What are ergotamines?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Ergotamine and related medications work by affecting blood flow and the levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These drugs are very effective if they are taken early in the course of a migraine. They are usually prescribed for people whose migraines last a long time or are infrequent. Ergotamine medications are available in the form of pills, suppositories, injections, and nasal spray.

Several ergotamines are available in the US. These include ergotamine tartrate (Ergomar), dihydroergotamine (DHE 45, Migranal), and ergotamine tartrate combined with caffeine (Cafergot, Migergot).

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