What is Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine) used for?
Cafergot® is used for preventing and treating certain kinds of headaches (e.g., migraines, migraine variants, “histaminic cephalalgia”). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Cafergot® is a combination of 2 vasoconstrictors. It works by constricting blood vessels in the lining of the brain, which helps to decrease the pain from migraine headaches.
How should I take Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine)?
Use Cafergot® as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Cafergot® may be taken with or without food.
Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may affect the amount of Cafergot® in your blood. Talk with your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet.
Cafergot® is only to be used as needed for a migraine attack.
Take Cafergot® at the first sign of a headache. If the initial dose does not relieve your headache, additional doses may be needed according to your doctor’s instructions. Do not take a dose of Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine) within 30 minutes of your last dose.
Do not take more than 6 tablets for a single migraine headache or more than 10 tablets during any 7-day period without first checking with your doctor.
How do I store Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine)?
Cafergot® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Cafergot® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Cafergot® 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 Cafergot® 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 Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Cafergot® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You have a history of blood problems (e.g., porphyria), stroke, anxiety, trouble sleeping, or heart problems.
- You smoke.
- You are taking an azole antifungal (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole), delavirdine, HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., delavirdine, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir), efavirenz, a ketolide antibiotic (e.g., telithromycin), a macrolide antibiotic (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin), or selective 5-HT agonists (e.g., sumatriptan, eletriptan).
Do not exceed the recommended dose or take Cafergot® for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor. Cafergot® is not for long-term daily use.
Do not take Cafergot® for any other kind of headaches. Cafergot® is not effective in treating other types of headaches.
Use of nicotine may increase the risk of severe side effects with Cafergot®. Talk to you doctor before using Cafergot® if you smoke or use any other kind of nicotine.
Use Cafergot® with extreme caution in children. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication 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
What side effects can occur from Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine)?
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
- Blue color of the fingers or toes
- Chest pain or tightness
- Cold or pale fingers or toes
- Irregular heartbeat
- Leg cramps or weakness
- Mental or mood changes
- Muscle pain
- Numbness or tingling of the hands, feet, or skin
- Ringing in the ears
- Severe or persistent nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Temporary fast or slow heartbeat
- Weak pulse
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.
What drugs may interact with Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine)?
Medication 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.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- Clotrimazole, fluconazole, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, metronidazole, nefazodone, saquinavir, or zileuton because side effects of Cafergot® may be increased.
- Azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole), beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol), delavirdine, HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., delavirdine, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir), efavirenz, ketolide antibiotics (e.g., telithromycin), macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin, clarithromycin), or selective 5-HT agonists (e.g., sumatriptan , eletriptan) because the risk of severe side effects, including irregular heartbeat or decreased oxygen to the extremities (e.g., hands, feet) or brain, may be increased.
- Pressor agents (e.g., norepinephrine) or sympathomimetics (e.g., pseudoephedrine, albuterol) because risk of side effects, including severe high blood pressure, may be increased.
- Quinolones (e.g., levofloxacin) because risk of side effects, such as nervousness, sleeplessness, and fast heartbeat, may be increased.
- Theophylline because actions and side effects may be increased by Cafergot®.
Does food or alcohol interact with Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine)?
Cafergot® 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 Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine)?
Cafergot® 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.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine).
What is the dose of Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine) for an adult?
Tablets – adults and adolescents 12 years and over:
The recommended initial adult dose is 2 tablets at the first sign of a headache followed by 1 tablet after each one-half hour that the headache is not relieved.
If it is found that more 2 tablets are needed to relieve the headache, 3 tablets can be used as an initial dose for the next headache.
Do not take more than 6 tablets within 24 hours or 10 tablets within 7 days.
What is the dose of Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine) for a child?
Tablets – children 6 to 12 years:
The recommended initial children’s dose is 1 tablet at the first sign of a headache followed by 1 tablet after each one-half hour that the headache is not relieved. Do not take more than 3 tablets within 24 hours or 5 tablets within 7 days.
How is Cafergot® (caffeine/ergotamine) available?
Cafergot® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablet, film coated: ergotamine tartrate 1mg, caffeine 100mg
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 Cafergot®, 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.
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