What is cafergot?
Cafergot is a combination medication used in the treatment and prevention of some types of headaches such as vascular headaches and cluster headaches.
How does cafergot treat headaches?
Some headaches are caused by the widening of blood vessels in the brain, thus, ergotamine – a component of Cafergot works by narrowing the widened blood vessels while caffeine in Cafergot helps to increase the absorption of ergotamine and also narrow widened blood vessels.
How should I use Cafergot?
Cafergot is used by mouth with or without food as your doctor directs. It is advised to not use more than 6 tablets per headache attack or 10 tablets within a 7-day period.
If Cafergot was prescribed by your doctor for cluster headaches, this medication should be used as directed by your doctor.
Your doctor may perform a heart exam if you’re at risk of heart problems before starting you up on this medication.
There is a high risk of addiction to this drug and a higher risk to individuals with substance use disorder.
Using Cafergot for migraine attacks for more than 10 days in a month may cause headaches to worsen. Do not use Cafergot more often or longer than it has been directed.
What are the side effects of Cafergot?
Some common side effects of Cafergot include:
· Stomach upset
· Trouble sleeping
Some more serious side effects of Cafergot are:
· slow/irregular/fast heartbeat
· Blue finger, toes or nails
· Severe abdominal or stomach pain
· Lower Back pain
· Signs of kidney problems (change in the quantity of urine)
· Muscle pain/weakness
· Numb/tingling fingers or toes
If you notice any of these symptoms, they get worse or any symptoms not listed here, do inform your doctor promptly and discontinue the medication in the meantime.
Make sure to get medical aid immediately you notice any of the following serious side effects:
· Chest/jaw/left arm pain
· Trouble speaking
· Weakness on one side of the body
· And vision changes
Allergic reactions to Cafergot rarely occur, however, should you notice any symptoms of allergies such as face/tongue/throat swelling, rash, itching, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing, seek medical aid immediately.
Some other unlisted effects of Cafergot do exist, thus, if you notice any effects that are unlisted, consult your doctor.
What is the mechanism of action of Cafergot?
Cafergot is a combination medication containing two active ingredients: ergotamine tartrate (2 mg) and caffeine (100 mg).
Ergotamine is an alpha-adrenergic blocking agent that directly stimulates smooth muscles of the peripheral and cranial blood vessels and depresses central vasomotor centers. Ergotamine also has the properties of serotonin antagonists.
Caffeine, just like ergotamine acts as a cranial vasoconstrictor and is used to further enhance the vasoconstriction effects of ergotamine without increasing its dosage.
Can Cafergot be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
Although there are no studies on placental transfer or teratogenicity of cafergot’s active ingredients in combination, Cafergot is contraindicated due to ergotamine’s oxytocic effects.
Ergot class medications such as ergotamine are known to inhibit prolactin, but no reports exist as of the time of this publication of decreased lactation with Cafergot.
Ergotamine is excreted in breast milk and could cause vomiting, diarrhea, weak pulse, and unstable blood pressure in infants.
Do consult your doctor before using any medication if you’re planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Cafergot may cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women, thus patients using this drug during pregnancy should be informed of the potential hazards to the fetus.
Has Cafergot been discontinued?
In New Zealand, Australia, and several European countries, Cafergot is no longer approved for distribution as much better treatments now exist.
Dosage of Cafergot
For best results, two tablets should be taken at the first sign of an attack, and 1 every hour (if needed) but you may not exceed 6 tablets in a day or 10 in 7 days.
Price of Cafergot in Nigeria