It often fails, but many examples of its successful employment are on record. Amongst others, Mr. Alexander* relates a very severe case, which completely yielded to the use of Liq. Arsenicalis, when other remedies had failed.
Mr. Simmons relates several cases successfully treated with it. He speaks highly of its efficacy and safety; but it is regarded, at the present day, as too powerful a remedy for young children.
Dr. Gregory§ relates several cases illustrative of its efficacy, when given in the form of Liq. Arsenicalis, in doses of gutt. iij., gradually increased to gutt. x. thrice daily. Dr. Pe-reira|| states that he has seen great advantage attend its use, in fact that he knows of no remedy for this disease equal to Arsenic, which, in a large proportion of cases, acts almost as a specific; and Dr. Begbie, of Edinburgh, states that, in an experience of thirty years, he has never known Arsenic (given as above) to fail. The trials of it by Dr. Stone¶ tend to confirm the high opinion expressed by others. In Epilepsy it has been successfully employed by Pearson, Prichard, Thompson, and others.
For a long period Arsenic has been known to exercise a beneficial influence in cutaneous affections. ' Bateman** employed it extensively, and speaks highly of its efficacy; more recently it has been strongly advocated by Mr. Hunt, who states that for thirty years he has constantly employed it in the treatment of Eczema, Lepra, Psoriasis, Acne Punctata, Acne Rosacea, and Impetigo, and that it has not failed in any one of the above forms in a single instance when fairly and fully tried. He adds, that it is to the method, not to the remedy (for that is old), that he chiefly calls attention. He has embodied the results of his long experience in the following rules, which are well worthy of attention.
1. Arsenic should never be commenced while signs of active cutaneous inflammation are present.
2. It should be well mixed with the food or drink, and never taken on an empty stomach.
* Med. Commentaries, vol. xv. p. 373. Bull. Gen. de Therap. 1861. Annals of Medicine, 1797. § Medico-Chir. Trans. vol. xi.
|| Mat. Med vol. i. p. 714. ¶ Med Times and Gaz., Sep. 7,1859. ** Synopsis of Dis. of the Skin, p. 33.
ft Lancet, Jan. 17,1846.
3. It should be given in three or four doses daily, and with the greatest regularity.
Arsenicalis is generally a sufficient dose to commence with, i.e. exv. daily. As soon as the conjunctiva becomes affected, this dose may be reduced; but it is desirable to reduce it gradually.
5. During the administration of the minimum dose, should Conjunctivitis supervene, the dose should be further reduced; if necessary, it may be wholly discontinued for a very short period.