Compare Onzetra vs. Cafergot

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

Onzetra
(sumatriptan)

Cafergot
(ergotamine / caffeine)

Treats migraine headaches. Onzetra (sumatriptan) is the only medicine that's available in a breath-powered nose powder to treat migraines. However, it can be expensive compared to other medicines.Treats migraine headaches. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can treat migraines, but you're more likely to have side effects.
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Best available price for 1 (9 tablets of 100mg) dose pack of sumatriptan
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Onzetra (sumatriptan)
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of people (All ages) say Onzetra (sumatriptan) is worth it
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say it works well
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say it's a big hassle
Have you used Onzetra (sumatriptan)?
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Reviews for Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)
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Same vs. Onzetra (sumatriptan)
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Side effects
OnzetraCafergot
  • Changes in taste 17%
  • Discomfort in the nose 10%
  • Runny nose 3%
  • Stuffy nose 2%
More Onzetra 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
OnzetraCafergot
Onzetra (sumatriptan) is a selective serotonin receptor agonist called a triptan. It's believed that migraine headaches happen when blood vessels are too open and allow too much blood in the brain. Onzetra (sumatriptan) tightens the blood vessels, which relieves the pain.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
OnzetraCafergot
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
OnzetraCafergot
  • Nasal powder
  • Pill
  • Suppository
Used for
OnzetraCafergot
Risk factors for serious side effects
OnzetraCafergot
  • Heart disease
  • History of chest pain
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • History of a stroke
  • Using Onzetra (sumatriptan) for more than 10 days a month
Detailed Onzetra (sumatriptan) 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 or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

Upsides and benefits
OnzetraCafergot
  • Compared to pills, Onzetra (sumatriptan) is better absorbed in the body and good if it's hard to take pills.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) is a first choice medicine to treat migraines.
  • There is a copay program available that can make Onzetra (sumatriptan) cheaper.
  • 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
OnzetraCafergot
  • It can be very expensive. There are other forms of this same medicine that are much cheaper, including a nose spray.
  • You have to use two nosepieces to get the full dose of Onzetra (sumatriptan), which can be hard to remember.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) is only available in one strength.
  • 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
OnzetraCafergot
  • Follow the instructions exactly as shown by the package insert and your doctor or pharmacist; otherwise, Onzetra (sumatriptan) won't work correctly and you won't get any medicine.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) can only treat a migraine that's already happening. You can't use it to stop migraines from starting.
  • You have to use 2 nosepieces of Onzetra (sumatriptan) to get the full dose of medicine.
  • Don't use more than 2 full doses (4 nosepieces) in a 24-hour period.
  • If you're using more than 8 doses of Onzetra (sumatriptan) a month, talk to your doctor to see if you should try another medicine.
  • You can only use each nosepiece of Onzetra (sumatriptan) once. Throw it away in the trash after you've checked that you used the medicine correctly.
  • 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 OnzetraSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Onzetra (sumatriptan)?
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More about CafergotSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it