The oral administration of mercury was introduced early in the history of syphilis, before 1535. The effective absorption of the metal from the alimentary canal is strikingly attested by the occurrence of salivation when the dosage is pushed, even with the water-insoluble preparations, such as metallic mercury, mild mercurous chloride and yellow mercurous iodide. The therapeutic effects are unquestionably equal to those of other methods of mercurialization. They occur as promptly and may be made as energetic, if the dosage is adequate and the administration sufficiently persistent. However, oral administration is so simple that it is generally entrusted to the patient, and is likely to be neglected as soon as unpleasant intestinal irritation, diarrhea or other collateral effects appear; indeed, these complications may render its continuance impossible, even with the best cooperation. Oral administration has, therefore, gone out of vogue, and is now confined chiefly to the employment of mercury
SOLLMANN T, SCHREIBER NE, COLE HN, DeWOLF H, AMBLER JV. EXCRETION OF MERCURY AFTER ORAL ADMINISTRATION OF MERCURY WITH CHALK, YELLOW MERCUROUS IODIDE AND CORROSIVE MERCURIC CHLORIDE. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1935;31(1):15–25. doi:10.1001/archderm.1935.01460190018003
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