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February 25, 1933


JAMA. 1933;100(8):600. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740080064032

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To the Editor:  —In The Journal, February 4, page 328, Drs. Ernstene and Banks record their experience with ergotamine tartrate as an antipruritic agent and refer to my clinical note (The Journal, Nov. 14, 1931, p. 1563) on the subject. The lack of uniform results with this drug in the treatment of pruritus in urticaria and other dermatoses has already been recognized.It has been pointed out that ergotamine tartrate exerts its depressant action on the sympathetic nervous system, the tonus of which is heightened. The prompt relief from pruritus obtained in patients with jaundice and azotemia suggested the existence of a sympathicotonia in these individuals. The metabolic changes in the skin in these conditions provokes the increased nervous irritability.In my experience to date, and in that of physicians and clinics which has been brought to my attention, the claim for the drug has been confirmed. In about 75

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