St. Anthony’s Fire

Below you will find more information about St. Anthony’s Fire from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of St. Anthony’s Fire it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with St. Anthony’s Fire and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to St. Anthony’s Fire comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


St. Anthony's fire is a very painful burning sensation in the arms and legs due to excessive exposure to ergotamines. Ergotamines are produced by particular fungi known as Claviceps purpurea, which usually contaminates rye and wheat. Ergotamines is a drug used for controlling migraine and in inducing abortion. Ergotamines are nerve toxins and can cause blood vessel constriction resulting in tissue death (gangrene).


Diagnosis is based on the algorithmic diagnosis of signs and symptoms.


The most common approach in the treatment of St.Anthony's fire includes symptomatic treatment aimed at alleviating the pain. Wound management can also be beneficial to improve the condition of the skin.

Symptoms and Signs

Excessive ergotamines exposure which causes St. Anthony's fire can cause the following symptoms: ò Hallucinations ò Death of body tissue caused by loss of blood flow to the tissue (gangrene) ò Severe gastrointestinal disturbance ò Seizures ò Dry Gangrenous symptom including dull ache, coldness in the affected area, paleness of the affected flesh, in addition to its appearance which can be described as dry, shrunken and mummified looking flesh. ò Burning arm pain ò Burning leg pain ò Muscle spasm ò Weak peripheral pulse ò Loss of peripheral sensation


St. Anthony's fire is caused by excessive exposure to ergotamines, which are produced by a fungus called Claviceps purpurea.

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