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What is Cafergot?

Cafergot, also known by its generic name ergotamine-caffeine, is a medication used to treat and prevent migraines and cluster headaches. Headaches are caused by widening blood vessels in the head. Migraines are more severe headaches that often affect one half of the head and are often pulsating in nature. Migraines can include nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.

How does Cafergot work?

Cafergot works through the release of ergotamine and caffeine. Ergotamine works by narrowing the widened blood vessels that cause headaches, while caffeine absorbs the ergotamine and also narrows the blood vessels.

Follow the direction of your doctor and pharmacist before taking this medication.

  • Take this medication by mouth with or without food.
  • Take 2 tablets at the first sign of headache, followed by 1 tablet every half hour until the headache subsides.
  • Do not take more than 6 tablets per headache attack or 10 tablets in a 7 day period.
  • Cafergot works best if taken at the first sign of headache.
  • Only take this medication as needed. It is not meant for daily use.


Let your doctor know if you are at a higher risk for heart problems. Your doctor may want you to take the first dose of this drug in the doctor’s office so they can monitor your reaction.

If you consume alcohol or marijunana products, increased dizziness may occur while taking Cafergot. Using tobacco products can also increase the risk of serious heart-related problems. Decreased blood flow to the brain, hands, or feet may also occur. Do not smoke while taking Cafergot.

Your migraines may actually get worse if you use this drug on 10 or more days each month. Do not use Cafergot longer than directed and tell your doctor if you need to use this medication more than normal.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor about:

  • Blood circulation problems
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • A history of substance abuse
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol

Side effects of Cafergot

Side effects include but are not limited to:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness

Tell your doctor right away if you experience:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Numbness in the fingers or toes
  • Blue fingers or toes
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Signs of kidney problems (change in the amount of urine)


Can pregnant women take Cafergot?

This drug should not be used during pregnancy. It may harm the unborn baby, so discuss reliable forms of birth control with your doctor. This drug also passes into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant.

Is caffeine safe to take?

Caffeine is present in many beverages like coffees or colas which can raise your heart rate or blood pressure. If you have a problem with high blood pressure, your doctor will let you know if you can consume caffeine. This stimulant is safe to consume in controlled doses for most patients.

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