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THE PHARMACOPEIA AND THE PHYSICIAN.

JAMA. 1906;XLVI(17):1279-1282. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510440033002.
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CHAPTER XVIII. 

GENERAL TONICS.  Tonics are defined by Gould as "medicines or agents which promote nutrition and give tone to the system."Since these conditions are met by any improvement in the general health, the use of the term is often an admission of our want of exact knowledge of the mode of action of the drugs or remedies so classed.Strychnin increases the reflexes and may thus improve the muscular tone. Bitters may increase the impaired appetite and digestion, which will, of course, improve the general condition, hence these agents may be spoken of as tonics; and, if we were not acquainted with the organism which causes malarial fever, and with the effect of quinin on that organism, but merely knew that this condition was relieved by quinin, we would be justified in attributing the action to the tonic effect of quinin. Therefore, as our knowledge of the exact

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