In Acute Nephritis, "The combination of Calomel and Opium," observes Dr. Christison,* " so familiarly employed in other acute inflammations, has not been much resorted to in this species, but may be presumed, nevertheless, to be admissible." Opium, given after a full blood-letting, is regarded as more efficacious. (See Opium.) The same remarks apply to Cystitis. It must be remembered that Mercury is badly borne whenever the functions of the kidney are interfered with, and there is any retention of urea in the blood. In Bright's disease it is undoubtedly contra-indicated.
1418. In AmenorrhAea, Mercury is recommended by men of first-rate talent and experience, although a strong feeling against it appears to be entertained by the majority of medical men. Dr. D. Davis speaks of it as the most powerful emmenagogue existing; and states that it has often, under judicious administration, restored the due performance of the catamenial function, as well as the pristine health and strength, after a long list of other remedies had been tried in vain. Dr. Ashwell's experience is also decidedly in its favour. " It is not," he observes, " to be used in slight cases, nor where there is extreme exhaustion, a predominant irritability, or a tendency to phthisical or strumous disease. But in obstinate Amenorrha, where there is chronic inflammation, or permanent congestion, and any evidence of incipient structural change, there is no remedy equal to Mercury." "If salivation," he adds, "be produced and maintained, Mercury often ensures decided and permanent benefit." The mercurial effect should be carried so far as to produce soreness of the gums and moderate salivation; and these he directs to be kept up for twelve or sixteen weeks. Dr. Davis advises that it should be given internally in the following form: - Calomel gr. iij. - iv., Opium gr. j., M.; or it may be introduced into the system by inunction with Ung. Hyd. into the femoral and crural surfaces. Great care, he adds, should be taken to avoid profuse salivation; such an occurrence might be followed by an aggravation of all the symptoms. As an emmenagogue it has now fallen into disuse.
* Lib. of Med., vol. iv. p. 277. Obstetric Medicine, p. 237.
diseases peculiar to Women, p. 77. § Prov. Journ., April 1801.
states that he has adopted the following treatment with great success: - First, if the parts are covered with scales or dry crusts, emollient cataplasms and baths are employed until these are removed. An ointment composed of 4 to 6 parts of Calomel and 30 of Lard is applied twice daily; and, after each application, the parts are sprinkled with a powder composed of 1 part of Camphor and 5 of Starch. The proportions may be varied according to circumstances. "Experience," he says, "shows, that the ointment alone is inefficacious; and the Camphorated Starch, singly, allays the itching, but does not effect the cure." He found it in the highest degree efficacious in the above affections, in Intertrigo, Chronic Eczema of the Scrotum, and in several Lichenoid Affections. The application of Calomel, in these cases, was proposed by Dr. P. Younge,* of Georgia, in 1833.