Compare Cafergot vs. Propranolol

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

Cafergot
(ergotamine / caffeine)

Inderal
(propranolol)

Treats migraine headaches. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can treat migraines, but you're more likely to have side effects.Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Inderal (Propranolol) is good for treating many heart problems and other problems in the body, but it has more side effects than other beta blockers. You can't miss doses.
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Coupons for Cafergot
Best available price for 30 (1mg/100mg) tablets of cafergot
Coupons for Propranolol
Best available price for 60 (20mg) tablets of propranolol
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Propranolol
66%
-66% worse vs. Cafergot
62%
-62% worse vs. Cafergot
15%
+15% better vs. Cafergot
Have you used Inderal (propranolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CafergotPropranolol

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

More about Cafergot side effects »
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Constipation 3%
More Propranolol side effects »
How it works
CafergotPropranolol
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.Inderal (Propranolol) is an alpha and beta blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing heart rate, relaxing blood vessels, and lowering the body's fight-or-flight response.
Type of medication
CafergotPropranolol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CafergotPropranolol
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Used for
CafergotPropranolol
Risk factors for serious side effects
CafergotPropranolol
  • 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 »
  • Suddenly stopping Inderal (Propranolol)
  • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • Diabetes
  • Concurrent use of non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, digoxin or clonidine
Detailed Inderal (propranolol) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Upsides and benefits
CafergotPropranolol
  • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) works better than other medicines if your migraines usually last more than 2 days or if you have more frequent migraines.
  • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
  • A first-choice treatment for heart failure, heart attack, heart valve disorders, and abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Also treats and prevents many non-heart problems, such as tremors, anxiety, migraines, and liver disease symptoms.
Downsides and risks
CafergotPropranolol
  • 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.
  • 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 for some might not go away.
  • Has more side effects than some beta blockers because it crosses into the brain and central nervous system.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease. As a second choice, your doctor might add it to medicines you're already taking if your blood pressure is still too high.
  • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Propranolol suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CafergotPropranolol
  • 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.
  • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Can cause insomnia and fatigue.
  • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
  • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
Learn more
More about CafergotSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PropranololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Inderal (propranolol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it