Compare Onzetra vs. Cafergot

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

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.

Upsides
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Nasal powder
  • Pill
  • Suppository
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Changes in taste
    20%
  • Discomfort in the nose
    11%
  • Runny nose
    5%
  • Stuffy nose
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Heart attack
    • Heart disease
    • History of chest pain
    • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Stroke
    • History of a stroke
  • Medication overuse headache
    • Using Onzetra (sumatriptan) for more than 10 days a month
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Fentanyl
    • Tramadol
    • Buspirone
    • ADHD medicines
    • Triptans
  • Higher blood pressure
    • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Suicidal behavior
    • Taking medicines for seizures
  • Blood vessel issues
    • High blood pressure
    • History of stroke
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Heart and circulation problems
    • Overdosing Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)
    • Taking triptans (Imitrex, Axert, Maxalt, Amerge, Frova) for migraines
  • Dependency and withdrawal
    • Taking Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) regularly for months
  • Danger to fetus
See more detailed risks and warnings