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.
I have obtained great benefit from nitrate and oxide of silver in many forms of these disorders - in serous diarrhoea, in chronic and periodic forms, in diarrhoea after fever, and in that of dysenteric character.
Graves preferred the nitrate (which he gave in grain doses) to any other astringent or to opium, but (as remarked by Stille) he avoided it in cases of ulceration, when really its advantages may best be proved. Dr. J. MacGregor reports several cases of exhausting diarrhoea during advanced phthisis, in which the relief was marked and immediate; he gave the remedy also in 1-gr. doses with 1/4 gr. of opium, and in enema (British and Foreign Review, September, 1841). I have myself often found it of the greatest advantage in such cases, restraining the profuse discharge, and aiding to strengthen the patient; I have given from 1/10 to 1 gr. In the form of enema, containing 3 to 4 gr. in 2 oz. of distilled water, it is a valuable remedy for chronic dysentery and ulcerative conditions of the rectum; the enema may be repeated every six to twelve hours for three or four times, if necessary. If ulceration or congestion be situated higher up in the intestine, the nitrate is best given by the mouth in pill, since it is thus most likely to reach the affected part unaltered, and to exert the local action which is desired. The chloride of silver has also been used with advantage in chronic dysentery.