Compare Propranolol vs. Cafergot

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

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.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 61 reviewsforPropranolol
Treats migraine headaches.

Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can treat migraines, but you're more likely to have side effects.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Suppository
Price
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Reviews
61 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
62%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Fatigue
    5%
  • Constipation
    3%
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
  • Increased chest pain or risk of heart attack
    • Suddenly stopping Inderal (Propranolol)
  • Heart failure
  • Increased risks during surgery
    • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
  • Masked symptoms of low blood sugar
    • Diabetes
  • Masked symptoms of overactive thyroid
  • Low blood pressure
    • Concurrent use of non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, digoxin or clonidine
  • Serious skin reactions
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