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Berde B. 
“Pharmacology of Ergot Alkaloids in Clinical Use”. 
Med.J.Australia. 1978;2(Spec. Suppl., 4):3-13.
The pharmacology of the ergot alkaloids in clinical use is reviewed. Parameters used to compare the pharmacologic activity of ergotamine (Gynergen), bromocriptine (B. Parlodel), dibydroergotamine (Dihydergot), co-dergocrine mesylate (Hydergine), methylergometrine (Methergin), methysergide (Deseril) and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) include a-adrenergic blockade (isolated guinea pig seminal vesicle) 5-HT receptor blockade in the rat uteru, pressor activity in the spinal cat (i.v.), uterotonic activity in situ in the rabbit (i.v.), s.c. inhibition of fertility in the rat, influence on body temperature in the rabbit (i.v.), emetic activity in the dog (i.v.), dopaminergic activity in rats (i.p.), s.c. contralateral turning in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats and inhibition of noradrenaline (NA) stimulated cAMP synthesis in rat cortex. The uterotonic effect of both noradrenaline and ergotamine is abolished by phentolamine whereas that of oxytocin is not. P.o. ergotamine given with caffeine is used to treat migraine and cluster headaches. Methylsergide is used in the prophylaxie of migraine. Dihydroergotamine is also used in the treatment of orthostatic hypotension. Synergism between dibydroergotamine and low-dose heparin occurs in postoperative deep vein thrombosis. Co-dergocrine mesylate is used to treat senile cerebral insufficiency. B inhibits prolactin secretion and is used toinhibit lactation and galactorrhea and is used in amenorrhea, suLfertility and impotence. Inhibition of GH secretion in acromegaly and amelioration of symptoms of Parkinson's disease are discussed. B also has central dopaminergic action. BP is lowered following B administration in animals and in hypertensive patients. Haloperidol or a-methyltyrosine pretreatment reduces the antitremor effect of B. Like apomorphine, d-amphetamine and L-dopa, B inhibits reserpine induced akinesia in mice and also tetrabenazine and prochlorperazine induced akinesias in rats, but unlike diazepam does not inhibit y-rigidity after intracollicular decerebration. B induced contralateral turning is blocked by pimozide.
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