Medicine: New Shots for Old Ills

An estimated 8,000,000 U.S. citizens—mostly women—suffer recurrent attacks of one of mankind's worst nonfatal miseries, the sharp, blinding pain of migraine (sick headache) which leaves many of its victims unable to eat, to work, to think clearly. Doctors, not sure what causes this malady, can sometimes curb it, but cannot cure it.

When such simple remedies as aspirin fail, the standard treatment has been shots of ergotamine tartrate (Gynergen). But Gynergen, derived from ergot, a drug used to stimulate uterine contractions in childbirth, is almost a disease in itself. It slows the pulse, raises blood pressure, occasionally causes gangrene, may cause vomiting,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!