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 some cases, iodine injection is said to have answered well. Lachrymal fistula has been cured by it (Lancet, i., 1874), also congenital branchial fistula (Medical Record, 1879). In rectal fistula an ethereal solution has been of service (Lancet, ii., 1872), but should not be allowed to remain in the bowel, as it may cause severe pain (Medical Times, i., 1860). A good, colorless disinfectant and cleansing lotion for such cases is made with tinct. iodi 3 iss., glycerini 3 ij., sol. calcis chlorin., 3 vi.; use 1/2 oz. to 6 or 8 oz. of water (Dr. Boggs). Mr. Stirton has related a case of rectal fistula in which the ordinary operation had failed several times, but succeeded when iodine injection was commenced immediately after it. In my own experience, I have never known iodine by itself cure anal fistula, and should always recommend an operation in preference to injections of any kind. Iodized injections are, however, often useful in stimulating old atonic sinuses in the neighborhood of joints, etc.