Ergometrine and Ergotamine

  • Yin-Zhong Ma
  • Gui-Fen Qiang
  • Guan-Hua DuEmail author


Ergotamine and ergometrine belong to two kinds of ergot alkaloids. Ergot is the sclerotium of ergot fungus that grows in the rye and related cereal and forage plants. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that ergot is tasteless, tepid, toxic, liver meridian, and kidney meridian. Ergot can be used for uterine contraction, uterine bleeding, and postpartum hemorrhage after delivery, incomplete recovery of uterus, retrogression, etc. According to modern research, ergotamine or ergot can block the a-adrenergic receptor, so that the pressor effect of adrenaline was reversed. They do not prevent the release of sympathetic mediators. Ergonovine maleate is mainly used for the prevention and treatment of the weak uterine contraction or poor contraction caused by uterine bleeding after delivery or abortion. It is also used for incomplete recovery of postpartum uterus to accelerate the recovery of the uterus. Ergotamine tartrate is mainly used for the treatment of migraine by relieving the symptoms. Because ergonovine has been discontinued, oxytocin and prostaglandin preparation are the mainstream at present. The combination of ergotamine tartrate and caffeine can increase the absorption of ergotamine and enhance the contraction of blood vessels. Therefore, ergotamine-caffeine tablets have better effect on the early stage of migraine, but it is not suitable for long-term administration due to its side effects.


Ergotamine Ergometrine a-Adrenergic receptor Uterine contraction 


  1. 1.
    Mou HY. Pharmacology of traditional Chinese medicine. 1952;150–3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ruoergai County. Treatment manual of Chinese herb from plateau. 1971;95–6.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fang QC. A new method of isolating ergometrine. Acta Pharm Sin. 1963;10(12):712–9.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    He HX, Zhu P, Yue DC. Clinical application of ergot alkaloids and their pharmacological activities. Chin Pharm J. 1992;27(4):198–201.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission. Pharmacopoeia of People’s Republic of China (2). Beijing: China Medical Science and Technology Press; 2010. p. 44–5.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gao JJ. Evaluation of postpartum hemorrhage drug oxytocin and ergometrine curative effect. Chin Foreign Med Treat. 2009;22:81.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Li ZY, Ren JH. The reason and thinking of the national basic drug injection production. Chin Pharmeuticals. 2013;22(24):8–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. and People's Medical Publishing House, PR of China 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Drug Targets Identification and Drug Screening, Centre for Pharmaceutical ScreeningInstitute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations