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Ergotamine is used (usually in combination with caffeine and cyclizine) to relieve the symptoms of a migraine attack.

How it works

Ergotamine belongs to a class of drugs called as ergot derivatives. It acts by narrowing the blood vessels in and around the brain, thus increasing the blood pressure and reducing the headache associated with migraine.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Allergic reaction, Itching, Facial swelling, Blue hands and feet, Tachycardia, Bradycardia, Chest pain, Dizziness, Muscle pain, Tingling sensation of extremity, Numbness of extremity, Weakness, Limb pain


Expert advice

Do not take ergotamine and consult your doctor:
  • If you are allergic to it or to any other content in the medicine.
  • If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or suffer from heart, kidney or liver problems.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.
  • If you are a smoker.
Ergotamine can cause drowsiness and anxiety (trembling, sweating) therefore, caution has to be taken before operating an automobile or machinery or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness and coordination.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is ergotamine available or sold over the counter?
No. it is a prescription drug. It is not available or sold over the counter.
Q. Is ergotamine a controlled substance/narcotic/addictive?
No it is not a controlled substance/addictive/narcotic. However, it is available only on prescription of a doctor.
Q. Is ergotamine safe?
Ergotamine has numerous side-effects, some of which can be serious.
Q. Do Topamax (topiramate)/Imitrex (sumatriptan succinate)/ Maxalt (rizatritan benzoate)/Tremimet (sumatriptan and naproxen)/Zomig (zolmitriptan)/ sumariptan/amitriptyline contains ergotamine?
No, these drugs do not contain ergotamine.
Q. Where does ergotamine come from?
Ergotamine is obtained from a fungus Claviceps purpurea and similar fungi.

Content on this page was last updated on 18 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)