This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
For such conditions, arsenic is often found serviceable, and under its use dyspnoea on exertion, the palpitation, the faintness, and the oedema of extremities have all improved. Dr. Papillaud has verified similar improvement, and also marked relief to palpitation, but he generally alternated or combined the remedy with antimony (Bulletin de l' Academie de Med., December, 1870, p. 885).
When intermittent pulse occurs from cardiac weakness, whether of temporary character or dependent on degeneration or mitral disease, arsenic is often serviceable, as it is also in the same condition when due to nerve-causes. Darwin relates a case of "regular intermission" cured by 4-min. doses of a saturated solution of the drug (Headland, p. 197). I have seen numerous cases cured by the continued use of 2 to 5-min. doses of Fowler's solution after each principal meal. Under such circumstances it often produces a marked diuretic action, which is quickly followed, in many instances, by disappearance of any swelling, and by relief of the dyspnoea, faintness, and palpitation.