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Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

Simple keyword search (one or two words only)

 


BRIEF: Do you have any information on Laudanum?


QUESTION:
I am trying to find information on a poison named Laudenaum or Laudenum.

ANSWER:

Laudanum is an old name for tincture of opium. The standard Opium Tincture, USP contains 10% opium (roughly equivalent to 1% Morphine) in an aqueous alcoholic solution. If your were to add benzoic acid, camphor and oil of anise to the tincture, then you would have paregoric. These are really old medicines. They have been used for pain, cough and for their constipating effect. At high enough doses, laudanum is poison and can be lethal due to its depressing effect on respiration. It was also misused in the bad old days to keep children quiet ("mother's little helper"...seems like there was a Beatles(?) tune about it in the 60's).