The chemistry of the pharmacopoeia**Read before New York Branch, A. Ph. A., March 12, 1917
The Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (1912)
Everyone must concede that the New Pharmacopoeia is a decided improvement over its predecessor, and everyone knows that the next one will be better still. We are right in assuming that every point in the Pharmacopoeia is based upon facts or theories as they have been established. But in universal practice what one or a few have proven to their satisfaction does not always meet the requirements of the workshop. The ninth revision committee invited the cooperation of all interested and received
... sted and received much valuable assistance. This assistance will continue unofficially or indirectly a t such meetings like this until the next revision is taken up. This leads me to suggest that there should be created continuous committees to carry on cooperative work, as is done by the Official Association of Agricultural Chemists. This association through appointed referees invites members and non-members to cooperate in trying out methods of analysis upon standard samples for the purpose of determining the practicability of the methods before making them official. It is not necessary for me to point out the advantages of such work. Taking the substances of the Pharmacopoeia in alphabetical order, I beg to make the following comments: ilspidosperma.-An alkaloidal standard should be established for this drug and its fluidextract. A good quality of drug should contain at least I percent chloroform soluble alkaloids when assayed by the method for Cinchona. Two samples assayed recently were found to contain 0. I 4 and 0.34 percent chloroformsoluble alkaloids, respectively. Aconitum.-Our experience has been that methyl red indicator gives a better end-point but somewhat lower result than cochineal indicator. Balsamum Peruvianum.-The assay for cinnamein directs that the residue be dried to constant weight at IOOO C. This cannot be done since its boiling point is between 225 and 2 3 s 0 C. The ether should be allowed to evaporate at room temperature or gentle heat and the residue dried in a vacuum desiccator over sulphuric acid. Complete extraction of the cinnamein is preferred to decanting an aliquot of an ethereal solution especially in the hot summer months. Cannubis.-The requirement, "yield of alcoholic extractive is not less than 8 percent," is too low. Co1ocynthis.-The pulp is always found to contain more than 8 percent1 ash, which would seem to be advisable as a requirement, that is, should yield not less than 8 nor more than 15 percent ash. Colchicum Corm.-The assay method is very good for the seed but with the Corm incomplete removal of starch gives obstinate emulsions in the I subsequent chloroform extraction. Using 10 Gm. of the drug instead of 15, retaining the volume of the liquids as now given and findly using 150 mils of the filtrate representing 5 Gm. of the drug, very good results are obtained. A good quality of drug will assay at least 1 2 percent.