a man drops chlorodyne into a glass …   Wiktionary

  • chlorodyne — ˈ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ˌdīn noun ( s) Etymology: from Chlorodyne, a trademark : a preparation of varying composition containing numerous narcotic and sedative drugs …   Useful english dictionary

  • chlorodyne — chlo·ro·dyne …   English syllables

  • Patent medicine — E.W. Kemble s Death s Laboratory in Collier s in 1906 Patent medicine refers to medical compounds of questionable effectiveness sold under a variety of names and labels. The term patent medicine is somewhat of a misnomer because, in most cases,… …   Wikipedia

  • Theo Marzials — Théophile Jules Henri Theo Marzials (20 December 1850 – 2 February 1920) was a British composer, singer and poet.[1] Marzials was described in 1894 as a poet and eccentric by parodist Max Beerbohm,[2] and, after writing and performing several… …   Wikipedia

  • Тайные средства — (и патентованные) медицинские и фармацевтические (Geheimmittel, medicinische u. pharmaceutische Specialitäten, Patentmittel, Arcana) представляют чрезвычайно важный интерес с точки зрения охранения народного здравия. Названия тайное или секретное …   Энциклопедический словарь Ф.А. Брокгауза и И.А. Ефрона

  • Adelaide Bartlett — Adelaide Bartlett, Fotografie um 1868 Adelaide Bartlett (* 1855 in Orléans als Adelaide Blanche de la Tremouille) war die mutmaßliche Mörderin ihres Ehemannes, Thomas Edwin Bartlett, in einem der bekanntesten Kriminalfälle des Viktorianischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Adelaide Blanche de la Tremouille — Adelaide Bartlett (* 1855 in Orléans als Adelaide Blanche de la Tremouille) war die mutmaßliche Mörderin ihres Ehemannes, Thomas Edwin Bartlett, in einem der bekanntesten Kriminalfälle des Viktorianischen Zeitalters. Bekannt ist der Fall vor… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.