In the spirit of our Blog Statistics Series, we’ve gleaned some interesting facts about drugs and how they found their way onto the market in what we now consider common over the counter medications. Of course these medications are now missing the ingredient that bolstered the success.
- During the Civil War, 1861-1865, soldiers were treated for pain with opium.
- “Tonics” were prescribed for many ailments of the day in the late 1800’s. These special ‘tonics’ were laced with opiates, but rarely did the labels list opiates as an active ingredient, let alone an ingredient at all.
- Heroin was marketed as a cough medicine for those with a morphine addiction at the turn of the century, but thankfully doctors were now understanding more about addiction. Heroin ‘cough’ syrup was on that list.
- Methamphetamine can be produced in home laboratories using pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, the active ingredients in over-the-counter drugs such as Sudafed and Contac. Neither of these medicines can be purchased without filing your name with a national data base. And they are no longer displayed openly.
- In 1885 Coca-Cola was named for its two ‘medicinal’ ingredients: extract from coca leaves and kola nuts. It is unknown how much extract from the coca leaves was actually in the formulation, but it did by 1902 there was as little as 1/400 of a grain of cocaine per ounce of syrup, and by 1929 it was complete free of the drug. Cocaine was commonly used in patent medicines in 1885 and that’s what Coca-Cola was originally marketed as.
Drug addiction treatment was not commonly heard of in this time period.