Generic name: Ergotamine tartrate, CaffeineBrand names: Cafergot
Cafergot is prescribed for the relief or prevention of vascular headaches—for example, migraine, migraine variants, or cluster headaches.
The excessive use of Cafergot can lead to ergot poisoning resulting in symptoms such as headache, pain in the legs when walking, muscle pain, numbness, coldness, and abnormal paleness of the fingers and toes. If this condition is not treated, it can lead to gangrene (tissue death due to decreased blood supply).
Cafergot is available in both tablet and suppository form. Be sure to take it exactly as prescribed, remaining within the limits of your recommended dosage.
Cafergot works best if you use it at the first sign of a migraine attack. If you get warning signals of a coming migraine, take the drug before the headache actually starts.
Lie down and relax in a quiet, dark room for at least a couple of hours or until you feel better.
Avoid exposure to cold.
To use the suppositories, follow these steps:
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Cafergot.
Although these symptoms occur most commonly with long-term therapy at relatively high doses, they have been reported with short-term or normal doses. A few people on long-term therapy have developed heart valve problems.
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to ergotamine tartrate, caffeine, or similar drugs, you should not take Cafergot. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.
Unless directed to do so by your doctor, do not take Cafergot if you have coronary heart disease, circulatory problems, high blood pressure, impaired liver or kidney function, or an infection, or if you are pregnant.
It is extremely important that you do not exceed your recommended dosage, especially when Cafergot is used over long periods. There have been reports of psychological dependence in people who have abused Cafergot over long periods of time. Discontinuance of the drug may produce withdrawal symptoms such as sudden, severe headaches.
If you experience excessive nausea and vomiting during attacks, making it impossible for you to retain oral medication, your doctor will probably tell you to use rectal suppositories.
This drug is effective only for migraine and migraine-type headaches. Do not use it for any other kind of headache.
If Cafergot is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Cafergot with the following:Beta-blocker drugs (blood pressure medications such as atenolol and propranolol hydrochloride)Drugs that constrict the blood vessels, such as epinephrine and the oral decongestant pseudoephedrine hydrochlorideMacrolide antibiotics such as clarithromycin and erythromycinNicotine
Do not take Cafergot if you are pregnant. Cafergot appears in breast milk and may have serious effects in your baby. If Cafergot is essential for your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding.
Dosage should start at the first sign of an attack.
The total dose for any single attack should not exceed 6 tablets.
The maximum dose for an individual attack is 2 suppositories.
The total weekly dosage should not exceed 10 tablets or 5 suppositories.
A preventive, short-term dose may be given at bedtime to certain people, but only as prescribed by a doctor.
If you suspect an overdose of Cafergot, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.