This research was started as an investigation of the quality of ergot which is at present on the market, and to find a means of improving it. For the purpose of determining the quality of ergot in the light of the knowledge of the chemistry of this subject, the only method which seemed available was the physiological test; but from the beginning, we were impressed with the desirability of establishing if possible, a chemical method for the standardization of this drug. The biological assay of drugs is commercially possible only for large manufacturing houses, since it involves the necessity of employing a separate expert and even under the best conditions, can never be regarded as more than approximately accurate; whereas the proper chemical test should, at least theoretically, be reliable within a very small limit of error. As a result of our studies, we have finally developed
WOOD HC, HOFER CA. AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF THE PHARMACOLOGY OF ERGOT. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1910;VI(4):388–419. doi:10.1001/archinte.1910.00050320051003
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