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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? Yes
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Vasoconstrictor


    Prevents migraine and other recurring vascular headaches. Not for acute attack.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Tablet--Swallow with liquid or with food to lessen stomach irritation. If you can't swallow whole, crumble tablet and take with liquid or food.

When to take:
At the same times each day.

If you forget a dose:
Don't take missed dose. Wait for next scheduled dose (don't double this dose).

What drug does:
Blocks the action of serotonin, a chemical that constricts blood vessels.

Time lapse before drug works:
About 3 weeks.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, lack of coordination, extreme thirst.


    Overdose unlikely to threaten life. If person takes much larger amount than prescribed, call doctor, poison-control center or hospital emergency room for instructions.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see Overdose section.


  • Itchy skin.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness or tingling of extremities, leg weakness, abdominal pain.
  • Drowsiness, constipation.


  • Anxiety, agitation, hallucinations, unusually fast or slow heartbeat, dizziness.
  • Change in vision, nightmares, insomnia.


  • Extreme thirst, chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, pale or swollen extremities, leg cramps, lower back pain, side or groin pain, appetite loss, joint and muscle pain, rash, facial flush.
  • Painful or difficult urination.
  • Weight change, hair loss.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • You are allergic to any antiserotonin*.
  • You plan to become pregnant within medication period.
  • You have an infection.
  • You have a heart or blood vessel disease.
  • You have a chronic lung disease.
  • You have a collagen (connective tissue) disorder.
  • You have impaired liver or kidney function.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have been allergic to any ergot preparation.
  • If you have had a peptic ulcer.

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.

Manufacturer suggests risk to unborn child outweighs drug benefits, even though studies are inconclusive. Consult doctor.

Drug probably passes into milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing until you finish medicine. Consult doctor for advice on maintaining milk supply.

Infants & children:
Not recommended.

Prolonged use:

  • May cause fibrosis, a condition in which scar tissue is deposited on heart valves, in lung tissue, blood vessels and internal organs. After 6 months, decrease dose over 2 to 3 weeks. Then discontinue for at least 2 months for re-evaluation.
  • Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check retroperitoneal imaging*.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Avoid if you feel drowsy or dizzy. Otherwise, no problems expected.


  • Don't discontinue without consulting doctor. Dose may require gradual reduction if you have taken drug for a long time. Doses of other drugs may also require adjustment.
  • Probably should discontinue drug if you don't improve after 3 weeks use.


  • Periodic laboratory tests for liver function and blood counts recommended.
  • Potential for abuse.
  • Some products contain tartrazine dye. Avoid, especially if you are allergic to aspirin.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Ergot preparations* Unpredictable increased or
decreased effect of either drug.
Narcotics* Decreased narcotic effect.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: None expected. However, alcohol may
trigger a migraine headache.
Caffeine drinks. Decreased methysergide effect.
Cocaine: May make headache worse.
Foods: None expected. Avoid foods to which
you are allergic.
Marijuana: No proven problems.
Tobacco: Blood-vessel constriction. Makes
headache worse.

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