In early inquiries a great point was made of the prevention of putrefaction, and work was done in the way of finding how much of an agent must be added to a given solution, in order that the bacteria accidentally present might not develop. But for various reasons this was an inexact method, and to-day an antiseptic is judged by its effects on pure cultures of definite pathogenic microbes, and on their vegetative and spore forms. Their standardization has been effected in many instances, and a water solution of carbolic acid of a certain fixed 'strength is now taken as the standard with which other antiseptics are compared.
The more important of those in use to-day are carbolic acid, the perchloride and biniodide of mercury, iodoform, formalin, salicylic acid, &c. Carbolic acid is germicidal in strong solution, inhibitory in weaker ones.
All preparations or admixtures which are not included in part 1 of the schedule, and contain a poison within the meaning of the pharmacy acts, except preparations or admixtures, the exclusion of which from this schedule is indicated by the words therein relating to carbolic acid, chloroform and coca, and except such substances as come within the provisions of section 5 of the act.
Carbolic acid is an efficient parasiticide, and is largely used in destroying the fungus of ringworm and of the skin disease known as pityriasis versicolor.
A piece of cotton wool soaked in strong carbolic acid will relieve the pain of dental caries, but is useless in other forms of toothache.
Taken internally, in doses of from one to three grains, carbolic acid will often relieve obstinate cases of vomiting and has some value as a gastric antiseptic.
Carbolic acid is distinguished from all other acids so-called - except oxalic acid and hydrocyanic acid - in that it is a neurotic poison, having a marked action directly upon the nervous system.
In all cases of carbolic acid poisoning the nervous influence is seen.
Carbolic acid and sulphates combine in the blood to form sulpho-carbolates, which are innocuous.
The symptoms of nerve-poisoning are due to the carbolic acid (or its salts) which circulate in the blood after all the sulphates in the blood have been used up in the formation of sulpho-carbolates (hence, during administration of carbolic acid, the urine should frequently be tested for the presence of free sulphates; as long as these occur in the urine, they are present in the blood and there is no danger).
Among the principal varieties are those which contain carbolic acid and other ingredients of coal tar, salicylic acid, petroleum, borax, camphor, iodine, mercurial salts, sulphur and tannin.
Useful combinations are: borax 10%, carbolic acid 5%, ichthyol 5%, sublimed sulphur 10%, thymol 22%, &c.
As an antiseptic salicylic acid is somewhat less powerful than carbolic acid, but its insolubility renders it unsuitable for general use.
It is much more powerful than carbolic acid in its inhibitory action upon unorganized ferments such as pepsin or ptyalin.
Each of corrosive sublimate and carbolic acid in i gallon of methylated spirits.
But carbolic acid and caustic potash destroy it only after a day or two, consequently they are not a remedy.
Recent work has shown it is too feeble to be relied upon alone, but where really efficient antiseptics, such as mercuric chloride and iodide, and carbolic acid, have been already employed, boracic acid (which, unlike these, is non-poisonous and non-irritant) may legitimately be used to maintain the aseptic or non-bacterial condition which they have obtained.
In Blythe's process the timber is dried, and crude carbolic acid injected.
For diethyl ether see Ether, and for methyl phenyl ether (anisole) and ethyl phenyl ether (phenetole) see Carbolic Acid.
The change involved the omission of a small proportion of carbolic acid which had up till then been added to the original fluid as a further precaution against contamination.
The new fluid, or water agar process, contained no carbolic acid, other methods being relied upon to ensure its purity.
They also expressed the opinion that carbolic acid was a valuable agent in restraining tetanus growth when added to plague prophylactic, ' and they, therefore, thought that its omission was a grave mistake.
(3) The Institute is in entire agreement with the commission as to the value of 5% carbolic acid in restraining tetanus growth when added to plague prophylactic, and its experiments emphasize still further the importance of this addition in preventing growth and toxin formation in a vaccine which might be liable to the possibility of contamination with spores of tetanus.
This fluid was sterilized by methods approved by the Indian Plague Commission and contained the requisite proportion of carbolic acid.
Thus carbolic acid or carbolized ammonia are sniffed into the nose to destroy the microbes there, or the nose is washed out by an antiseptic solution as a nasal douche; bismuth or morphine are insufflated, or zinc ointment is applied, to cover the mucous membrane, and protect it from further irritation; and various antiseptic gargles, paints and powders applied to the pharynx in order to prevent the microbic inflammation from extending to the pharynx and down the trachea and bronchi, for many a severe bronchitis begins first by sneezing and nasal irritation.
Irritation is lessened by lotions containing substances that will diminish irritability of the nerve-endings and skin, such as carbolic acid, hydrocyanic acid, morphine or opium, cocaine, belladonna or atropine.
Most of these belong to the aromatic group of bodies, although one of them, antipyrin, belongs rather to the furfurol group. Carbolic acid has an antipyretic action, but on account of its poisonous properties it cannot be employed as an antipyretic. Salicylic acid has a strong antipyretic action, and is most commonly used in the form of its sodium salt, which is much more soluble than the acid itself.
Amongst the best of these are carbolic acid in doses of one or two grains, creosote in one or two drops, and sulpho-carbolate of soda in doses of ten grains.
Devoting himself almost entirely to industrial chemistry, he gave much attention to the manufacture of coal-tar products, and particularly carbolic acid, for the production of which he established large works in Manchester in 1865.
It is a more powerful antiseptic than carbolic acid, but its insolubility prevents its being used for the same purposes.
Against the bacteria quinine is not at all an exceptionally powerful antiseptic, though more powerful than carbolic acid.