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 ulcerative conditions due to syphilis, gargles of "black-wash" or applications of calomel in substance are most useful: more active effects are, however, to be obtained from painting with dilute acid nitrate - 1 part in 8 or in 16: 1 min. to 1 oz. of water is sufficient for a spray (Lyster: Liverpool Hospital Reports, 1870). Trousseau used cigarettes for these and for laryngeal affections. A gargle of bicyanide of mercury (1/2 gr. to 1 oz.) is most useful when black-wash and other preparations fail.
For syphilitic and other ulcerations of the Schneiderian membrane, an ointment of the gray oxide is preferred (3 ss. ad 3 ss.): a powder containing cyanide of mercury and camphor may be cautiously used.
In Ozoena, injections of black or yellow mercurial lotion are of some service, with powders for insufflation, containing calomel, bismuth, and white sugar.
In Chronic Angina, good results have been obtained from the local use of the diluted acid nitrate of mercury (1 part to 6). It has relieved "nervous cough," and also, it is said, spasmodic asthma (Bulletin de Therapeutique, xxiii., 1842) - this would be of reflex character.
For Chronic Laryngitis and Eustachian Catarrh, Dr. Nevins has written in favor of mercurial vapor: it may be obtained from cigarettes made with blotting-paper soaked in a solution of nitrate (Trousseau).
In Strumous and Catarrhal Ophthalmia a lotion of corrosive sublimate is one of the best remedies, especially in conjunction with the internal use of the same preparation, or of calomel: 1 or 2 gr. of the sublimate are to be dissolved in 6 oz. of water, and of this, 2 dr. with an equal part of hot water applied three times daily. Under this lotion the conjunctival redness is lessened, the corneal pustules and ulcerations of the lids heal, while the discharge, the lachrymation, photophobia, and irritability of the adjacent mucous membrane all diminish. In this affection is well seen the special power of mercury to check threatening suppuration and to heal ulceration.
In Blepharitis, when the sebaceous glands near the ciliae become inflamed or obstructed, causing redness, crusting, and irritation, mercurial lotions, or ointments, applied at bedtime after due cleansing, are very serviceable. Calomel ointment is the mildest, that of the red oxide the most energetic (B. Carter), but that of the freshly precipitated yellow oxide, introduced by Pagenstecher, is now the most generally used (Oph-thalm. Review, v. ii., 115). I have been well satisfied with the effect of white precipitate ointment diluted with three or four parts of lard, and Haltenhoff (Geneva) prefers this.
Hordeolum (or "stye") is often best treated by applications of the same three or four times daily.
Phlyctenular Ophthalmia and Keratitis of scrofulous character have been cured by insufflations of calomel.
A general effect may be obtained, as we have already seen, from local applications made in several ways - by inunction, by endermic painting, or hypodermic injection, as well as by suppository or fumigation. These methods, which will be more fully described afterward, are utilized for mercury more than for other drugs, yet the ordinary mode of administration is simpler, and with due attention to the mouth and the digestion, is more satisfactory when the conditions of the illness admit of it.