The Anti-gastric Method

Sources: Hydriatic Treatment Of Scarlet Fever In Its Different Forms

consisting in the free use of emetics or purgatives, has been

recommended by some eminent practitioners. Withering, Tissot, Kennedy

and others are in favor of the former, and find fault with the latter,

whilst Hamilton, Willard, Abernethy, Gregory, &c., prefer

purgatives, and some, of course, look upon calomel as the anchor of

safety, which they recommend in quantities of from five to ten grains

per hour. The friends of one part of the anti-gastric method make

war upon the other: Withering finding purgatives entirely out of place

and Sandwith, Fothergill and others having seen nothing but harm done by

them, whilst Wendt, Berndt, Heyfelder and others caution their

readers against emetics. The anti-gastric method has been of some

service in epidemics and individual cases, when the character of the

disease was decidedly gastric and bilious. To use emetics or purgatives

indiscriminately would do much more harm than good; as, for instance,

during a congestive condition of the brain, the former, and with

inflammatory symptoms of the bowels, the latter, would be almost sure to

sacrifice the patient to the method.