Cafergot (Generically known as: Caffeine/Ergotamine) is a combination of medication that can treat different kinds of headaches. It includes the likes of cluster headaches and vascular headaches like migraines.
How it works
Most of the time, headaches occur due to the widening of blood vessels in the head. The combination of Ergotamine, narrows the widening of the blood vessels while Caffeine, boosts the absorption of ergotamine and also helps in the process of narrowing the effected blood cells. Cafergot can only be used to treat a headache that has already been started. It should not be used for other forms of common headaches and also will not be helpful in reducing the number of headaches.
At the first sign of an attack, you should start to use this medication. That is when it will work best in relieving the pain. It also should not be taken for daily or long-term use, but only when needed.
Cafergot can be taken by mouth with/ without food based on your doctor’s advice. At the initial sign of a headache, take 2 tablets, followed by 1 tablet every half hour till the pain reduces. Avoid taking 6 tablets per attack or 10 tablets within a period of 7 days. If you are using some other form of medicine for a migraine headache, such as macrolide antibiotics or protease inhibitors, this medication should be taken only after 24 hours of taking them. If your doctor has prescribed this for the likes of cluster headaches, the medication should be followed strictly according to the prescription. This will generally be for a short-term treatment of 2-3 weeks. Make sure not to use it longer than the prescribed time period as that might worsen the state of the headache.
Serious side effects are not common when using this medicine but if the following do occur; promptly notify your doctor or pharmacist.
Changes in the heartbeat (if it feels slower/faster)
Tingling sensation in fingers/toes
Fingers/nails/toes turning bluish
Numbness/ cold in hands and feet
Weakness/ pain in muscles
Pain in stomach/abdominal/lower back
Signs of problems in the Kidney
Other minor side effects may include:
Vomiting/ stomach upsets
Restlessness and sleeping trouble
Not all the effects are listed here and if these or any other effects are noticed get help from your medical practitioner.
If you are allergic to ergotamine or caffeine, your doctor needs to be informed about those conditions before using Cafergot. If your medical history includes blood circulation problems, certain types of headaches, heart problems, liver/kidney diseases, then brief your physician. The risk for heart problems can be increased due to this drug when certain conditions are involved. So, if you have conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes issues, your doctor/pharmacist should be notified before using the medication. Cafergot may lead to potentially harmful effects if interacted with grape fruit or grape fruit juice.
It must not be used if you are pregnant, as it might be harmful to your fetus. This drug might also cause unwanted effects to an infant, if mixed with breast milk. So, the use of it while breast-feeding would not be wise.