This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol1", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
This is made by mutual decomposition between iodide of potassium, and nitrate or acetate of lead in solution; the resulting precipitate being washed with distilled water. It consists of one equivalent of lead and one of iodine.
Sensible and Chemical Properties. It is a yellow, heavy, inodorous, and nearly tasteless powder, soluble in somewhat more than 1000 parts of cold water, and about 200 of boiling water, soluble also in alcohol, fusible and volatilizable by heat, yielding vapours at first yellow, but ultimately violet from the disengagement of iodine. It should be kept excluded from the light.
Its effects are probably identical with those produced by the other preparations of lead. The preparation has been supposed to produce also the effects of iodine, and, under this impression, has been given in tuberculous affections, but with little advantage. In scrofulous and syphilitic swelling's of the absorbent glands, both external and internal, and in obstinate ulcers, it is said to have proved useful, given internally, and applied locally, at the same time. The dose is from one to four grains three times daily. Dr. O'Shaughnessy gave ten grains without inconvenience, and even thirty grains have been prescribed. Externally it is used in the form of an ointment, made by rubbing one drachm with an ounce of lard.