Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
Cafergot (ergotamine tartrate, caffeine) is a dual-action medication used as an abortive treatment for migraine headaches. Some patients also find it effective for cluster headaches, but many find alternative delivery systems -- injections or nasal sprays -- are more effective for cluster headache pain.
Cafergot employs both ergotamine and caffeine to constrict blood vessels in the head, which reduces migraine pain and symptoms, though the exact mechanism behind migraine headaches is unknown. Both ingredients also interfere with pain receptors, dulling the sensation of pain. Together ergotamine and caffeine enhance each other, though ergotamine is considerably more powerful than caffeine.
How to Stop a Migraine
An abortive medication stops a headache from fully developing; it doesn't just mask pain. In order to stop a headache from developing, it must be administered before the headache gets very far along. Conversely, it won't prevent a headache from starting in the first place; there has to be a headache there to stop.
This means there is a small window of opportunity which is the ideal time administer Cafergot: Immediately after the first symptoms begin.
Most migraine sufferers have warning signs that a headache is coming on; auras, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, neck pain and so forth. Unfortunately many cluster headache sufferers do not have any warning other than severe pain, which may be why the faster delivery systems of injections or sprays are preferred by so many.
When warning symptoms are present, they should be considered the start of a headache, and Cafergot should be administered as soon as possible: