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.
In obstinate cases connected, in part at least, with deficient intestinal secretion, and occurring especially in old people, small doses of tartar emetic will assist the action of saline purgatives such as sulphate of magnesia. Dr. Nevins has recorded a good illustration of this, and finds that less than 1/4-gr. doses will usually suffice ("Comment., Lond. Pharm.").
It has been maintained by some distinguished writers (Gubler, Chomel, Rayer, etc.), that not only the above-described but all other therapeutical effects of antimony are dependent upon, or connected with, its emetic, or at least its nauseant action, and are explained either by an elimination of morbid material, or by the profound disturbance and subsequent reaction induced in the economy; but - not to speak of the older cases in which benefit was conferred during "tolerance," i.e., when there was little or no vomiting - I am satisfied that most maladies are better treated by small and frequent doses, which do not cause vomiting, and that only a few cases require the production of nausea.