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Paregoric, or camphorated tincture of opium, is a medication known for its antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic properties. It was a household remedy in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was widely used to calm fretful children. But in the 20th century its use declined as governments regulated it. (In the United States, paregoric can still be found in the pharmacopeia, but it is a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act.)
The principal active ingredient is morphine (0.4 mg/mL). Other ingredients are benzoic acid, camphor and anise oil. The main effect of this preparation is to increase the muscular tone of the intestine, and also to inhibit normal peristalsis. Its main medicinal use is to control fulminant diarrhea. It is also an antitussive (cough suppressant). Problems with its use include opiate dependency and analgesia which can mask symptoms of diseases that need treatment.
Paregoric is sometimes confused with laudanum, because their chemical names are similar: camphorated tincture of opium (paregoric) vs. tincture of opium (laudanum). However, laudanum contains 10 milligrams of morphine per milliliter, 25 times more than paregoric. Confusion between the two drugs has led to overdose and deaths in several patients. Thus the term "paregoric" should always be used instead of "camphorated opium tincture," since the latter may be confused with laudanum.
Paregoric is mentioned in the Nelson Algren short story "The Captain Has Bad Dreams".
Paregoric is featured in Richard Fariña's novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me.
Paregoric and laudanum are mentioned in William Golding's novel Rites of Passage.
Paregoric is also mentioned in William S. Burroughs's epistolary novel The Yage Letters and his first novel Junky, as well as Queer.
Paregoric is mentioned in John Steinbeck's novel, "East of Eden."
It is also mentioned in James T. Farrell's Novel, "Studs Lonigan", "Go Ask Alice" by Anonymous and "The Adventure of The Three Gables" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
It is also used in the TV series "Little House on The Prairie" during the episode "A Matter of Faith" where the mother has a badly infected cut. And also in the episode, "To live with fear" where the daughter, Mary is injured and has to have an operation.
It is also mentioned in the novel "Harmful Intent" (1990) by Robin Cook.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paregoric". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|