The most frequent mode of administration is the hypodermic method, on account of the extreme rapidity with which it is absorbed.
Of the numerous preparations only two need be mentioned - the liquid extract (dose 10 minims to 2 drachms or more), and the hypodermic injection.
Hypodermic tabloids of morphine sulphate either alone or combined with atropine are much in use.
Chronic opium poisoning by the taking of laudanum - as in the familiar case of De Quincey - need not be considered here, as the hypodermic injection of morphine has almost entirely supplanted it.
Fibrolysin is a modified form of thiosinamine made by mixing it with sodium salicylate Fibrolysin is freely soluble and may be given in hypodermic or intra-muscular injection.
Hypodermic injection of strychnine, in some cases as much as one to two grains (but not into a vein!), has in some cases had good results; but injection of ammonia, instead of doing any good, has disastrous sloughing results.
There is some reason to believe that this complicated and variable apparatus is used for stabbing the body of another animal and that beginning as a weapon for catching prey it has become modified for hypodermic impregnation and only gradually adapted for insertion into the bursa copulatrix.
A recent method of using the drug is in the form of sodium cacodylate by subcutaneous injection, and this preparation is said to be free from the cumulative effects sometimes arising after the prolonged use of the other forms. Other organic derivatives employed are sodium metharsenite and sodium anilarsenate or atoxyl; hypodermic injections of the latter have been used in the treatment of sleeping sickness.
The injections are made by means of a hypodermic syringe into the subcutaneous tissue, into a vein, into one of the serous sacs, or more rarely into some special part of the body.
In pneumonia and other acute disease, where the patient is liable to sudden collapse, a hypodermic injection of strychnine will often save the patient's life.
The dose is 310 grain, and should invariably be administered by hypodermic injection.