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.
Among blood diseases we may include this form of blood-poisoning, and although it is difficult to credit arsenic with efficacy in such cases, we must admit not only a long tradition in its favor in India (v. Dr. Russell's "History of Indian Serpents"), but some amount of clinical evidence. A compound of white arsenic with black pepper and native herbs is the popular form, known as "Tanjore pill," but Mr. Ireland used 2-dr. doses of the liquor arsenicalis with 10 min. of tinct. opii every half-hour for four successive hours in five cases, and all of them recovered, although other patients died from similar bites (Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, ii., p. 393). No doubt, the system, under abnormal influences, can tolerate larger doses than in its healthy state.
Dr. Shortt, the eminent ophiologist of Madras, has recorded indisputable evidence of its value when quickly and largely used after the bite of venomous snakes. He gives it in several ways in order to saturate the blood as soon as possible: thus internally, 20 min. are ordered with 1 oz. of brandy and 1/2 oz. of water; 1 dr. is injected into the veins every hour, and general and local bathing with a strong solution (4 oz. to the bath) is constantly practised (Medical Times, ii., 1873).1
1 M. de Lacerda has recently reported that intravenous injection of a 1 per cent. solution of permanganate, soon after an injection of snake venom, has proved antidotal in dogs (October, 1881).