Ergotamine and the closely related and pharmacologically similar ergotoxin constitute the principal alkaloids of ergot and exhibit all the effects of that drug on the uterus. In addition they have been shown to exert an effect on various parts of the sympathetic nervous system, in particular, a paralyzing or depressing action on the motor elements of that system that are stimulated by epinephrine. Briefly, in animals they not only antagonize the pressor effect of epinephrine on the systemic arteries, but under suitable conditions cause a reversal of the usual effect of epinephrine on the blood pressure.1 Ergotamine inhibits the dilator effect of epinephrine on the coronaries,2 and by its effect on the sympathetic nerves of the heart is said to slow the rate of sinus rhythm3 and to neutralize the accelerator action of epinephrine.4 In addition, ergotamine has been reported both to lower5 and to raise β the blood sugar
YOUMANS JB, TRIMBLE WH, FRANK H. EXPERIMENTAL AND CLINICAL STUDIES OF ERGOTAMINE: IV. THE EFFECT OF ERGOTAMINE ON THE BASAL METABOLISM, CIRCULATION AND BLOOD SUGAR OF NORMAL PERSONS AND OF PATIENTS WITH THYROTOXICOSIS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1931;47(4):612–632. doi:10.1001/archinte.1931.00140220101007
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