Bibliographic references


Dictionary of protopharmacology: therapeutic practices 1700-1850

Resource verified by SHCG editorial group

Publisher: Watson Publishing international Canton USA 1990

ISBN: 978-0881350685


Professor Estes' Dictionary of Protopharmacology will be welcomed by students of medical and pharmaceutical literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, for it provides considerable information about the materia medica, and in the process reveals much about the medical practices of the time. Surprisingly, no similar reference work was previously available in English. There is, in German, Wolfgang Schneider's seven-volume Lexikon zur Arzneimittelgeschichte (Frankfurt, 1968-75). The Lexikon covers all time periods and is more comprehensive than Estes; e.g., one volume of 410 pages covers just pharmaceutical chemicals and minerals, while another of 307 pages deals with only proprietary medicines and specialties. Although Friedrich A. Fluckiger and Daniel Hanbury's Pharmacographia: A History of the Principal Drugs of Vegetable Origin (London, 1874) and John Uri Lloyd's Origin and History of all the Pharmacopeial Vegetable Drutgs (Cincinnati, 1921) are valuable historical recourses, their approaches are quite different. The Dictionary begins, most appropriately, with a definition of the word protopharmacology. We learn that Chauncey Leake coined the term in 1975 "to encompass the study of the drugs used during all the centuries before modern academic pharmacology began to emerge . in 1849." Thus, the Dictionary defines the composition of the drug preparations most commonly prescribed from about 1700 to 1850, except those exemplars of polypharmacy such as mithridate containing over 50 ingredients. Contemporary beliefs in the therapeutic effects of nearly every item in the materia medica are delineated, and, in a number of instances, the adverse effects are also described. Some definitions (e.g., cinchona and opium) are actually informative minihistories. In fact, a great deal of historical information is included, and some attention is given to the derivation of drug names. Interestingly, names Address for reprint requests: Clinical Research, Building WBD-365, Merck and Co., Inc., P.O. Box 2000, Rahway, NJ 07065-0914


drug medicine

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