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.
Cases of hemiplegia relieved by phosphorus are on record, but not from very reliable sources. It is contraindicated in acute irritative conditions, but in chronic stages should be tried, particularly if exhaustion be a prominent symptom. I agree, generally, with Le-maire, who has summarized the modern use of it for paralysis, and finds that, in local palsies after severe illness, or from anaemia or hemorrhage, it has a general tonic, stimulant power, but not a specific curative effect, and is always uncertain. In paralysis dependent on severe organic disease, tumor, or hemorrhage in the nerve-centres, it cannot, of course, be relied upon, nor in hysterical palsy, although, in the last-named, I have sometimes seen advantage from it, and Dr. Hammond speaks well of a combination of zinc phosphide with strychnia. It is commonly useless in old paraplegia, in sclerosis, and in lead-palsy; and Mr. Sanger is almost alone in reporting paraplegia and paralysis agitans cured by the drug. I have, however, known it relieve formication in paralyzed parts. It has been found of service in recent ataxy and in mercurial palsy (tremor), and its advantage has been distinct in functional derangement with adynamia, and in some slight structural lesions when inflammation, fever, and cerebral excitement were absent (Bulletin General de Thera-peutique, September, 1875). The dose recommended is about one milligramme (1/65 gr.). For intra-ocular paralysis it was used by Tavignot, externally and internally.