- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Edward Woakes

Born  1837
Died  1912

Related eponyms

English physician, born 1837; died September 30, 1912.

Biography of Edward Woakes

Edward Woakes in 1858 became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He was house surgeon at St. Thomas’ Hospital, senior aural surgeon at the London Hospital, lecturer of otology at the medical school of this hospital, and from 1879 senior surgeon at the department of diseases of the ears in the Hospital for Diseases of the Throat and Chest, Golden Square.

Edward Woakes is particularly remembered for being one of the first to use extracts of ergot in the treatment of migraine. This was first done in Italy in 1862, and then by Woakes in 1868. Woakes knew that ergot constricted the blood vessels and recommended small amounts of the ergot spur to treat the symptoms of migraine.


  • On deafness, giddiness, and noises in the head. 2nd edition, 1880.
    4th edition, assisted by Claud Woakes, Blakiston, 1897, 224 pages.
  • Treatment of nasal disease by medicated cotton wool. The Lancet, London, 1880.
  • Vertigo, and the symptoms called Menière’s disease. British Medical Journal, 1883.
  • The etiology of diphteria, etc. The Lancet, 1883.
  • Post-nasal catarrh, and diseases of the nose causing deafness.
    3rd edition, 1884, P. Blakiston, Son & Co. 224 pages.
  • Nasal polypus, with neuralgia, hay fever, and asthma : in relation to ethmoiditis. Philadelphia, P. Blakiston, 1887.
  • August Hirsch, publisher:
    Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und Völker.
    2nd edition. Berlin, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1929. First published in 6 volumes 1884-1888. 3rd edition, München 1962.
  • P. J. Koehler, H. Isler:
    The early use of ergotamine in migraine. Edward Woakes' report of 1868, its theoretical and practical background and its international reception.
    Cephalalgia, October 2002, 22 (8): 686-691.
  • M. J. Eadie:
    Ergot of rye-the first specific for migraine.
    Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, January 2004, 11 (1): 4-7.

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