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Title: Cantharides
Additional Names: Spanish fly; blistering fly; blistering beetle
Literature References: Preparation of dried blister beetles, Lytta vesicatoria, also known as Cantharis vesicatoria, Meloidae; traditionally used as a vesicant, rubifacient, and aphrodisiac. Habit. Southern and Central Europe, mainly on plants of the family Oleaceae and Caprifoliaceae. Constit. 0.6-1% cantharidin, q.v., 10-15% fat, resinous substances, acetic and uric acids. Review: Ude, Heeger, Pharm. Zentralhalle 82, 193 (1941); A. Kar, Pharmacognosy and Pharmacobiotechnology (New Age Intl., New Delhi, 2003) pp 199-200.
CAUTION: Extreme irritant and vesicant. Direct contact with skin may cause intense blister formation. Potential symptoms of overexposure are burning sensation of oral cavity and throat; diarrhea, hemorrhagic necrosis in upper GI tract, abdominal pain; urinary urgency, strangury, hematuria, priapism, oliguria, tubular necrosis, renal failure. See Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, R. E. Gosselin et al., Eds. (Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 5th ed., 1984) Section II, p 270.

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