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Ergoline, ergoline alkaloids, ergot alkaloids,
Ergot alkaloids are derivatives of lysergic acid or
clavine derivatives and belong to the group of
indole alkaloids. They are found in many climbing
plants (Convolvulaceae) and fungi (Claviceps purpurea,
Claviceps paspali, Claviceps spp.). The ergot
alkaloids can be divided into two groups that
exhibit stark pharmacological differences. One
group is composed of alkaloids that are highly
toxic and cause gangrenous ergotism, while the
other group consists of psychoactive alkaloids with
hallucinogenic effects. Both types may be present
in the same plant (Hofmann 1964).
The following ergot alkaloids have been found
in the Convolvulaceae: agroclavine, ergine, ergonovine,
isoergine (= isolysergic acid amide),
chanoclavine I and II, racemic chanoclavine II,
elymoclavine, festuclavine, lysergene, lysergol, isolysergol,
molliclavine, penniclavine, cycloclavine,
stetoclavine, isostetoclavine, ergometrinine, lysergic
acid-a-hydroxyethylamide (= lysergic acid methylcarbinolamide),
(= isolysergic acid methylcarbinolamide),
ergosine, and ergosinine (cf. Argyreia nervosa,
Convolvulus tricolor, Ipomoea violacea, Ipomoea
spp., Turbina corymbosa).
One hallucinogenic ergot alkaloid is ergonovine
(ergometrine, D-Iysergic acid-L-2-propanolamide,
ergobasin, ergotocine, ergostetrine, ergotrate, syntometrine,
N- [a -(hydroxymethyl)ethyl] -D-Iysergic
amide). Ergonovine maleate is psychoactive at
dosages between 3 and 10 mg (Bigwood et al.
1979). The semi-synthetic methylergonovine has
also been reported to induce psychoactive effects
(Ott and Neely 1980).
Ergine (= lysergic acid amide, LSA, lysergic
induces psychoactive effects reminiscent
of those produced by LSD (lysergic acid
diethylamide). LSD is a slight chemical variant of
lysergic acid amide that can be produced from
ergot (Claviceps purpurea). LSD is a psychopharmaca,
a "remedy for the soul" (Albert Hofmann)
whose entheogenic effects are very well known
The ergot alkaloids dihydroergotaminemesilate,
dihydroergotamintartrate, ergometrine hydrogenmaleate,
and ergotamine tartrate have a variety of
uses in medicine, including as treatments for laborcontractions and migraines.
|Commercial Forms and Regulations
Ergonovine requires a prescription. In the United
States, ergine is a controlled substance (Ott 1993,
437*). LSD is illegal throughout the world.
See also the entries for Claviceps paspali, Claviceps
purpurea, and indole alkaloids.
Bigwood, Jeremy, Jonathan Ott, Catherine
Thompson, and Patricia Neely. 1979.
Entheogenic effects of ergonovine. Journal of
Psychedelic Drugs 11 (1-2): 147-49.
Hofmann, Albert. 1964. Die Mutterkorn-Alkaloide.
Ott, Jonathan, and Patricia Neely. 1980. Entheogenic
(hallucinogenic) effects of methylergonovine.
Journal ofPsychedelic Drugs 12 (2): 165-66.
Rivier, 1. 1984. Ethnopharmacology of LSD and
related compounds. In 50 years ofLSD: Current
status and perspectives ofhallucinogens, ed. A.
Pletscher and D. Ladewig, 43-55. NewYork and
London: Parthenon Publishing.
Yui, T., and Y. Takeo. 1958. Neuropharmacological
studies on a new series of ergot alkaloids.Japanese Journal ofPharmacology 7: 157.