Mercurials have been used as diuretics for many years. More recently salyrgan, an aqueous solution containing about 37 mg. (one-half grain) of metallic mercury to the cubic centimeter, has been used in treating patients with abnormal collections of fluid in the tissue or body cavities.
That mercury may be a renal irritant is a well known fact. Salyrgan, however, has been used repeatedly over long periods of time even in those with previously existing renal disease without untoward effects.1 Occasionally patients are encountered who have an idiosyncrasy to mercury, and reactions such as convulsions or anuria may occur. Only one such instance has been recorded in the literature,2 and this patient made an uneventful recovery. Because of this very infrequent idiosyncrasy, caution must be used in administering the initial dosage of this drug. It should be given first in 0.5 cc. doses intramuscularly. If no reaction occurs within
Smith C. THE USE OF SALYRGAN IN ONE PATIENT, OVER A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS, FOR RECURRING ASCITES AND EDEMA ASSOCIATED WITH CARDIAC FAILURE. JAMA. 1934;102(7):532. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.62750070001009