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.
Annesley recommended in this inflammation, large doses of calomel to the production of salivation, which he looked upon as "derivative," and no doubt at one time, as Maclean observes, "faith in calomel may be said to have attained in India to the dignity of a dogma." He, himself, strongly objects to any systematic use of mercury, and suggests that if it has gained credit for preventing suppuration, this has been in cases which were really of "peri-hepatitis," and not likely to end in abscess; in a large experience he has never seen it arrest suppuration, and "disbelieves in any such power" ("Reynolds' System," vol. iii.). More-head and Waring agree in this opinion, and Massy reports serious impairment of health after its free exhibition. These authors may be taken as representing the present state of general opinion, but I think they have been too strongly prejudiced against the remedy by its excessive use, or abuse, and that small continued doses, stopping short of any full physiological effect, may still be found of advantage in commencing hepatitis; occasionally, larger (purgative) doses act well. In chronic forms of liver inflammation, when the viscus is large and tender, mercury is also suitable, though if marked cachexia be present, or suppuration be fully developed, the drug is better avoided.