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.
At one time, acetate of lead was thought valuable in consumption, and it may relieve some of the symptoms, such as profuse sweating, expectoration, and diarrhoea, but the cases said to be cured by it were probably of chronic bronchitis, with excessive secretion. M. Beau has, however, written comparatively lately to advocate again the advantages of lead treatment in phthisis, recommending the carbonate in gradually increasing doses (Lancet, ii., 1861). He founded his practice upon some cases of phthisis which recovered after working in lead-factories, and concludes that a moderate degree of lead-poisoning is antagonistic to the malady - but such an opinion is not generally accepted. I need scarcely say that other physicians condemn the use of lead salts in phthisis "as worse than useless" (Medical Times, i., 1860, p. 435). The truth probably lies between the two extremes, but a decided objection to any continued use of the drug is its impairment of appetite.