World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0001892525
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ergometrine  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ergotamine, LSM-775, Diallyllysergamide, Methysergide, Cabergoline
Collection: Ergot Alkaloids, Lysergamides
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Systematic (IUPAC) name
(6aR,9R)-N-((S)-1-Hydroxypropan- 2-yl)-7-methyl-4,6,6a,7,8,9-hexahydroindolo[4,3-fg]quinoline-9-carboxamide
Clinical data
  • X
Legal status
  • List I precursor (US)
Routes of
Pharmacokinetic data
Metabolism hepatic
Excretion renal
CAS Registry Number  Y
ATC code G02
PubChem CID:
DrugBank  Y
ChemSpider  Y
Synonyms Ergonovine, lysergic acid beta- propanolamide
Chemical data
Formula C19H23N3O2
Molecular mass 325.41 g/mol

Ergometrine (other names include ergonovine and d-health system.[1]


  • Medical use 1
  • Side effects 2
  • Mechanism of action 3
  • History 4
  • Legal status 5
  • Chemistry 6
  • See Also 7
  • References 8

Medical use

It has a medical use in obstetrics to facilitate delivery of the placenta and to prevent bleeding after childbirth by causing smooth muscle tissue in the blood vessel walls to narrow, thereby reducing blood flow. It is usually combined with oxytocin (Syntocinon) as syntometrine.

It can induce spasm of the coronary arteries.[2] It is used to diagnose variant (Prinzmetal's) angina.[3]

Side effects

Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, tinnitus, chest pain, palpitation, bradycardia, transient hypertension and other cardiac arrhythmias, dyspnea, rashes, and shock.[4] An overdose produces a characteristic poisoning, ergotism or "St. Anthony's fire": prolonged vasospasm resulting in gangrene and amputations; hallucinations and dementia; and abortions. Gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, are common.[5] The drug is contraindicated in pregnancy, vascular disease, and psychosis.

Mechanism of action

While it acts at alpha-adrenergic, dopaminergic, and serotonin receptors (the 5-HT2 receptor), it exerts on the uterus (and other smooth muscles) a powerful stimulant effect not clearly associated with a specific receptor type.


The pharmacological properties of ergot were known and had been utilised by midwives for centuries, but were not thoroughly researched and publicised until the early 20th century. However, its abortifacient effects and the danger of ergotism meant that it was only prescribed cautiously, as in the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage.[6]

Ergometrine was first isolated and obtained by the chemists C Moir and H W Dudley in 1935.[7] Caroline De Costa has argued that the adoption of ergometrine for prophylatic use and for treating haemorrhaging contributed to the decline in the maternal mortality rate in much of the West during the early 20th century.[6]

Legal status

Ergometrine is listed as Table I precursors under the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, as possible precursor compound for LSD.[8] As an N-alkyl derivative of lysergamide, ergometrine is also covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, effectively rendering it illegal in the United Kingdom.


Ergometrine can be synthesized by esterification of D-lysergic acid using 2-aminopropanol in dimethylformamide and direct treatment of the reaction mixture with phosgene.[9]

See Also

Methylergometrine - a synthetic analogue


  1. ^ "WHO Model List of EssentialMedicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. October 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Romagnoli E, Niccoli G, Crea F (October 2005). "Images in cardiology: A coronary organic stenosis distal to severe, ergonovine induced spasm: decision making". Heart 91 (10): 1310.  
  3. ^ Sunagawa O, Shinzato Y, Touma T, Tomori M, Fukiyama K (May 2000). "Differences between coronary hyperresponsiveness to ergonovine and vasospastic angina". Jpn Heart J 41 (3): 257–68.  
  4. ^ Ergometrine drug information
  5. ^ McDonald S, Abbott JM, Higgins SP (2004). "Prophylactic ergometrine-oxytocin versus oxytocin for the third stage of labour". Cochrane Database Syst Rev 1: CD000201.  
  6. ^ a b De Costa, Caroline (May 2002). "St Anthony's fire and living ligatures: a short history of ergometrine". Lancet 359 (9319): 1768–1770.  
  7. ^ Dudley, H W; Moir, C (1935). "The substance responsible for the traditional clinical effect of ergot". BMJ 1: 520–523.  
  8. ^ List Of Precursors And Chemicals Frequently Used In The Illicit Manufacture Of Narcotic Drugs And Psychotropic Substances Under International Control.
  9. ^ A. Stoll, A. Hofmann, Helv. Chim. Acta, 26, 956 (1943).
    • A. Stoll, A. Hofmann, U.S. Patent 2,090,430 (1937).
    • A. Stoll, A. Hofmann, U.S. Patent 2,447,214 (1948).
    • R.P. Pioch, U.S. Patent 2,736,728 (1956).
    • W.L. Garbrecht, U.S. Patent 2,774,763 (1956).
    • A. Hofmann, A. Brack, U.S. Patent 2,809,920 (1957).
    • B. Patelli, L. Bernardi, U.S. Patent 3,141,887 (1964).
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.