The antidotes are mild alkalis, together with the use of opium to relieve pain.
The oxide and carbonate of magnesium are also invaluable as antidotes, since they form insoluble compounds with oxalic acid and salts of mercury, arsenic, and copper.
An electuary of opium, known as Mithradatum, was invented by Mithradates VI., king of Pontus, who lived in constant fear of being poisoned, and tested the effects of poisons on criminals, and is said to have taken poisons and their antidotes every day in the year.
AEMILIUS MACER, of Verona, Roman didactic poet, author of two poems, one on birds (Ornithogonia), the other on the antidotes against the poison of serpents (Theriaca), imitated from the Greek poet Nicander of Colophon.
In these cases lime-water, alkalis and magnesia should be used as antidotes, and opium may be required.
The toxins produced by microbes, if too weak to destroy the leucocytes, induce them to secrete antitoxins, which not only act as antidotes to the toxins and are injurious to the microbes, but also increase the phagocytic power of the leucocytes (opsonius of Wright).
The antagonism between certain drugs has been much studied in relation to their use as antidotes in poisoning, the aim being to counteract the effects rather than to obtain a direct physiological antagonistic action.
For some of these, as redwater (pyrosoma), antidotes are already found; for others, as for Texas fever - of which the parasite is unknown, but the mode of its transmission, by the mosquito, discovered (Finlay-Reed) - preventive measures are reducing the prevalence.
The concretions known as bezoar-stones, formerly much used in medicine and as antidotes of poison, are obtained from the stomach of the wild goat.
The use of chemical antidotes, such as iron salts, is futile, as the drug has escaped into the blood from the stomach long before they can be administered.
The physiological as well as the chemical antidotes must be employed.
Old turpentine and French oil of turpentine are antidotes to phosphorus, forming turpentine-phosphoric acid, which is inert.
The treatment is to empty the stomach by tube or by a non-depressant emetic. The physiological antidotes are atropine and digitalin or strophanthin, which should be injected subcutaneously in maximal doses.
The antidotes for oxalic acid poisoning are milk of lime, chalk, whiting, or even wall-plaster, followed by evacuation brought about by an enema or castor oil.