"Most of us get headaches from time to time. Some are mild. Others cause throbbing pain. They can last for minutes or days. There are many different types of headaches. How you treat yours depends on which kind you have.
CYP 3A4 Inhibitors (e.g. Macrolide Antibiotics and Protease Inhibitors): Coadministration of ergotamine with potent CYP 3A4 inhibitors such as protease inhibitors or macrolide antibiotics has been associated with serious adverse events; for this reason, these drugs should not be given concomitantly with ergotamine (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). While these reactions have not been reported with less potent CYP 3A4 inhibitors, there is a potential risk for serious toxicity including vasospasm when these drugs are used with ergotamine. Examples of less potent CYP 3A4 inhibitors include: saquinavir, nefazodone, fluconazole, fluoxetine, grapefruit juice, fluvoxamine, zileuton, metronidazole, and clotrimazole. These lists are not exhaustive, and the prescriber should consider the effects on CYP 3A4 of other agents being considered for concomitant use with ergotamine.
Fibrotic Complications: There have been a few reports of patients on ergotamine tartrate and caffeine therapy developing retroperitoneal and/or pleuropulmonary fibrosis. There have also been rare reports of fibrotic thickening of the aortic, mitral, tricuspid, and/or pulmonary valves with long-term continuous use of ergotamine tartrate and caffeine. Ergotamine tartrate and caffeine tablets should not be used for chronic daily administration (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
General: Although signs and symptoms of ergotism rarely develop even after long-term intermittent use of the orally administered drug, care should be exercised to remain within the limits of recommended dosage.
Ergotism is manifested by intense arterial vasoconstriction, producing signs and symptoms of peripheral vascular ischemia. Ergotamine induces vasoconstriction by a direct action on vascular smooth muscle. In chronic intoxication with ergot derivatives, headache, intermittent claudication, muscle pains, numbness, coldness and pallor of the digits may occur. If the condition is allowed to progress untreated, gangrene can result.
While most cases of ergotism associated with ergotamine treatment result from frank overdosage, some cases have involved apparent hypersensitivity. There are few reports of ergotism among patients taking doses within the recommended limits or for brief periods of time. In rare instances, patients, particularly those who have used the medication indiscriminately over long periods of time, may display withdrawal symptoms consisting of rebound headache upon discontinuation of the drug.
Pregnancy Category X: There are no studies on the placental transfer or teratogenicity of the combined products of CAFERGOT® (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine) (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine tablets, USP). Caffeine is known to cross the placenta and has been shown to be teratogenic in animals. Ergotamine crosses the placenta in small amounts, although it does not appear to be embryotoxic in this quantity. However, prolonged vasoconstriction of the uterine vessels and/or increased myometrial tone leading to reduced myometrial and placental blood flow may have contributed to fetal growth retardation observed in animals (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
Nonteratogenic Effects: CAFERGOT® (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine) (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine tablets, USP) is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the oxytocic effects of ergotamine (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
Labor and Delivery: CAFERGOT® (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine tablets, USP) is contraindicated in labor and delivery due to its oxytocic effect which is maximal in the third trimester (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
Nursing Mothers: Ergot drugs are known to inhibit prolactin but there are no reports of decreased lactation with CAFERGOT® (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine) (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine tablets, USP). Ergotamine is excreted in breast milk and may cause symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, weak pulse and unstable blood pressure in nursing infants. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from CAFERGOT® (ergotamine tartrate and caffeine tablets, USP), a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/30/2008
Additional Cafergot Information
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