Studies in the development of experimental pharmacology in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries
General pharmacology in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is considered (Parts 1 and 2). Reference is made to some criticisms of the contemporary materia medica and to early attempts at a scientific investigation of drugs and poisons. The studies of vegetable drugs by Stoerk and Withering are discussed to illustrate the problems associated with pharmaco-dynamic studies in clinical practice. Part 3 describes the experiments with drugs arid poisons carried out in the eighteenth century. Particular reference is made to experimental studies of cherry laurel, arrow-poisons, viper venom and opium. The influence of this work on the history of experimental pharmacology is considered in a discussion concerning the recognition of animal experiments as a valid contribution to pharmacology and human medicine. In Part 4 the factors contributing to advances in posology are discussed with particular reference to experimental studies and to the isolation of active constituents of drugs. Part is concerned with the development of knowledge concerning the mode of action of drugs and poisons, in particular with the problem of the manner in which a substance can affect an organ situated at a distance from the site of administration. These sections of the thesis include a study of the work of some investigators in the early nineteenth century with particular reference to some early researches by François Magendie.