Binz, for instance, defines it as treating of the origin, nature, chemical and physical qualities, physiological actions, and therapeutical uses of drugs; in France and in Italy it is restricted to the mere description of medicines and their preparations, the action and uses of which as remedies are included in the term therapeutics.
A clinical or therapeutical classification into such divisions as anaesthetics, expectorants, bitters, and so on, according to their practical applications, also leads to difficulties, as many drugs are employed for numerous purposes.
In the earlier experiments on smaller animals the potency of the toxin was modified for the first injections, but in preparing antitoxin for therapeutical purposes the toxin is used in its unaltered condition, the horse being the animal usually employed.
In practical medicine the subsequent results of Behring and his followers have in diphtheria attained a signal therapeutical success.
If we consult the medical works even of the middle of the 19th century we shall find that, in the light of the present time, accurate knowledge in this sphere, whether clinical, pathological or therapeutical, could scarcely be said to exist.