If taken in overdose or in a concentrated form tartaric acid produces severe gastro-enteritis.
The symptoms of acute poisoning are pain and diarrhoea, owing to the setting up of an active gastro-enteritis, the foeces being black (due to the formation of a sulphide of lead), thirst, cramps in the legs and muscular twitchings, with torpor, collapse, convulsions and coma.
Taken in large doses nitrate of silver is a powerful poison, causing violent abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea with the development of gastro-enteritis.
There is headache, which, with the continuance of the drug, becomes exceedingly severe, the vision and equilibrium are affected, and there is often some gastro-intestinal irritation.
In concentrated or large doses lithium salts cause vomiting and diarrhoea, due to a gastro-enteritis set up by their action.
Internally, unless the dose be extremely small, all preparations are severe gastro-intestinal irritants.
The similarity of the symptoms to those of cholera is very marked, but if the suspicion arises it can soon be cleared up by examining any of the secretions for arsenic. More rarely the poison seems to centre itself on the nerve centres, and gastro-intestinal symptoms may be almost or quite absent.
If it be absorbed from a surgical dressing there are no irritant symptoms, but when the acid is swallowed in concentrated form, symptoms of gastro-intestinal irritation occur.
These symptoms with more or less gastro-intestinal irritation and decrease in the quantity of urine passed indicate digitalis poisoning.
Internally hydrogen peroxide is used in various diseased conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract, such as dyspepsia, diarrhoea and enteric fever.
Taken internally in any but minute doses, the drug causes the most severe gastro-intestinal irritation, the vomited and evacuated matters containing blood, and the patient suffering agonizing pain and extreme depression.
The post-mortem appearances are also very similar, but the gastro-intestinal irritation is much less marked and inflammation of the lungs is more commonly seen.
Given in toxic doses or in strong solution, sulphuric acid is a severe gastro-intestinal irritant, causing intense burning pain, extending from the mouth to the stomach, and vomiting of mucous and coffee-coloured material.
From this has developed the intramuscular injection of diluted sea-water in the treatment of gastro-enteritis, anaemia and various skin affections.