April 29, 2017
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Cafergot Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Cafergot, Migergot

Generic Name: caffeine and ergotamine (oral/rectal) (Pronunciation: KAF een and er GOT a meen)

What is caffeine and ergotamine (Cafergot)?

Caffeine is a stimulant that causes narrowing of blood vessels (vasoconstriction).

Ergotamine is in a group of drugs called ergot alkaloids (ER-got AL-ka-loids). It works by narrowing the blood vessels around the brain. Ergotamine also affects blood flow patterns that are associated with certain types of headaches.

The combination of caffeine and ergotamine is used to treat or prevent a migraine type headache.

This medication will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent migraine headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Caffeine and ergotamine should not be used to treat common tension headaches or any headache that seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches.

Caffeine and ergotamine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


round, beige, imprinted with CAFERGOT


round, beige, imprinted with CL 400

What are the possible side effects of caffeine and ergotamine (Cafergot)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using caffeine and ergotamine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • fast or slow heart rate;
  • muscle pain in your arms or legs;
  • leg weakness;
  • numbness or tingling and a pale or blue-colored appearance in your fingers or toes;
  • severe pain in your stomach or lower back;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • painful sores on your rectum after using the rectal suppositories;
  • swelling or itching in any part of your body;
  • cough with stabbing chest pain and trouble breathing; or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • weakness;
  • nausea, vomiting; or
  • mild itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Cafergot (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about caffeine and ergotamine (Cafergot)?

This medication can harm an unborn baby or a nursing baby. Do not use caffeine and ergotamine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to caffeine and ergotamine or other ergot medicines, or if you have a history of heart disease, angina (chest pain), blood circulation problems, history of a heart attack or stroke, coronary artery disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe liver or kidney disease, or a serious infection.

Using certain medications together with caffeine and ergotamine can cause even greater decreases in blood flow than caffeine and ergotamine used alone. A severe decrease in blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body can lead to dangerous side effects. Tell your doctor about all other medications you are using, especially antibiotics, antidepressants, heart or blood pressure medications, or medicines to treat HIV or AIDS.

Also tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, especially breathing problems, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, or risk factors for coronary artery disease (diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, menopause or hysterectomy, smoking, taking birth control pills, being overweight, having a family history of coronary artery disease, or being a man older than 40).

This medication will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Never use more than your prescribed dose of caffeine and ergotamine. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your migraine attacks. An overdose of caffeine and ergotamine can be fatal.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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