For the action and use of chloroform as an anaesthetic, see Anaesthesia.
The therapeutic applications of the drug are based entirely upon its anaesthetic or anodyne power.
Brucine is a local anaesthetic. Strychnine enters the blood as such, being freely absorbed from mucous surfaces or when given hypodermically.
CHLOROFORM (trichlor-methane), CHC1 3, a valuable anaesthetic, a colourless liquid, possessing an agreeable smell and a pleasant taste.
Externally chloroforrr ‘ is an antiseptic, a local anaesthetic if allowed to evaporate, and a rubefacient, causing the vessels of the skin to dilate, if rubbed in.
The uses of chloroform which fall to be mentioned here are: - as a counter-irritant; as a local anaesthetic for toothache due to caries, it being applied on a cotton wool plug which is inserted into the carious cavity; as an antispasmodic in tetanus and hydrophobia; and as the best and most immediate and effective antidote in cases of strychnine poisoning.
It acts similarly, though less markedly, upon the nerves which determine the secretion of the perspiration, and is therefore a local anaesthetic or anodyne and an anhidrotic. Being rapidly absorbed into the blood, it exercises a long and highly important series of actions on nearly every part and function of the nervous system.
It is used as an anaesthetic, principally in dentistry, producing when inhaled a condition of hysterical excitement often accompanied by loud laughter, whence it is sometimes called "laughing gas."