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Ergotin. The alkaloid of Secale cornutum, Ergot of rye. Trituration.

Clinical.-Anal incontinence. Gangrene. Haemorrhages. Heart, paralysis of. Sphincters, paralysis of.

Characteristics.-Ergotin is best known by its physiological use as a haemostatic in uterine and pulmonary haemorrhages. It acts by causing contraction of the arterioles, and its effect is produced most promptly when it is administered by subcutaneous injection. Its homoeopathic uses are in the main identical with those of Secale, but Ergotin will sometimes succeed when Secale fails. Koeck, of Munich, has recorded a case in point (H. Monatsblätter, Sept., 1898). Secale, like Phosph., has "wide-open anus" in its symptomatology. Koeck's patient had suffered from diarrhoea since the Franco-German war, and latterly had lost all power of retention. It was for this that the doctor was consulted. The rectum had lost all sensation, so that the patient had no warning and was never clean. The odour may be imagined. Old-school treatment had failed to relieve him. He was about to be pensioned by his employers, and had thoughts of suicide. Secale 3x ameliorated slightly; the 2x had the same result. "Remembering Kafka's advice to use the alkaloid when the indicated drug did not seem to act, he prescribed Ergotin 2x." After taking this for four days the patient regained control. Démange (La Semaine Méd., January, 1886) records the case of a young lady suffering from typhoid fever and threatened with heart paralysis. Stimulating injections of ether and of rum, and frictions completely failed to rally her. Cyanosis increased rapidly and threatened the trunk. Fainting spells occurred in rapid succession, pulse filiform. Ergotin was then injected and the pulse rose, and the symptoms of collapse disappeared. (Most of the symptoms of this patient may be found under Secale.)