Your treatment options in 1899

So, I went to work today, and found a neato little gift in my mail box. A coworker had given me a replica of Merck’s 1899 Manual, produced in celebration of The Merck Manual’s 100th anniversary. It lists all the various drugs given at the time with dosages, dosage forms, and also a nifty section where it lists many different diseases and conditions and what to give the patient who has them. For instance, a patient with “coldness” would be given cocaine, ice packs to the base of the spine, or strychnine.

So, what ails you? Dr. Mishell will prescribe treatment, 1899-style.

*Disclaimer: Mishell is not a doctor, and does not recommend actually following any medical advise given. This thread is for entertainment purposes only. Cocaine, arsenic, and strychnine really aren’t cure-alls.

I’ve been diabetic for almost 20 years, a few months ago, my kidneys failed.

Can I get my insulin shots and dialysis at your hospital?

I’ve been bothered by a hacking cough and and some funky chest and head congestion for the past few days. What do you recommend?

I get severe migraines, or as they would have been called back then, “Sick Headaches.” I know there wasn’t any injectible Imitrex back then, so what would you prescribe? Cocaine? Opium? Just something to take away the excrutiating pain and help me get through the day.

My Mother suffers from Feminine Vapours, my Sister, from Hysteria.
What can Modern Medical Science do for them ?

And, where can I get a copy of that book? :slight_smile:

Sorry, Dr. Mishell was up until 4 a.m. with a house call. She’s only just opened her office. :slight_smile:

What is this insulin and dialysis of which you speak? Never heard of it. For you diabetes, however, we could try some phosphoric acid to lessen your thirst, perhaps some almond bread. Other treatment options include alum, arsenic if you’re very thin, belladonna, or ergot. Also, I recommend a skim milk diet.

For your kidneys, we could try fuchsine, ichthalbin, or Levico water.

I have Bipolar Disorder although I am sure that you have never heard of it being from 1899. Look under some psychosis or hysteria that references something like mania and something like depression. I think I am about to get sent away for a little while (forever).

There are many treatments we could try for your cough. My favorites are wine or brandy and some cannabis indica. Perhaps we could try morphine if those are ineffective. For the congestion, let’s try some aconite and belladonna tincture.

Of course I’ve heard of migraines! What do you think this is, the dark ages? My recommendation is to try either some amyl nitrite or cannabis.

I fear that I am suffering from a malady of the liverish region. A terrible yellow cast has overcome my flesh. Please doctor, help me.

Your sister and your mother both suffer from the same affliction, I’m afraid. My recommendations would be, once again, to try some cannibis, seems to be quite the panacea, or we could try some opium. For acute and severe hysterical attacks, we could try applying electricity, or pouring cold water over their mouths.

And it looks likes there are some copies available here.

You’re right, I see no reference to this “bipolar disorder” in my books. However, for mania I can prescribe submersion into hot water while a cold douche is applied to the head. Or, that old stand-by, cannibis. I could give you chloroform to help you sleep, and we could try some opium to calm you down a bit.

By depression, I assume you mean melancholia? For this, we could try some cocaine, maybe some nitrous oxide. Opium is also useful here, in small doses, as is, once again, cannibis.

Oh dear, you are quite jaundiced. We can try some mercury, perhaps. Some Carlsbad Waters may do the trick. Also, I would recommend some hot clothes and turpentine oil.

Dr. Mishell,

I suffer from melancholia as well. And, since graduating college, I’ve noticed a profusion of unsightly blemishes on my face. Can you tell me how to cure them, so that my skin can return to its usual rose-petal softness? Oh, yes, I’m also finding that my eyes are puffy, my nose is stuffy, and I have a sore throat.

I’m anxiously awaiting your response!

Let’s see…in addition to the above, for your melancholia we could also try some alcohol. How old are you? If you’re very old, I can give you some arsenic with opium. For your acne, the arsenic could be of value too, or some belladonna applied topically to check a too abundant secretion. Other options are electricity, mercurials taken internally, mercury nitrate topically, or mercury bichloride as a wash.

Your puffy eyes, stuffy nose, and sore throat sound like hay fever to me. It’s common this time of year. Let’s try some tobacco, or an arsenic cigarette.

Damn bad show! I’ve been shot in the upper arm by a Boer farmer, with his bloody Mauser. Cheekie chappie was hidden in some bushes, wouldn’t even show himself. We junior subalterns of the Blankshire Regiment call this most unsporting.

Oh, and a spot of enteric fever, as have several of my fellow officers.

Hell, I’ve got coldness. Give me the cocaine.

How about dyspepsia, rheumatism, and just generally being over 40?

I’ve gone blind. BLIND!

Help me, doctor!

Johnny Bravo, get your hands out of your pants, and that’ll fix that blindness (and cure that hair sprouting on your palms!).

You don’t need to be a doctor to figure that one out, geesh.