Compare Cafergot vs. Effexor

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

(ergotamine / caffeine)


Treats migraine headaches. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can treat migraines, but you're more likely to have side effects.Improves mood and helps you relax. Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. May work when other antidepressants haven't, it's but more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.
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Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Effexor (venlafaxine)
+62% better vs. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)
+51% better vs. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)
-23% worse vs. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects

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

More about Cafergot side effects »
  • Nausea 24%
  • Dizziness 19%
  • Sleep difficulty 10%
  • Drowsiness 14%
  • Muscle weakness 12%
  • Loss of appetite 12%
  • Nervousness 10%
  • Sweating 7%
  • Abnormality of accommodation 8%
  • Indigestion 5%
More Effexor side effects »
How it works
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.Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • 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 »
    • Age 24 years or younger
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    • Stopping Effexor (Venlafaxine) suddenly
    • History of high blood pressure
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
      Detailed Effexor (venlafaxine) risks & warnings »

      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.

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      No sex related info.
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      Upsides and benefits
      • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) works better than other medicines if your migraines usually last more than 2 days or if you have more frequent migraines.
      • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
      • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
      • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      • Might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood. Many other antidepressants affect only serotonin, but not norepinephrine too.
      Downsides and risks
      • 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.
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
      • Overdosing on this medication could be fatal.
      • It's more likely to cause nausea and vomiting or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants. Also causes more sleepiness than others.
      • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
      • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      • 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.
      • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
      • You can take the extended-release form once a day with food either in the morning or in the evening at about the same time each day.
      • Extended-release capsules should be swallowed whole. If you can’t swallow pills, open the capsule, sprinkle it on a spoonful of applesauce and then swallow it without chewing.
      • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      Learn more
      More about CafergotSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it