er·​got·​a·​mine | \ (ˌ)ər-ˈgä-tə-ˌmēn How to pronounce ergotamine (audio) \

Definition of ergotamine

: an alkaloid C33H35N5O5 derived from ergot that is used chiefly in the form of its tartrate especially in treating migraine

Examples of ergotamine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first such drugs, called ergotamines, were powerful vasoconstrictors derived from the ergot fungus, which grows on rye and other grains and led to mass poisonings in the Middle Ages. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, 18 May 2018 That idea was reinforced in the late 1930s with the publication of a paper on the use of ergotamine tartrate, an alkaloid that was known to constrict blood vessels. David Noonan, Scientific American, 1 Dec. 2015 Yet even refined, synthetic versions of ergotamine can dangerously narrow blood vessels, so doctors and patients welcomed the triptans, which selectively constrict the blood vessels of the brain. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, 18 May 2018 As treatments, though, ergotamine and serotonin have serious problems. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, 1 May 2017 The result, after a decade of work, was sumatriptan, which, like ergotamine, both eased pain and constricted blood vessels. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, 1 May 2017 While some people are helped by low cost, over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen, others need stronger prescription medications, such as sumatriptan and ergotamine, which constrict the blood vessels in the brain and can cause dizziness or nausea. NBC News, 17 Apr. 2018 It is normally associated with certain medications, such as ergotamine or triptans, and illicit drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines -- not peppers. Mark Lieber, CNN, 9 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ergotamine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ergotamine

1921, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ergotamine

borrowed from German Ergotamin, from French ergot ergot + German -amin amine

Note: The term was introduced by the Swiss biochemist Arthur Stoll (1887-1971) and the German biochemist Karl Spiro (1867-1932) in "Über die wirksamen Substanzen des Mutterkorns," Actes de la Société Helvétique des Sciences Naturelles, 101e session annuelle du 29 août au 1er septembre 1920 à Neuchatel, IIe partie (1921), p. 235.

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The first known use of ergotamine was in 1921

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Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ergotamine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for ergotamine


er·​got·​a·​mine | \ (ˌ)ər-ˈgät-ə-ˌmēn How to pronounce ergotamine (audio) \

Medical Definition of ergotamine

: an alkaloid that is derived from ergot and is used chiefly in the form of its tartrate (C33H35N5O5)2·C4H6O6 especially in treating migraine

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