Ergotamine

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Ergotamine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Ergotamine used for?

Ergotamine is commonly used to treat or prevent a certain type of headache (vascular headaches such as migraine headaches and cluster headaches). Ergotamine helps narrow widened blood vessels in the head, which reduces the throbbing effects of vascular headaches.

How should I take Ergotamine?

Place one tablet under the tongue, allowing it to dissolve as directed by your doctor. Do not chew or swallow the tablet. Do not eat or drink while the tablet is dissolving in your mouth.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. This medication works best if it is taken as the first signs of the headache occur. If you wait until the headache has worsened, the medication may not work as well.

This medication usually should be taken only as needed. It is not meant for long-term daily use. The maximum dose is 3 tablets in any 24-hour period and 5 tablets in any 7-day period.

This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time (more than a few weeks) or in high doses. In such cases, rebound headaches may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. This headache may be different from your original headache and may last a few days. Report any such headaches to your doctor right away. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If you are using drugs for migraine attacks on 10 or more days each month, the drugs may actually make your headaches worse (medication overuse headache). Do not use medications more often or for longer than directed. Tell your doctor if you need to use this medication more often, or if the medication is not working as well, or if your headaches get worse.

How do I store Ergotamine?

Ergotamine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Ergotamine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Ergotamine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Ergotamine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Ergotamine?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to ergotamine; or to other ergot alkaloids (e.g., dihydroergotamine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: blood circulation disease (e.g., peripheral vascular disease such as arteriosclerosis, thrombophlebitis, Raynaud’s disease), uncontrolled high blood pressure, nutrient deficiency (malnutrition), heart/blood vessel disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, stroke, recent heart attack), liver disease, kidney disease, severe infection, severe itching.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: smoking/tobacco use, diabetes, high blood pressure (controlled).

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Remember that alcohol may be a cause of headaches.

Using tobacco/nicotine products while using this medication can increase the risk of serious side effects such as heart problems (including chest pain, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat) and decreased blood flow to the brain/hands/feet. Do not use tobacco while taking this medication. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how to stop smoking.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) with your doctor. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.

This drug may pass into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Ergotamine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Ergotamine. Ergotamine is pregnancy risk category X according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Ergotamine?

Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, tingling/pain/coldness in the fingers/toes, whitish fingers/toes/nails, loss of feeling in the fingers/toes, bluish hands/feet, muscle pain/weakness, severe stomach/abdominal pain, lower back pain, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, vision changes, confusion, slurred speech.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Ergotamine?

If you also take “triptan” migraine drugs (e.g., sumatriptan, rizatriptan), you will need to separate your “triptan” dose from your dose of this medication to reduce the risk of serious side effects. Ask your doctor how long you should wait between your doses of these drugs.

Some products have ingredients that could raise your heart rate or blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or other migraine medications).

Ergotamine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Ergotamine?

Ergotamine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Ergotamine?

Ergotamine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Ergotamine.

What is the dose of Ergotamine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Migraine

Initial dose: 2 mg sublingually at first sign of a migraine attack; may repeat dose at half-hour intervals not to exceed maximum doses

Maximum dose: 6 mg/24 hours; 10 mg/7-day period

Comments:

-This drug should not be used for chronic daily administration.

Use: To abort or prevent vascular headaches, such as a migraine, migraine variants, or “histaminic cephalalgia”.

Renal Dose Adjustments

Contraindicated

Liver Dose Adjustments

Contraindicated

Other Comments

Administration advice:

-Place under tongue at first sign of an attack; do not exceed maximum doses

Storage requirements:

-Protect from light; store between 68F and 77F (20C to 25C)

General:

-This drug should only be used when a clear diagnosis of migraine headache has been established.

-Safe administration of ergot alkaloids require patients at risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) have a satisfactory cardiovascular (CV) evaluation prior to starting therapy; due to the possibility of CV testing not detecting underlying CAD, it is strongly recommended that first dose administration occur in a medically equipped facility and an ECG be obtained after dosing.

Monitoring:

-Consider ECG monitoring following the first dose in patients with risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) who have satisfactorily completed a cardiovascular evaluation; patients with cardiovascular risk factors and those who acquire risk factors predictive of CAD should undergo periodic cardiovascular evaluation

Patient advice:

-Patients should report to their healthcare provider any numbness or tingling in toes or fingers, muscle pain in the arms and legs, weakness in legs, chest pain, changes in heart rate, swelling, or itching.

-Patients should be advised to talk with their doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications or supplements.

-Patients should be aware of the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects and the importance of seeking medical advice promptly if they occur.

-Patients should be instructed not to take more than the prescribed amount of medication without talking to their healthcare provider.

-This drug cause dizziness; have patient avoid driving or operating machinery until adverse effects are determined.

-Advise patient to speak to physician or health care professional if pregnant, intend to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

What is the dose of Ergotamine for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Ergotamine available?

Ergotamine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Sublingual tablet
  • Compounding powder

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Ergotamine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: January 25, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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