=Cantharides.=--Spanish fly, or blistering beetle, is the basis of most
of the blistering preparations. It is sometimes taken as an
abortifacient or given as an aphrodisiac, but whether it has any such
action is open to question. It acts as an irritant to the kidneys and
bladder, and sometimes produces haæmaturia and a good deal of temporary
Symptoms.--Burning sensation in the throat and stom
salivation, pain and difficulty in swallowing. Vomiting of mucus mixed
with blood. Tenesmus, diarrhoea, the motions containing blood and mucus.
Dysuria, with passage of small amounts of albuminous and bloody urine.
Peritonitis, high temperature, quick pulse, headache, loss of
sensibility, and convulsions.
Post-Mortem.--Gastro-intestinal mucous membrane inflamed, with
gangrenous patches. Genito-urinary tract inflamed. Acute nephritis.
Treatment.--An emetic of apomorphine; demulcent drinks, such as
barley-water, white of egg and water, linseed-tea and gruel (but not
oils), with a hypodermic injection of morphine to allay pain.
Tests.--The vomited matter often contains shining particles of the
powder. The urine will probably be albuminous.