Papers And Originals

Effect of Ergotamine and Ergometrine on Forearm Venous Compliance in Man

Br Med J 1970; 1 doi: (Published 17 January 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;1:139
  1. O. G. Brooke,
  2. B. F. Robinson


    The effect of ergotamine and ergometrine on the venous compliance of the forearm has been studied in normal persons. Ergotamine tartrate (0·25 mg. intravenously) led to a fall in venous compliance amounting to 49% on average, while ergometrine maleate (0·25 mg. intravenously) caused a reduction of 41%; these changes were statistically significant. The potent veno-constrictor action of these ergot alkaloids appears to be a major component of the circulatory response to small doses and may be important in provoking the harmfull cardiovascular side-effects (such as angina and pulmonary oedema) that are sometimes observed in patients with pre-existing heart disease.