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.
This malady, like all others in which a poisonous material circulates in the blood, much impairs the condition of that fluid, rendering the corpuscles fewer, smaller, and paler; and, in such cases, iron becomes very serviceable, though it will not take the place of more special remedies for the principal disease. Ricord recommended the potassio-tartrate even in primary syphilis, and especially for phage-daenic ulceration in debilitated subjects: the theory sustained in opposition to him by certain French writers, that iron aids the development of the malady, is not tenable. The iodide of iron I have found very useful in the later stages of syphilis in cachectic subjects.