Did you take ergotamine? What did you switch to?

I’ve had migraines since I was an 8th grader. A drug that has been very effective for me in stopping a migraine is ergotamine + caffeine. This drug is great because it has no discernable side effects for me and stops a migraine cold. This is important because it allows me to go to work/stay at work and I am not impaired.

I am dismayed to discover, then, that ergotamine is no longer made. I’ve tried Imitrex before and had a very bad reaction to it, so I can’t take drugs in that class. My doctor wants to prescribe butalbital, which is a barbituate. I don’t want to have to do that, so she suggested Stadol nasal spray. Seems like that’s just the same issue, whacking at a migraine with a heavy painkiller. Instead of stopping a migraine before it even starts.

I am bummed and worried, frankly. Ergotamine did exactly what I need it to do. I really do not want to have to leave work or call in because I’m impaired from a migraine painkiller.

Anyone else use ergotamine? Why was it discontinued? I understand there are ergotamine suppositories, but I assume they have to be refrigerated, and I can’t likely keep a few in the fridge at work.

Mostly I want to know why in the hell such a simple effective drug was discontinued and what anyone here may have switched to that isn’t a painkiller or Imitrex?

Medical advice is best suited to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

AFAIK Migranal nose spray is still made, and it is ergotamine.

Have you ever tried 3 soluble aspirin (so 975 mg total) at the point you would usually take ergotamine? That works for a lot of people.

What kind of reaction do you have to Imitrex? The “OMG I think I’m having a heart attack” feeling is pretty normal. I’ve been taking it for years and the chest/jaw/shoulder tightness which fades to keeling kinda crappy for the rest of the day is kinda standard, it’s even listed in the little packet that comes with it. FWIW, I liked the injections better. All the crappy side effects come on faster and harder, but go away quicker as well.

I tried the barbiturate one once or twice, didn’t have any effect on me at all.

Awesome. I will ask my doc about the Migranal.

Yeah, that. And people are ok with that? That’s not acceptable to me. Ergotamine has none, I mean none, of those effects. Your migraine just quietly fades away.

Ergotamine is cheap, it’s effective, it has no heart-attack side effects, and it allows me to keep working.

So of course it’s off the market.


I felt the same way about Primatene Mist(epinephrine inhaler) only asthma rescue med that works for me, the hilarious thing is the thing they were attacking epinephrine for in the media being stimulant effects I’ve had FAR worse from Ventolin(salbutamol) which has even given me strange racing pulse and blood sugar issues. Primatene maybe you felt like you drank a cup of coffee if you used it more than once.

:smack:And the only alternative available for awhile was an Epipen or injecting epinephrine should a bad attack occur.

The FDA is getting ridiculous.

I was on Topamax for many years for migraine prevention. Has some funky side effects for the first 3 months or so, and must be slowly ramped up and tapered down when quitting, but it worked tremendously well for me!

Thanks,** PurpleClogs**. I’m fortunate that my migraines only happen maybe 6 - 10 times a year, and Topamax is used everyday to prevent frequent migraines? I hope I don’t get to that point. But I’m filing away the info in case my frequency starts to increase.

Topamax caused an anaphylactic reaction for me, so that one was no good :frowning:

I have good luck with Maxalt. Imitrex did nothing and Zomig, I found, gave me that tight feeling.

I take Maxalt. Imitrex made my arms feel heavy, like I’d been swimming all day, plus the hangover (which may be from the migraine). I had a bad reaction to Topomax, stopped sleeping for days. Not hyper - I was exhausted, but unable to fall asleep.

Maxalt does OK. What really has helped is perimenopause.


Commercially (after a fashion)-prepared LSD and rye bread made from uncontaminated flour. You just can’t control the dose with the natural stuff and I’d rather have my fingers look like they are falling off than actually fall off.

Oh, you mean for migraines? Never had them regularly enough to get them treated, but as a secret Primatine user I’ll second the motion that the FDA has grown silly lately.

I should add that I also get Botox for migraines, that helps make them more responsive to treatment. Along with that, regular magnesium and B2 seems to help.

See if ergotamine is still available outside the U.S. We’ve had to order some meds from Canada because they were discontinued in the U.S. but not other countries.

It does seems to be available in Canada. I’ve used this pharmacy before.

Another option that may be coming soon: Levadex (an inhaled version).

Magnesium made me twitchy. I tried that, I stopped after a few weeks, I got sick of my eyelids and hands twitching all day.

Jesus, how much is THAT going to cost? :mad:

Ok, now I’m just impotently stamping my feet because ergotamine cost me less than ten bucks.

Well, at least I have several options to explore. Change sucks.

Just order it through Canada. It’s perfectly legal.

Well, it’s awful hard to work up a head of steam when you’re being all reasonable!