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.
Ferruginous medicines were at one time esteemed in the treatment of epilepsy or of attacks resembling it, but as diagnosis became more exact, and as more reliable remedies were discovered, iron passed out of use. Brown-Sequard taught that although it might improve the blood-condition, it tended to aggravate the malady itself; and H. Jackson, after much observation, expressed the same opinion. Dr. Gowers, writing more recently, acknowledges that it is sometimes the case, but, on the other hand, he has found that iron has a true place in the therapeusis of epilepsy: he has observed benefit from it in cases that are on the borderland between epilepsy and hysteria, and in others when the attacks were limited to the night-time, and in many of these cases the improvement was fairly permanent: he suggests, and I should think very plausibly, that it acts, like other metals (as silver or zinc seems to do in such cases), as a nerve-tonic, rather than simply by haematinic properties (Practitioner, October, 1877). Fabre has published a thesis showing the value of the medicine ("Fer contre l'Epilepsie," Paris, 1853). On the whole, we may conclude that iron has been unduly discredited in epileptic or epileptiform conditions. I think that when it arises from onanism, or when a patient is anaemic, it should be used, but generally in combination with bromides.