This action renders it of the utmost value in bronchitis and pneumonia with associated bronchitis.
Formerly used in every fever, and even in the septic states that constantly followed surgical operations in the pre-Listerian epoch, aconite is now employed only in the earliest stage of the less serious fevers, such as acute tonsilitis, bronchitis and, notably, laryngitis.
For these reasons it may also be given with advantage to children suffering from acute bronchitis or acute laryngitis.
Thus carbolic acid or carbolized ammonia are sniffed into the nose to destroy the microbes there, or the nose is washed out by an antiseptic solution as a nasal douche; bismuth or morphine are insufflated, or zinc ointment is applied, to cover the mucous membrane, and protect it from further irritation; and various antiseptic gargles, paints and powders applied to the pharynx in order to prevent the microbic inflammation from extending to the pharynx and down the trachea and bronchi, for many a severe bronchitis begins first by sneezing and nasal irritation.
The structural changes occurring in the bronchi in catarrhal bronchitis have also been ascertained, and, as in the case of pneumonia, have been shown to be frequently excited by the presence of a microphyte.
Milder cases of malarial fever are apt to become dangerous from the complications of dysentery, bronchitis or pneumonia.
It has an extraordinary power over the pain of acute gout; it lessens the severity and frequency of the attacks when given continuously between them, and it markedly controls such symptoms of gout as eczema, bronchitis and neuritis, whilst it is entirely inoperative against these conditions when they are not of gouty origin.
In cases of whooping-cough or any other condition in which there is spasmodic action of the muscular fibre in the bronchia definition which includes nearly every form of asthma and many cases of bronchitis - atropine is an almost invaluable drug.
In bronchitis with profuse expectoration the use of morphine is particularly dangerous, as it is likely to check the cough so necessary for getting rid of the secretion, but in the converse condition it usefully allays the harassing cough by diminishing the excitability of the respiratory centre.
Its value in the early stages of a bronchitis or tracheitis is due to the ammonia.