Cacodylate of Soda. (CH3)2,AsONa. Trituration. Solution.
Characteristics.-Cacodyl (which signifies evil-smelling) is, like Cyanogen, a compound radicle, having the formula As(CH3)2. It was first obtained by Bunsen in 1837 as dicacodyl, As2(CH3)4. It is a clear liquid refracting light strongly, heavier than water, of insupportably offensive smell, its vapour being highly poisonous. Cacodylic acid, (CH3)2 AsOOH, is a crystalline arsenic compound, soluble in water, odourless, and though containing 54.4 per cent. of metallic arsenic, not an active poison. This acid (and more particularly its sodium salt) has been used on the recommendation of Armand Gautier, Professor of Chemistry at the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, as a "cure" for consumption; the non-poisonous nature of this salt enables the patients to take it in large doses. But it is not always harmless. Murrell (Med. Press, December 19, 1900) gave it in pill of one grain three times a day to a young woman, 2l. Poisoning symptoms set in suddenly after the eleventh dose: constant vomiting; tongue like a piece of raw beef; conjunctivae inflamed; eyelids oedematous: breath of gangrenous odour; peripheral neuritis; wrist-drop; paralysis of left leg. The odour was noticed on second day; the other symptoms came suddenly. These are good indications for homoeopaths.