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.
Sir J. Simpson introduced the oxalate of cerium "as a sedative tonic resembling bismuth and silver," valuable in irritative dyspepsia and vomiting, especially when dependent on pregnancy (Edinburgh Monthly Journal, December, 1854; and Medical Times, i., 1855). Several years later he wrote strongly in favor of its especial and proved value in the last-mentioned condition and in sympathetic uterine vomiting generally. He calls it "the simplest and surest remedy," states that he has cured with it more cases than with any other single medicine, and records several illustrations of its prompt and effective action in obstinate cases which had resisted all ordinary treatment: he gave 1 to 2-gr. doses in pill (Medical Times, ii., 1859). Dr. C. Lee and Dr. W. Curran have recorded similar experience, but the latter rather confused his results by giving bromide and bark at the same time. Dr. C. K. Mills (U. S.) found that the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy almost always yielded promptly to a few doses: of eleven cases reported, ten were relieved permanently, one only for a time. Similar symptoms associated with dysmenorrhoea, flexion, and other uterine disorders, and with hysteria from anxiety, grief, overwork, and the like, were also relieved by cerium. Obstinate vomiting occurring in the course of phthisis, and during typhoid fever, was successfully treated by 2 to 3-gr. doses (Medical Record, March, 1876). The amount of published evidence as to the general use of the drug is meagre, but I have myself often obtained excellent results from it. Dr. Image, in a recent paper, attributes occasional disappointment to the use of too small doses: he recommends 10 gr. with tragacanth, tincture of orange, and water, every four hours, the first dose being taken half an hour before rising". He quotes a case in which vomiting always had commenced in the fourth week of pregnancy and lasted till the eighth month, but with this remedy the attacks, though recurring at intervals, were invariably checked in two or three days, and of a great many cases of pregnancy with vomiting, not a single one was unrelieved by the same treatment (Practitioner, June, 1878). He found it also efficacious in nausea from uterine irritation, and I have had similar experience on many occasions. I have not required to use so large a dose, but it should certainly be tried if smaller ones fail. Dr. Busey has lately recommended oxalate of cerium to obviate the nausea and headache produced in some persons by opium, just as Da Costa recommended bromide, and others coffee; it has the advantage of small bulk and of tastelessness (Practitioner, i., 1879, p. 214).