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.
By the ordinary medicinal use of the drug all secretions are diminished. According to Rutherford, the acetate of lead is the only substance which lessens the secretion of bile without causing purgation, and he considers this action to be direct, not indirect or reflex; it is overcome by salicylate of soda. He connects the constipation partly with this action on the liver, partly with similar action on the intestinal glands (British Medical Journal, ii., 1878). Heubel attributes the icteric condition frequent in plumbism to contraction of the bile-ducts (muscular fibres). During an attack of colic, all the secretions are diminished except that of the skin (Alderson: "Lumleian Lectures," 1852, Lancet).