This medication has rarely caused a serious lack of blood flow to the arms/hands, or to the feet, or to the brain, which could cause a stroke. The risk is increased when this medication is taken with other drugs that can affect the removal of ergotamine from your body. Examples include boceprevir, mifepristone, telaprevir, telithromycin, certain antidepressants (such as nefazodone), azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole, itraconazole), cobicistat, macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, troleandomycin), HIV protease inhibitors (such as ritonavir, nelfinavir, indinavir), HIV NNRTIs (such as delavirdine), SSRIs (such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, fluvoxamine), among others.
This combination medication is used to treat or prevent certain types of headaches (vascular headaches including migraine and cluster headaches). Headache pain can sometimes be caused by widened blood vessels in the head. Ergotamine works by narrowing these widened blood vessels. Caffeine increases the absorption of ergotamine and also narrows widened blood vessels.
How to use Ergotamine-Caffeine
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 tablets at the first sign of headache, followed by 1 tablet every half hour until the headache is relieved. Do not take more than 6 tablets per headache attack or 10 tablets in a 7-day period.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication to help prevent certain types of headaches (such as cluster headaches), take this medication exactly as directed by your doctor, usually for short-term treatment (2 to 3 weeks).
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. This medication works best if it is taken at the first sign of the headache. If you wait until the headache has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
If you have a higher risk for heart problems (see Precautions), your doctor may perform a heart exam before you start taking this medication. He/she may also direct you to take your first dose of this medication in the office/clinic to monitor for serious side effects (such as chest pain). Talk to your doctor for details.
This medication is usually taken only as needed. It is not meant for long-term daily use.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask 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.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.