font size

Definition of St. Anthony's fire

St. Anthony's fire: One of several conditions characterized by intense inflammation of the skin, such as from erysipelas or ergotism. Erysipelas is a type of spreading hot, bright-red strep skin infection. Ergotism is an intensely painful burning sensation in the limbs and extremities caused by ergotamines from a fungus (Claviceps purpurea) that can contaminate rye and wheat. The fungus produces the ergotamines, which constrict blood vessels and cause the muscle of the uterus to contract. In excess, ergotamines are highly toxic and cause symptoms such as hallucinations, severe gastrointestinal upset, and a type of dry gangrene. Chronic ergot poisoning (ergotism) was rife during the Middle Ages due to the consumption of contaminated rye.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7549
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations