Compare Tenex vs. Cafergot

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

Tenex
(guanfacine)

Cafergot
(ergotamine / caffeine)

Treats ADHD and lowers blood pressure. Tenex (Guanfacine) can be used to treat both blood pressure and ADHD, but it's not recommended as a first-line treatment for either problem.Treats migraine headaches. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can treat migraines, but you're more likely to have side effects.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Tenex (guanfacine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TenexCafergot
  • Dry mouth 1%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Any side effect 3%
  • Muscle weakness 2%
  • Drowsiness 13%
  • Impotence 3%
  • Constipation 5%
More Tenex 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
TenexCafergot
Tenex (Guanfacine) is a centrally-acting alpha agonist medication. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels. It's not clear how Tenex (Guanfacine) works in ADHD, but it's used when stimulants haven't worked or can't be used in people.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
TenexCafergot
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
TenexCafergot
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Suppository
Used for
TenexCafergot
Risk factors for serious side effects
TenexCafergot
  • Taking other medications that cause sedation or sleepiness
  • Stopping Tenex (Guanfacine) suddenly to treat high blood pressure
Detailed Tenex (guanfacine) 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 animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    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.

    Alcohol
    TenexCafergot
    • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
    No alcohol related info.
    Sleep
    TenexCafergot
    • You can feel sleepy the first few times you take it, or when your dose is increased. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how the medication affects your body.
    • People report having sleepiness or sedation while on Tenex (Guanfacine). You're at higher risk for this if you're taking other medications that have similar effects. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how Tenex (Guanfacine) affects you.
    No sleep related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    TenexCafergot
    • The same medication treats two different things, high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
    • It's not a "controlled medication".
    • Used to control ADHD when stimulant medications haven't worked or can't be used due to other medical problems.
    • Available as a generic medication, so it should be more affordable than other options.
    • 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
    TenexCafergot
    • Doesn't control ADHD as well as stimulants do, so it's used as a second-line medication.
    • Not a preferred drug to control blood pressure.
    • Can't be stopped suddenly, especially for blood pressure, since the blood pressure can dramatically increase.
    • 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
    TenexCafergot
    • Don't stop taking Tenex (Guanfacine) without talking to your doctor first.
    • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
    • Drink plenty of liquids and don't get overheated while taking Tenex (Guanfacine).
    • You can feel sleepy the first few times you take it, or when your dose is increased. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how the medication affects your body.
    • Can take up to 2 weeks for the maximum effect.
    • 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 TenexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Tenex (guanfacine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about CafergotSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it