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.
Monneret has strongly recommended moderate doses of blue pill in cirrhosis with dropsy (Archives Gen., September, 1851), stating that after the numerous stools and copious sweatings induced, effusions are often absorbed, without any ill-effects from salivation. Barallier corroborated this experience, and further reported a case, not far advanced, which was cured by this treatment (Dictionnaire). I have certainly had the best effects from mercury in cirrhotic dropsy, but have generally used purgative doses of blue pill, or calomel, followed by salines, and in the intervals of purgation have given nux vomica and other tonics. Under such treatment large abdominal effusions have passed away six times in one case, at different intervals, so that the patient was restored to comparative health for some time, and this without any mercurial ill-effects. The diagnosis was verified post-mortem, but I cannot say that I have seen the malady permanently cured by this or any other treatment.