Ergotamine, ergonovine, and a number of other alkaloids are isolated from ergot, a product of a fungal infection of grain, rye in particular. In the early history of civilization and in the middle ages, consumption of grain of contaminated ergot resulted in gangrene in the extremities, miscarriages, and seizures.
Ergot alkaloids were the first adrenoblockers to be studied. Despite the fact that the majority of ergot alkaloids exhibit a-adrenoblocking activity, their pharmacology is often different. In terms of chemistry, ergotamine and ergonovine are derivatives of lysergic acid.
Ergotamine: Ergotamine, 3',6',18'-trione,12'-hydroxy-2'-methyl-5'-benzyl-(5'a)-ergota-mine (12.2.14), is obtained via microbiological synthesis .
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