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Warburg's Tincture

Warburg's Tincture

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Warburg's tincture was a pharmaceutical drug, now obsolete. It was invented in 1834 by Dr Carl Warburg
Carl Warburg
Carl Warburg, also known as Charles Warburg, was a physician, clinical pharmacologist, pharmaceutical chemist, botanist and manufacturer...

.

Warburg's tincture
Tincture
A tincture is an alcoholic extract or solution of a non-volatile substance . To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60%...

 was well known in the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 as a medicine for fevers
Fevers
Fevers are a five-piece band formed in 2010 in Ottawa, Ontario. The band consists of Colin MacDougall , Jim Hopkins , Martin Charbonneau , Sarah Bradley and Mike Stauffer . Theirs is a fresh take on a classic genre, combining indie rock and electronic music...

, especially tropical fevers, including malaria. It was considered, by some, to be superior to quinine
Quinine
Quinine is a natural white crystalline alkaloid having antipyretic , antimalarial, analgesic , anti-inflammatory properties and a bitter taste. It is a stereoisomer of quinidine which, unlike quinine, is an anti-arrhythmic...

.

Warburg's Tincture was a secret, proprietary remedy. The formula was not published until 1875. Later, it was included in the first edition of Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia. Warburg's Tincture included an array of ingredients, including quinine.

Synonyms


List of alternative names by which Warburg's Tincture was known or referred to:
  • 'Warburg Tincture'
  • 'The Warburg Tincture'
  • 'Warburg's Fever Tincture'
  • 'Warburg's Fever Tincture and Tonic Medicine'
  • 'Warburg Fever Tincture and Tonic Medicine'
  • 'Warburg's Vegetable Fever Tincture'
  • 'Dr Warburg's Vegetable Fever Drops'
  • 'Warburg's Vegetable Fever Drops'
  • 'Dr Warburg's Tincture'
  • 'Dr Warburg's Fever Tincture'
  • 'Warburg Drops'
  • 'Warburg's Drops'
  • 'Warburg's Fever Drops'
  • 'Dr Warburg's Fever Drops'
  • 'Dr Warburg's Drops'
  • 'Tinctura Warburgi'
  • 'Tinctura Warburgii'
  • 'Tinctura antifebrilis Warburgi'
  • 'Tinctura antifebrilis Warburgii'
  • 'Tinctura Antiperiodica'
  • 'Antiperiodica Tincture'
  • 'Warburg' (informal)

Appearance and format


As its name implies, Warburg's Tincture was originally available only in liquid form. It was deep brown to golden yellow in colour; its taste was bitter and not very palatable. It was sold in small bottles of unique design, containing about one ounce. The label affixed to each bottle bore the registered trademark, which depicted an image of the bottle accompanied by a facsimile of Carl Warburg's signature. By 1888 the drug was available in tablet form.

History


Warburg's Tincture was invented by Dr Carl Warburg MD in 1834, in British Guiana
British Guiana
British Guiana was the name of the British colony on the northern coast of South America, now the independent nation of Guyana.The area was originally settled by the Dutch at the start of the 17th century as the colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice...

 (now Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

). It was introduced into Europe in 1839. Warburg's Tincture received medical trials in British Guiana in the 1830s, and then elsewhere around the world in the 1840s and 1850s. In 1846, Warburg's Tincture was extensively trialled in Austria and, the following year, it was adopted as an official medicine by the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

, by imperial order.

Warburg's Tincture was sold as a secret, proprietary medicine for over forty years, and was marketed and manufactured by Carl Warburg for many decades. He wanted the British Government to procure the formula of Warburg's Tincture from him, but such an arrangement never came to fruition. Nevertheless, the British Government was a significant client, procuring Warburg's Tincture for military forces serving overseas in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

); in Africa, in Gold Coast
Gold Coast (British colony)
The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa that became the independent nation of Ghana in 1957.-Overview:The first Europeans to arrive at the coast were the Portuguese in 1471. They encountered a variety of African kingdoms, some of which controlled substantial...

 (now Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

), Gambia and Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

; in the West Indies; and in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, Corfu
Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The...

, Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 . In 1867, in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, Sir Robert Anstruther, 5th Baronet
Sir Robert Anstruther, 5th Baronet
Sir Robert Anstruther, 5th Baronet was a Scottish Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1864 and 1886....

 asked the Secretary of War why Warburg's Tincture was not being supplied in larger quantities to troops in India .

Writing in 1870, Carl Warburg, lamented that his eponymous drug was "comparatively unknown". The formula was disclosed by him in November 1875 when it was published on his behalf in The Lancet
The Lancet
The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is one of the world's best known, oldest, and most respected general medical journals...

and The Medical Times. In 1855, it retailed at 6s/6d a bottle.

Famous users


Famous Victorians who are documented to have used Warburg's Tincture include:
  • Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton - explorer and diplomat
  • General Charles George Gordon
    Charles George Gordon
    Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB , known as "Chinese" Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British army officer and administrator....

     of Khartoum - senior army officer and colonial administrator
  • Dr David Livingstone
    David Livingstone
    David Livingstone was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. His meeting with H. M. Stanley gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr...

     - missionary and explorer
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti
    Dante Gabriel Rossetti
    Dante Gabriel Rossetti was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement,...

     - Pre-Raphaelite artist.
  • Frederic Shields
    Frederic Shields
    Frederic James Shields , was a British artist, illustrator and designer closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelites through Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown.-Early years:...

     - artist and illustrator.

Medicinal claims


Warburg's Tincture was promoted by its inventor, Dr Carl Warburg, as a medicine suitable for treating all types of fevers
Fevers
Fevers are a five-piece band formed in 2010 in Ottawa, Ontario. The band consists of Colin MacDougall , Jim Hopkins , Martin Charbonneau , Sarah Bradley and Mike Stauffer . Theirs is a fresh take on a classic genre, combining indie rock and electronic music...

, but especially tropical fevers, including malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 and yellow fever
Yellow fever
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease. The virus is a 40 to 50 nm enveloped RNA virus with positive sense of the Flaviviridae family....

; and that it could also be used as a tonic
Tonic
Tonic may refer to:*Tonic water, a drink traditionally containing quinine*Soft drink, a carbonated beverage*Tonic , the response of a muscle fiber or nerve ending typified by slow, continuous action...

 in debility and convalescence. He claimed that his eponymous tincture was superior to any other antipyretic
Antipyretic
Antipyretics ; an-tee-pahy-ret-iks; from the Greek anti, against, and pyreticus, are drugs or herbs that reduce fever. Normally, they will not lower body temperature if one does not have a fever. Antipyretics cause the hypothalamus to override an interleukin-induced increase in temperature...

, including quinine
Quinine
Quinine is a natural white crystalline alkaloid having antipyretic , antimalarial, analgesic , anti-inflammatory properties and a bitter taste. It is a stereoisomer of quinidine which, unlike quinine, is an anti-arrhythmic...

. "I assert that for perfect safety, for efficacy, rapidity of action, and for economy, my tincture has no rival, nor any approach to it". He also stated that quinine only "relieves", whereas Warburg's Tincture "cures". He advocated that Warburg's Tincture could be employed at all stages of fever, as well as a prophylactic.


19th century


In the Victorian era Warburg's Tincture was principally employed in the treatment of tropical fevers
Fevers
Fevers are a five-piece band formed in 2010 in Ottawa, Ontario. The band consists of Colin MacDougall , Jim Hopkins , Martin Charbonneau , Sarah Bradley and Mike Stauffer . Theirs is a fresh take on a classic genre, combining indie rock and electronic music...

, including malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

, yellow fever
Yellow fever
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease. The virus is a 40 to 50 nm enveloped RNA virus with positive sense of the Flaviviridae family....

 and typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

. It was therefore an antipyretic
Antipyretic
Antipyretics ; an-tee-pahy-ret-iks; from the Greek anti, against, and pyreticus, are drugs or herbs that reduce fever. Normally, they will not lower body temperature if one does not have a fever. Antipyretics cause the hypothalamus to override an interleukin-induced increase in temperature...

, and an antimalarial drug
Antimalarial drug
Antimalarial medications, also known as antimalarials, are designed to prevent or cure malaria. Such drugs may be used for some or all of the following:* Treatment of malaria in individuals with suspected or confirmed infection...

.

20th century


Warburg's Tincture was vaunted as being superior to quinine in the treatment of malaria by many in the Victorian era. Quinine remained the first-line antimalarial drug of choice until the 1940s, when other drugs replaced it. Until recently Chloroquine
Chloroquine
Chloroquine is a 4-aminoquinoline drug used in the treatment or prevention of malaria.-History:Chloroquine , N'--N,N-diethyl-pentane-1,4-diamine, was discovered in 1934 by Hans Andersag and co-workers at the Bayer laboratories who named it "Resochin". It was ignored for a decade because it was...

 was the most widely used antimalarial drug. Warburg's Tincture was included in Burroughs Wellcome & Company's tabloid medicine cases of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
"There is now no exact equivalent of Warburg's Tincture ....The most similar modern preparation is ammoniated tincture of quinine. This omits aloes and rhubarb, whose function was a laxative to 'purge' the patient's system, an approach to fever treatment now redundant. Ammoniated tincture of quinine last appeared in the British Pharmaceutical Codex
British Pharmaceutical Codex
The British Pharmaceutical Codex was first published in 1907, to supplement the British Pharmacopoeia which although extensive, did not cover all the medicinal items that a pharmacist might require in daily work...

 of 1963, but still remains an official preparation that could be prepared if necessary....it was popular as an over the counter medicine for colds until c. 1980, but is now rarely used."

Modern day


Warburg's Tincture is now obsolete as a medicinal drug.

Reputation and efficacy


'Warburg's Tincture' was a well-known drug in the Victorian era . It earned itself a well regarded international reputation in certain quarters of the medical profession, many attesting to its efficacy and value.

One of the most notable and strongest advocates of Warburg's Tincture was Surgeon-General W. C. Maclean, C.B, (1811–1898), Professor of Military Medicine at the Army Medical School, at Chatham and later at the Royal Victoria Military Hospital, Netley, from 1860 until 1885. Maclean contributed the chapters on malarial fevers and dysentery in A System of Medicine, edited by Sir John Russell Reynolds (the latter being "an eminent and highly influential physician in the Victorian era who held the Presidencies of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and of the British Medical Association
British Medical Association
The British Medical Association is the professional association and registered trade union for doctors in the United Kingdom. The association does not regulate or certify doctors, a responsibility which lies with the General Medical Council. The association’s headquarters are located in BMA House,...

"). Maclean considered Warburg's Tincture to be the best drug for the treatment of malaria and, in his lectures and writings on tropical diseases, he strongly recommended its use.



In addition to Surgeon-General Maclean, Warburg's Tincture was highly praised by many other eminent medical professionals of the Victorian era, including:
  • Sir James Johnson
    James Johnson
    -Artists, authors, and musicians:*James B. Johnson , author of science fiction novels*James Johnson , English artist*James Johnson , late 18th-century Scottish musicologist*James P...

     M.D. - physician extraordinary to King William IV.
  • Sir James Clark M.D. - royal physician to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
    Prince Albert
    Prince Albert was the husband and consort of Queen Victoria.Prince Albert may also refer to:-Royalty:*Prince Albert Edward or Edward VII of the United Kingdom , son of Albert and Victoria...

    .
  • Sir William Henry Broadbent, 1st Baronet, M.D. - St Mary's Hospital, London and London Fever Hospital
    London Fever Hospital
    The London Fever Hospital was a voluntary hospital founded in 1802 in London. Originally established in Gray's Inn Road, it moved to Liverpool Road, Islington in 1848. In 1948, the hospital was amalgamated with the Royal Free Hospital.-References:...

    , Physician in Ordinary to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. ("Warburg’s Tincture has long held a high reputation in India, as a remedy of undoubted and indeed unequalled power in the treatment of the malignant malarial fevers of that country and of cholera. Testimony to its efficacy has come from men whose capability and opportunities of forming an opinion could not be disputed", 1877)
  • Dr Thomas Southwood Smith
    Thomas Southwood Smith
    Thomas Southwood Smith , English physician and sanitary reformer, was born at Martock, Somersetshire.While a medical student in Edinburgh he took charge of a Unitarian congregation. In 1816 he took his M.D...

     - London Fever Hospital
    London Fever Hospital
    The London Fever Hospital was a voluntary hospital founded in 1802 in London. Originally established in Gray's Inn Road, it moved to Liverpool Road, Islington in 1848. In 1948, the hospital was amalgamated with the Royal Free Hospital.-References:...

    , and recognised expert on the treatment of fevers.
  • Dr Benjamin Guy Babington
    Benjamin Guy Babington
    Benjamin Guy Babington was an English physician and epidemiologist.He was born on 5 March 1794, the son of the physician and mineralogist William Babington and his wife, Martha Elizabeth Babington....

     - Guy's Hospital
    Guy's Hospital
    Guy's Hospital is a large NHS hospital in the borough of Southwark in south east London, England. It is administratively a part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. It is a large teaching hospital and is home to the King's College London School of Medicine...

     ("I consider it the most potent anti-intermittent medicine I have ever employed", 1851).
  • Dr F. C. Skey - St Bartholomew's Hospital
    St Bartholomew's Hospital
    St Bartholomew's Hospital, also known as Barts, is a hospital in Smithfield in the City of London, England.-Early history:It was founded in 1123 by Raherus or Rahere , a favourite courtier of King Henry I...

    , and Professor of Surgery to Royal College of Surgeons of England
    Royal College of Surgeons of England
    The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body and registered charity committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients, regulating surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales...

    .
  • Sir James Gibson, M.D., K.C.B. - Director-General, Army Medical Department, Whitehall, London.
  • Sir Andrew Halliday, M.D. - Deputy Inspector General of Military Hospitals.
  • Dr Macgrath - Director-General, Army Medical Department, Madras, India.
  • Dr Joseph Johann Knolz - head of the civilian medical department of the Austrian Empire.
  • Dr Rieken - Belgium, physician to Leopold I of Belgium
    Leopold I of Belgium
    Leopold I was from 21 July 1831 the first King of the Belgians, following Belgium's independence from the Netherlands. He was the founder of the Belgian line of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha...

    .
  • Count E Bylandt M.D. - physician to William II of the Netherlands
    William II of the Netherlands
    William II was King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Duke of Limburg from 7 October 1840 until his death in 1849.- Early life and education :...

  • Dr Salgues - Dijon, France.
  • Dr Uyttrhoven - Brussels, Belgium.

Detractors, secret remedy


As a consequence of Warburg's Tincture being sold as a secret, proprietary remedy, many in the medical profession, particularly in England, derided, distrusted and dismissed it as a 'patent medicine
Patent medicine
Patent medicine refers to medical compounds of questionable effectiveness sold under a variety of names and labels. The term "patent medicine" is somewhat of a misnomer because, in most cases, although many of the products were trademarked, they were never patented...

' or 'quack medicine', and disliked it and criticised Carl Warburg on grounds of professional ethics
Professional ethics
Professional ethics encompass the personal and corporate standards of behaviour expected of professionals.- Professional ethics :Professional people and those working in acknowledged professions exercise specialist knowledge and skill...

.

Historical

  • Warburg's Tincture was adopted by the Austrian empire as an official medicine in 1847; it was added to the Austrian 'Materia Medica' under the name 'Tinctura Warburgi'.
  • Warburg's Tincture appeared in the first edition of Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia (now known as Martindale: The complete drug reference
    Martindale: The complete drug reference
    Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference is a reference book published by Pharmaceutical Press listing some 6,000 drugs and medicines used throughout the world, including details of over 161,000 proprietary preparations. It also includes 675 disease treatment reviews...

    ) in 1883, and was included until the 19th edition of 1928.
  • Warburg's Tincture was included in the National Formulary Section of the The Dispensatory for the United States of America in the 20th edition in 1918, listed under the entry for 'Tinctura Antiperiodica'.
  • The Pocket Formulary, and synopsis of the British & Foreign pharmacopoeias: comprising standard and approved formulae for the preparation and compounds employed in medical practice London, by Henry Beasley. Included in various editions, e.g. 1851 (fifth edition), 1856, 1877.
  • Jahresbericht der Pharmazie, 1910, Munich, Germany.

Modern compendial status


Warburg's Tincture is now obsolete as a medicinal drug. It last appeared in the Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia in 1928.

Properties / formula


The formula of Warburg's Tincture was disclosed by its inventor in November 1875 when it was published in The Lancet
The Lancet
The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is one of the world's best known, oldest, and most respected general medical journals...

and The Medical Times on his behalf - see below.

Ingredients and directions for preparation
Warburg's Tincture therefore contained quinine in addition to various purgatives, aromatics and carminatives.

The ingredient Confection Damocratric is a complex preparation which has not been obtainable for over a century; it comprised a vast quantity of different aromatic substances.

The prepared chalk was used to correct the otherwise extremely acrid taste of the tincture.

Dosage

A bottle of Warburg's Tincture contained about one ounce of liquid. The drug was to be administered in two equal doses, a few hours apart.

See also

  • History of malaria
    History of malaria
    The history of malaria predates humanity, as this ancient disease evolved before humans did. Malaria, a widespread and potentially lethal infectious disease, has afflicted people for much of human history, and has affected settlement patterns...

  • History of medicine
    History of medicine
    All human societies have medical beliefs that provide explanations for birth, death, and disease. Throughout history, illness has been attributed to witchcraft, demons, astral influence, or the will of the gods...

  • Pharmacology
    Pharmacology
    Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function...

  • Clinical pharmacology
    Clinical pharmacology
    Clinical pharmacology is the science of drugs and their clinical use. It is underpinned by the basic science of pharmacology, with added focus on the application of pharmacological principles and methods in the real world...

  • Pharmaceutical drug
  • Antimalarial drugs
  • Tropical disease
    Tropical disease
    Tropical diseases are diseases that are prevalent in or unique to tropical and subtropical regions. The diseases are less prevalent in temperate climates, due in part to the occurrence of a cold season, which controls the insect population by forcing hibernation. Insects such as mosquitoes and...


Further reading

  • Owen, William, "Warburg's Tincture in Indian Fevers", article, Dublin Journal of Medical Science, 1879. pp. 11–16.

Secondary/tertiary sources