The haemodynamic effects of sumatriptan, a 5-HT1like receptor agonist, and ergotamine, an agonist at α-adrenergic, dopamine as well as 5-HT receptors, were compared using intracardiac injection of radioactive microspheres of different sizes in anaesthetized pigs. Ergotamine (0.02 mg. kg-1) and sumatriptan (0.3mg. kg-1) decreased systemic vascular conductance and cardiac output. Only ergotamine raised arterial blood pressure. Both sumatriptan and ergotamine decreased arteriovenous anastomotic, but not capillary, blood flow in the head and body skin. Arteriovenous and capillary blood flow in the dura mater and nasal mucosa and capillary blood flow in the brain, kidneys, adrenals, intestine, heart, spleen and muscle remained unchanged. However, kidney conductance was decreased by both drugs, spleen conductance by sumatriptan and heart, liver and adrenal conductances were decreased by ergotamine. Thus, both sumatriptan and ergotamine constricted arteriovenous anastomoses in the skin, but not in the dura mater or nasal mucosa. Ergotamine constricted the vasculature more than sumatriptan, although both drugs may differentially decrease vascular conductances in some organs.

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Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache
Department of Pharmacology

den Boer, M.O, Somers, J.A.E, & Saxena, P.R. (1992). Comparative effects of the antimigraine drugs sumatriptan and ergotamine on the distribution of cardiac output in anaesthetized pigs. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache, 12(4), 206–213. doi:10.1046/j.1468-2982.1992.1204206.x