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March 21, 1936

Current Comment

JAMA. 1936;106(12):1012-1013. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770120044018

"ERGONOVINE"  Last year the isolation of a new alkaloid from ergot was reported within a relatively short period from four different laboratories, two in the United States, one in England and one in Switzerland. The new substance was found in each case to be different in its properties from the previously known alkaloids of ergot; its oxytocic effects were much more prompt and more lasting than those of ergotoxine or ergotamine and the required dosage was smaller. Some discrepancies in the reported physical and chemical properties of the material isolated by the different investigators led to doubt as to the identity of the four products; four names were proposed, ergometrine (Dudley and Moir), ergotocin (Kharasch and Legault), ergobasine (Stoll and Burckhardt) and ergostetrine (Thompson). Owing to the confusion entailed by the doubt as to the identity of the four products so designated, workers in the four laboratories commendably agreed to

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