Health Guide

Ergotamine tartrate (By mouth)

Ergotamine Tartrate (er-GOT-a-meen TAR-trate)

Treats migraine or cluster headaches. Belongs to a class of drugs called ergot alkaloids.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you are pregnant or have had an allergic reaction to ergotamine tartrate. Ergotamine should not be taken by patients with liver or kidney disease, heart disease, circulation problems, high blood pressure, or an infection of the blood.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take and how often.
  • Take this medicine at the first sign of a migraine attack.
  • Place the tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve; do not chew or swallow the tablet.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke when the tablet is under your tongue.
  • You should not use more than 3 tablets in one day or more than 5 tablets in one week.

If a dose is missed:

  • Follow your doctor's orders.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Keep this medicine in the original tightly closed, light-resistant container and store it away from moisture and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Inform your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this medicine.
  • Before you take this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are sick or have an infection.
  • While taking this medicine, you might become very sensitive to cold temperature. Dress warmly in cold weather and don't stay outside too long.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle pain in the arms or legs
  • Numbness and tingling of the fingers and toes
  • Severe itching and rash or hives

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild nausea and vomiting
  • Mild itching
  • Red or purple blisters on hands or feet

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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