Compare Atenolol vs. Cafergot

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Tenormin
(atenolol)

Cafergot
(ergotamine / caffeine)

Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Tenormin (atenolol) is good for controlling chest pain and treating a heart attack. It has fewer side effects than other beta blockers. You need to take it on an empty stomach and you can't skip doses.Treats migraine headaches. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can treat migraines, but you're more likely to have side effects.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.92Atenolol
Reviews for Atenolol
58%
of people (All ages) say Atenolol is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
457 reviews
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
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Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
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Side effects
AtenololCafergot
  • Tiredness 13%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Low mood disorder 3%
  • Cold arms and legs 7%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Shortness of breath 2%
  • Light-headedness 3%
  • Leg pain 2%
  • Decreased energy 3%
More Atenolol side effects »

The Cafergot FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Cafergot side effects »
How it works
AtenololCafergot
Tenormin (atenolol) is a selective beta blocker that works specifically on the heart by slowing down the heart and making the heart pump better.Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) is a combination of ergotamine and caffeine. It tightens the blood vessels in your brain to relieve the pain of your headaches.
Type of medication
AtenololCafergot
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AtenololCafergot
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Suppository
Used for
AtenololCafergot
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtenololCafergot
  • Suddenly stopping Tenormin (atenolol)
  • Taking calcium channel blockers
  • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • Diabetes
  • Taking clonidine
Detailed Tenormin (atenolol) risks & warnings »
  • Overdosing Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)
  • Taking triptans (Imitrex, Axert, Maxalt, Amerge, Frova) for migraines
  • Taking Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) regularly for months
Detailed Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

Upsides and benefits
AtenololCafergot
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
  • A first-choice treatment for heart attack recovery.
  • At lower doses, Tenormin (atenolol) has fewer side effects than other beta blockers because it targets the heart and not other parts of the body.
  • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) works better than other medicines if your migraines usually last more than 2 days or if you have more frequent migraines.
Downsides and risks
AtenololCafergot
  • You need to take Tenormin (atenolol) on an empty stomach.
  • Taking a beta blocker might make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but it might not go away for others.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure unless you have heart disease. However, your doctor could add it to other medicines you're already if your blood pressure is still too high.
  • You can't miss or skip doses. If you stop Tenormin (atenolol) suddenly, it can cause your blood pressure to go up really quickly, raising your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Tenormin (atenolol) can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
  • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can't stop migraines from happening. They can only treat them.
  • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can only be used for migraines. It doesn't work for other types of headaches.
  • Smoking or using products that contain nicotine can make Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) less effective.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AtenololCafergot
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Raises good cholesterol.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, fever, or weakness.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice dark urine or yellowing in your eyes or skin.
  • Take Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) as soon as you feel the migraine coming on.
  • You might be more sensitive to cold when you take Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) since it slows down the circulation of your blood in your skin, fingers and toes. Dress warmly.
  • If you have to take more than 6 tablets or 2 suppositories a day or 10 tablets or 5 suppositories in a week of Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine), talk to your doctor.
  • Don't smoke tobacco if you're taking Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine).
  • Keep the suppository of Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) in the fridge.
Learn more
More about AtenololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tenormin (atenolol)?
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More about CafergotSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it