In spite of the different forms of arsenic used under various trade names, mercury, in some form, still holds the foremost place in the treatment of syphilis. Even when the arsenic preparations are used, mercury is usually continued for long periods in order to effect a cure.
Many of the salts of mercury, including metallic mercury itself, are administered in various ways: by mouth, by insufflation, subcutaneously and by inunction.
ABSORPTION AND ELIMINATION OF MERCURY
Owing to the difficulty in detecting mercury in the body fluids, little light has been thrown on the question as to what extent the different forms of mercury were absorbed and how eliminated. Meyer and Gottleib1 state, "the excretion of mercury in the urine offers a means of estimating the amounts of mercury circulating in the body and the duration of its action. After absorption it circulates as a compound of mercury albuminate and
RAMSEY WR, ZIEGLER MR. THE RELATIVE EFFICIENCY OF THE DIFFERENT MERCURIAL PREPARATIONS IN THE TREATMENT OF CONGENITAL SYPHILIS IN INFANTS AND CHILDRENAS DETERMINED BY A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE MERCURY ELIMINATED IN THE URINE. Am J Dis Child. 1918;16(5):299–306. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1918.01910170022003