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 various forms of hepatic disorder accompanied with congestion, ammonium chloride is a valuable remedy, perhaps not yet sufficiently known in this country. Dr. Murchison recommended it in "functional liver-disorder" accompanied with lithaemia, and Dr. Anstie in suppression of biliary secretion consequent on nerve-shock. It is much used abroad in catarrh of the bile-ducts, and in the jaundice dependent on this condition; also in hepatic dropsy; but perhaps its best effects are seen in passive hepatic congestion when there is deficient intestinal secretion with loaded urine, constipation, coated tongue, and general "bilious" condition. As already stated, the chloride stimulates a due secretion of bile and increases the excretion of urea. Dr. Stewart, of the Indian service, has especially drawn attention to the value of this remedy in hepatitis, and even hepatic abscess, and has found it act better in acute than in chronic stages of these maladies. If the skin be dry, he orders first the acetate of ammonia and afterward 20 gr. of chloride every four or six hours: a feeling of warmth and exhilaration is produced, hepatic pain is quickly and markedly relieved, perspiration and urine are freely secreted, and sleep commonly follows (Lancet, 1870; British Medical Journal, ii., 1878).