Compare Imitrex vs. Cafergot

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

Treats migraine headaches.

Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 31 reviewsforImitrex
Treats migraine headaches.

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

  • Comes in several forms. Ask your doctor if you should use the pill, nasal spray, patch, or injection.
  • A combination of forms can be used if symptoms do not improve.
  • The nasal spray and injectable forms work very quickly.
  • It's generally safe to use if you are pregnant.
  • Comes in a generic form, so it can be pretty cheap.
  • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) works better than other medicines if your migraines usually last more than 2 days or if you have more frequent migraines.
  • The oral and nasal versions of Imitrex (Sumatriptan) have an unpleasant after-taste.
  • Does not prevent migraine headaches; it only treats them once they start.
  • Must wait 1 hour before using second injection.
  • Can cause rebound (more) headaches if Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is used too often.
  • Need to have your blood pressure checked often, especially if you're pregnant.
  • 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
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Suppository
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31 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
6possible side effects
  • Pain and other pressure sensations
  • Atypical sensations
  • Paresthesia (all types)
  • Sensation warm/cold
  • Pain - location specified
  • Malaise/fatigue
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
  • Tightening of blood vessels (myocardial angina, ischemia, or infarction)
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking
  • Stroke
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Patients taking SSRIs and SNRIs
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
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