Arsenic had a most prominent place in the earliest records of the treatment for leprosy and its use has been recommended until the present time. Other heavy metals were also formerly employed as antilepra remedies.
In more recent times, observations on the action of metals in the treatment for leprosy have opened new fields of endeavor, especially in view of the fact that some preparations have shown therapeutic activity in hydatid diseases and on certain bacilli, of which the Hansen bacillus possesses characteristic properties. As might have been expected, the arsphenamines have been used in leprosy, though with little success. Other metals have been tried, with varying results.
However, some success has been achieved in the treatment for leprosy with antimony. Cawston2 showed that intramuscular injections of antimony have a decided effect on patients when Bacillus leprae is still active, and that the effect on the general condition of
KINGSBURY J. A NEW ANTIMONY COMPOUND IN THE TREATMENT FOR LEPROSY. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1931;24(6):1053–1057. doi:10.1001/archderm.1931.01450011070006