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.
Fuller and Walshe may be named among modern advocates of mercurial treatment in pleurisy, but for the acute stage I cannot see its advantage, since aconite, salines, belladonna, or morphia, with suitable local applications, give usually all the good results that can be expected from medicines. When effusion has occurred, however, I believe that mercury may be of considerable service in stimulating the absorbents; and in some cases, when hectic has set in and there have been signs of commencing pus-formation, small doses of corrosive sublimate have seemed to me advantageous. I have also noted benefit from this medicine in pleuritis occurring in puerperal women, and a similar observation is recorded by Nothnagel. In no case should it be pushed to the production of salivation or anaemia.