The use of rectal suppositories for the administration of mercurial diuretics has been recognized as a simple and effective method of treating chronic edema of nonrenal origin.1 There has been some doubt as to the advisability of this type of treatment, because of the possibility of severe local irritation.
Without giving details, Christian states that "this treatment may be kept up for months with no bad effects." Fulton noted no unfavorable reaction after the administration of fifteen "Mercurin" suppositories to a single patient.
Two cases are reported here. In each one "Mercurin" suppositories2 were used for more than a year with good diuretic effect and no evidence of rectal irritation.
REPORT OF CASES
A. L., an Italian-born white housewife, aged 35 on admission, had pleurisy and ascites when she was 11 years old, followed by dyspnea on exertion and chronic but variable swelling of the legs
Caughey JL. PROLONGED USE OF "MERCURIN" SUPPOSITORIES IN THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC EDEMA. JAMA. 1938;110(21):1745-1746. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.62790210002008a