Heroin in the Official Pharmacopoeia

Abstract

Since heroin began to be used as a medicine about the year 1900, official recognition of the drug has varied greatly. Several countries such as China, Mexico, Norway, Poland and Venezuela have never included any of the heroin preparations in their pharmacopoeias while other countries have officially recognized them and still do, and some countries have included them in some of their issues but later dropped them.

Details

Pages: 19 to 19
Creation Date: 1953/01/01

Heroin in the Official Pharmacopoeia

Since heroin began to be used as a medicine about the year 1900, official recognition of the drug has varied greatly. Several countries such as China, Mexico, Norway, Poland and Venezuela have never included any of the heroin preparations in their pharmacopoeias while other countries have officially recognized them and still do, and some countries have included them in some of their issues but later dropped them.

There are by now 12 countries which do not include heroin or heroin preparations in their official pharmacopoeias; these countries are: China, Denmark, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Venezuela, United States of America, and Yugoslavia.

The first country to make heroin an official drug was Austria. 1906. (Pharmacopoeia austriaca Ed. VIII).

The same year heroin and heroin hydrochloride were accepted, tentatively, by the Council of Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association for listing in the proposed annual "New and Non-Official Remedies." The therapeutic indications of the compounds were given as follows: "When given in small doses heroin hydrochloride has apparently no effect on any of the vital functions except respiration ... In large doses it may produce dizziness, nausea and occasionally constipation and in poisonous amounts, twitching of the extremities, great exhaustion and dimness of vision ... The habit is readily formed and leads to the most deplorable results... On withdrawing the drug from habitues, there is said to be a tendency to respiration failure ... Heroin and its hydrochloride are recommended chiefly for the treatment of diseases in the air passages attended with cough, difficult breathing and spasm, much as the different forms of bronchitis, pneumonia, consumption, asthma, whooping cough, laryngitis and certain forms of hay fever. It has also been recommended as an analgesic, in the place of morphine in various painful affections."

In the United States, official acceptance of the drug came in 1910, with the inclusion of diacetylmorphine and its hydrochloride in the United States Pharmacopoeia IX. The drugs were, however, withdrawn from the next edition, U.S.P.X. published in 1920. Eighteen countries still include heroin and heroin preparations in their pharmacopoeias: Argentina (Farmacopea Nacional Argentina, Ed. III, 1943), Austria (Pharmacopoea Austriaca, Ed. VIII, 1906), Belgium (Pharmacopée belge, Ed. IV, 1930), Brazil (Pharmacopeia dos Estados Unidos do Brazil, Ed. I, 1929), Finland (Pharmacopoea Fennica, Ed. VI, 1937), France (Codex Medicamentarius Gallicus, Ed. VII, 1949), Germany (Deutsches Arzneibuch, Ed. VI, 1926), Greece (Hellenike Pharmakopoiia, Ed. II, 1924), Italy (Farmacopea Ufficiale de Regno d'Italia, Ed. VI, 1940), The Netherlands (Codex Medicamentorium Nederlandicus, Ed. V, 1926), Paraguay (Proyecto de Farmacopea Paraguaya, 1929), Portugal (Farmacopeia Portuguesa, Ed. IV, 1946), Romania (Farmacopea Română, Ed. IV, 1926), Switzerland (Pharmacopoea Helvetica, Ed. V; 1949), Turkey (Turk Kodeksi, 1940), Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Gosudarstvennaia Farmakopeia Soiuza Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik, Ed. IX, 1952), United Kingdom (The British Pharmacopoeia, 1948).

The Austrian, Dutch and Finnish pharmacopoeia include both Heroin and Heroin hydrochloride, while the rest list just Heroin hydrochloride.

The Greek Pharmacopoeia of 1924 is no longer up to date in regard to narcotics. Heroin has not been used in Greece since 1930, because of its exclusion from the list of narcotic drugs whose use is permitted by the Greek State Monopoly.

The following preparations are listed in the "British Pharmaceutical Codex 1949":*

Elixir Diamorphinae et Terpini
 
Composition:
 
Diamorphine hydrochloride
0.91 g
Terpin Hydrate
4.6 g
Alcohol (90 per cent)
250 ml
Glycerin
250 ml
Syrup of Wild Cherry to
1000 ml
Elixir Diamorphinae et Pini Compositum
 
Composition:
 
Diamorphine Hydrochloride
0.46 g
Terpin Hydrate
4.57 g
Oil of Pumilio Pine
8,3 ml
Alcohol (90 per cent)
250,0 ml
Glycerin
250,0 ml
Compound Solution of Tartrazine
10,4 ml
Sucrose
400,0 g
Water to
1000.0 ml
Linctus Diamorphinae
 
Composition:
 
Diamorphine Hydrochloride
0.91 g
Oxymel
333,3 ml
Glycerin
333,3 ml
Compound Solution of Tartrazine
12,5 ml
Syrup to
1000,0 ml
Linctus Diamorphinae et Hyoscyami
 
Composition:
 
Diamorphine Hydrochloride
0.91 g
Tincture of Hyoscyamus
75,0 ml
Emulsion of Chloroform
75,0 ml
Syrup of Tolu
150,0 ml
Syrup of Wild Cherry
150,0 ml
Glycerin to
1000,0 ml

* A new British Pharmacopoeia (1953) has been issued since the preparation of this paper. It has not yet been possible for the Editors to consult this issue. Neither has it been possible to consult the official pharmacopoeias of Czechoslovakia and Chile.