Serious and/or life-threatening peripheral ischemia has been associated with the coadministration of ergotamine tartrate and caffeine with potent CYP 3A4 inhibitors including protease inhibitors and macrolide antibiotics. Because CYP 3A4 inhibition elevates the serum levels of ergotamine tartrate and caffeine, the risk for vasospasm leading to cerebral ischemia and/or ischemia of the extremities is increased. Hence, concomitant use of these medications is contraindicated.(See also
Each tablet for oral administration contains 1 mg ergotamine tartrate, USP, and 100 mg caffeine, USP.
Ergotamine tartrate and caffeine tablets are indicated as therapy to abort or prevent vascular headache; e.g., migraine, migraine variants or so-called histaminic cephalalgia.
Published Studies Related to Ergotamine and Caffeine (Ergotamine / Caffeine)
The analgesic and antiemetic efficacy of gabapentin or ergotamine/caffeine for the treatment of postdural puncture headache. [2011.06.01]
PURPOSE: We investigated the analgesic and antiemetic efficacy of gabapentin or ergotamine/caffeine (Cafergot), in addition to conservative treatment consisting of bed rest and adequate fluid intake, for the treatment of postdural puncture headache (PDPH)... CONCLUSIONS: Gabapentin significantly reduced pain, nausea and vomiting compared to Cafergot in patients with PDPH. Lastly, we hypothesize that the gabaergic action of gabapentin, perhaps combined with other mechanisms, such as calcium channel blockade, may be responsible for its remarkable effects on PDPH.
Crossover, double-blind clinical trial comparing almotriptan and ergotamine plus caffeine for acute migraine therapy. [2007.03]
In this randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical trial, adult patients treated two migraine attacks: one with almotriptan 12.5 mg and the other with ergotamine 2 mg plus caffeine 200 mg. Treatment with almotriptan was associated with a significantly greater proportion of patients achieving 2-h pain free (20.9% vs...
[Comparison of the effectiveness of lysine acetylsalicylate and metoclopramide combination with ergotamine plus caffeine in the treatment of migraine attacks] 
Migraine is a common medical condition affecting more than 10% of population in Poland. Acute migraine attacks are often associated with gastrointestinal symptoms ranging from mild nausea to vomiting... Migpriv was significantly more effective than Coffecorn forte in relieving the migraine attack symptoms.
[The effectiveness of ergotamine treatment in chronic headache disorders: a double-blind, randomized, crossover, placebo controlled trial] 
BACKGROUND: Postulated mechanism of migraine headache is a result of vascular spasm (primary) and dilatation with edema of the perivascular space (secondary). Thus we use drugs not the only during acute phase of headache but in prevention, also. Drugs containing ergotamine are well known and were used for years in the treatment of migraines. In this study we tried to investigate the role of multicomponent drugs containing ergotamine in the treatment of migraine in the adult workers group... CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that Hydacorn is very effective and safe in the prevention of migraines.
Crossover comparison of efficacy and preference for rizatriptan 10 mg versus ergotamine/caffeine in migraine. 
Rizatriptan is a selective 5-HT(1B/1D) receptor agonist with rapid oral absorption and early onset of action in the acute treatment of migraine. This randomized double- blind crossover outpatient study assessed the preference for 1 rizatriptan 10 mg tablet to 2 ergotamine 1 mg/caffeine 100 mg tablets in 439 patients treating a single migraine attack with each therapy.
Clinical Trials Related to Ergotamine and Caffeine (Ergotamine / Caffeine)
Treatment of Orthostatic Hypotension in Autonomic Failure [Recruiting]
The autonomic nervous system serves multiple regulatory functions in the body, including the
regulation of blood pressure and heart rate, gut motility, sweating and sexual function.
There are several diseases characterized by abnormal function of the autonomic nervous
system. Medications can also alter autonomic function. Impairment of the autonomic nervous
system by diseases or drugs may lead to several symptoms, including blood pressure problems
(e. g., high blood pressure lying down and low blood pressure on standing), sweating
abnormalities, constipation or diarrhea and sexual dysfunction. Because treatment options
for these patients are limited. We propose to study patients autonomic failure and low blood
pressure upon standing and determine the cause of their disease by history and examination
and their response to autonomic testing which have already been standardized in our
laboratory. Based on their possible cause, we will tests different medications that may
alleviate their symptoms.
Non-Inferiority Comparison of Migrane® Versus Parcel ® For Treatment of Tensional Cephaleia [Suspended]
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the non-inferiority clinical efficacy of two
different associations of drugs in the treatment of patients diagnosed with tensional-type
headache in accordance with International Headache Society guidelines.
Pergolide Treatment and Valvular Heart Disease [Completed]
In a blinded echocardiographic study we investigate the frequency of valvular abnormalities
in a group of Parkinson patients treated with either ergot derived dopamine agonists
(pergolide and cabergoline) or non-ergot derived dopamine agonists (pramipexole and
ropinirole). The ability to detect patients with valvular abnormalities by clinical approach
Randomized Evaluation of Octreotide Versus Compazine for Emergency Department Treatment of Migraine Headache [Recruiting]
: Headaches are a common complaint presenting to the emergency department (ED), accounting
for 1-2% of all ED visits, with migraines as the second most common primary headache
syndrome. Patients that ultimately present to the ED have failed outpatient therapy and
exhibit severe and persistent symptoms. Treatment options have been traditionally with a
parenteral opiod, generally Demerol. Unfortunately, patients with chronic painful conditions
like migraines have been prone to dependency. In 1986, a nonopioid, compazine was noted
serendipitously to relieve migraine headache pain. 1 Nonopioid regimens have evolved as
standard therapy in the treatment of migrainne headache in the ED. Today, there are a number
of nonopioid treatment options, but not without their own individual concerns. Ergotamine
and dihydroergotamine are effective, but commonly cause nausea and vomiting. Sumatriptan is
expensive has recurrence rate, is ineffective in about 20-30%, and is contra-indicated in
patients with cardiac disease. Metoclopramide, a dopamine receptor antagonist, commonly used
as an anti-emetic agent, has been widely studied for use with acute migraines. Its side
effects include drowsiness and dystonic reactions. Compazine has been successfully used to
treat migraine headaches for the past several decades, and has been accepted as standard
treatment of headaches in the ED. 2 Its side effect profile includes extrapyramidal
effects, dysphoria, drowsiness and akathisias. The ideal medication for treating headaches
would have no addictive properties, few side effects, quick onset, be highly effective and
have a low rate of recurrence. Somatostatin is known to have an inhibitory effect on a
number of neuropetides, which have been implicated in migraine. Native somatostatin is an
unstable compound and is broken down in minutes, but octreotide, a somatostatin analogue has
a longer half life. Intravenous somatostatin has been shown to be as effective as ergotamine
in the acute treatment of cluster headache. 3 The analgesic effect of octreotide with
headaches associated with growth hormone secreting tumor has been established. 4 Five
somatostatin receptors have been cloned with octreotide acting predominantely on sst2 and
sst5. The distribution of sst2 within the central nervous system strongly suggests that this
particular somatostatin receptor has a role in cranial nociception, being highly expressed
in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis and periaqueductal grey. Kapicioglu et. al performed a
double blind study comparing octreotide to placebo in treating migraine. They found there to
be a significantly greater relief of pain with octreotide at 2 and 6 hours compared to
placebo (76% vs 25%, p<0. 02). They noted that 47% of those in the octreotide group had
complete relief compared to no patients in the placebo group. They went on to note that
those patients in the octreotide group had earlier relief of symptoms and no side effects.
The only minor adverse event related to the administration of octreotide was a local
reaction in 3 patients (18%). In a study performed recently in Netherlands, no clinically
relevant changes in vital signs, routine chemistry, and urinalysis were observed with
octreotide use. Electrocardiogram analyses showed no newly occurring or worsening of known
cardiac abnormalities 2 and 24 h after injection with octreotide. 5 Levy et. al also
compared octreotide to placebo in a double blinded study but found no difference. This was a
poorly designed study, in that the patients treated themselves at home with an injection of
either placebo or octreotide for 2 episodes of headache and recorded their level of pain
relief at 2 hours. Matharu et. al also performed a double blind study comparing octreotide
to placebo, but looking at cluster headaches rather than migraines. They found there to be a
significant improvement with the use of octreotide over placebo (52% vs 36%). At Darnall
Army Community Hospital the cost of 100 mcg Octreotide and10 mg Compazine, is $10. 46,
$2. 02-8. 00, respectively.
Cardiac Valve Complications in Prolactinomas Treated With Cabergoline [Completed]
Dopamine agonists are first-line agents for the treatment of prolactinomas (1) and
Parkinson's disease (2). There is evidence supporting a causal relationship between the
occurrence of drug-induced "restrictive" valvular heart disease and treatment with pergolide
(3): in several cases, the valvulopathy improved when pergolide was discontinued (4).
Valvular heart damage has also been reported with the ergot-derived dopamine agonists
bromocriptine and cabergoline (5,6).
Two recent studies (7,8) have further demonstrated that both pergolide and cabergoline are
associated with an increased risk of new cardiac valve regurgitation in patients treated for
The valvular abnormalities seen with ergot-derived dopamine agonists are similar to those
observed in patients receiving ergot alkaloid agents (such as ergotamine and methysergide)
in the treatment of migraine, or fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine in the treatment of
obesity. These abnormalities also closely resemble carcinoid-related valvulopathies (9).
Cardiac valve disease has never been reported in patients with prolactinomas who require
treatment with dopamine-agonists even life-long (1). At variance with patients with
Parkinson's disease, patients with prolactinomas are younger and are treated with an average
dose of dopamine-agonists that is significantly lower (median bromocriptine dose 5 mg/day
and median cabergoline dose 1 mg/week). Because of the young age of treatment beginning
(most patients with microprolactinomas start dopamine-agonist treatment in early adulthood),
treatment might be continued for over 3 decades: the cumulative risk of low doses of
dopamine agonists for such a long period of treatment is currently unknown.
To assess the prevalence of cardiac valve disease in patients treated with cabergoline, we
wish to perform an echocardiography screening in a large representative sample of patients
with prolactinoma who were treated with cabergoline for at least 12 months and in a group of
control subjects recruited prospectively. We wish to evaluate the severity of regurgitation
for the mitral, aortic, and tricuspid valves. Changes in cardiac valve apparatus was
compared with treatment duration and cumulative cabergoline dose.
Page last updated: 2011-12-09