Friday, May 19, 2017

1904: Wompole's Hypno-Bromic Comp will cure your asthma

By 1904 asthma was still a nervous affection, and a notable treatments were medicines to ease the mind. One such remedy was Wompole's Hypno-Bromic Comp.  

According to a 1904 article in the New Albany Medical herald:
"If you want to give your patient relief from asthma, and a good refreshing sleep from which he will wake greatly refreshed, Just try wompole's hypno-Bromic Comp.  It will give quick and satisfactory results. Give this relief to the next case of asthma you are called to treat." (1, page 584)  
Cocaine and morphine were often prescribed to help a nervous person sleep. But, ccording to an 1898 article in Medical Progress, Wompole's Hypno-Bromic Comp. not only worked better, but was safer.  The article mentions a case where morphine was trialed, although after a while it allowed the patient, a female, to "sleep an hour or two.  She was given a teaspoon of Wompoles Hypno-Bromic Comp. each night immediately after she had come out of the bath.  This remedy had a most happy effect."

Two other cases were also described, and the results were essentially the same.  (3)

A recipe for this product can be made in your own kitchen:. Here are the ingredients. 
Chloral hydrate gr. 480
Potassium bromide gr. 240
Extract of henbane gr. 4 4
Morphine sulphate gr. 2
Simple syrup fl. dr. 4
Comp. spirit of orange. fl. dr. 1 Water, enough to make. fl.oz. 4 Make a concentrated solution of the chloral hydrate in water, triturate the extracts with this solution; add the potassium bromide and the morphine each dissolved in water, the spirit and the remainder of the water, and filter clear.(2)
This would have been just another option in the days when there were no ideal treatments for our disease.

  1. "Medical Gleanings," New Albany Medical Herald, volume 22, No. 286 October, 1904, New Series Volume 11, Number 157 
  2. Hiss, Emil, "Thesaurus of Proprietary A recipe for this product can be found on page 271 of Emil Hiss's 1898 book "Thesaurus of Proprietary Preparations and Pharmaceutical Specialties," 1898, Chicago, G.P. Englehard and Company page 272
  3. "Suggestions on the management of nervous trouble," The Medical Progress: A monthly history and medical progress,John S. Moreman, M.D., editor, July 12, 1896, volume 12, new series number 79, old series number 126, pages 248-248

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