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.
Of the dry antiseptics iodoform is constantly used in septic or tuberculous wounds, and it appears to have an inhibitory action on Bacillus tuberculosis.
It is much more powerful than carbolic acid in its inhibitory action upon unorganized ferments such as pepsin or ptyalin.
The action of aconitine on the circulation is due to an initial stimulation of the cardio-inhibitory centre in the medulla oblongata (at the root of the vagus nerves), and later to a directly toxic influence on the nerve-ganglia and muscular fibres of the heart itself.
The amount of urea, creatin, creatinin, sulphates and phosphates in the urine is diminished, clearly showing that quinine exerts an inhibitory influence over the metabolic processes of the body.