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Methysergide (Oral route)

Pronunciation:

meth-i-SER-jide

Brand Names:

  • Sansert

Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Antimigraine

Chemical—

Ergot Alkaloid

Uses of This Medicine:

Methysergide belongs to the group of medicines known as ergot alkaloids. It is used to prevent migraine headaches and some kinds of throbbing headaches. It is not used to treat an attack once it has started. The exact way methysergide acts on the body is not known.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Methysergide can cause serious side effects in any patient. Therefore, it is especially important that you discuss with the child's doctor the good that this medicine may do as well as the risks of using it.

Older adults—

Elderly people are especially sensitive to the effects of methysergide. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersXStudies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. This drug should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Almotriptan
  • Atazanavir
  • Azithromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Dirithromycin
  • Efavirenz
  • Erythromycin
  • Fluconazole
  • Fluoxetine
  • Frovatriptan
  • Itraconazole
  • Josamycin
  • Ketoconazole
  • Mepartricin
  • Miokamycin
  • Naratriptan
  • Posaconazole
  • Ritonavir
  • Rizatriptan
  • Rokitamycin
  • Roxithromycin
  • Spiramycin
  • Sumatriptan
  • Troleandomycin
  • Voriconazole
  • Zolmitriptan

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Arthritis or
  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • Infection or
  • Itching (severe) or
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease or
  • Lung disease—The chance of serious side effects may be increased
  • High blood pressure or
  • Stomach ulcer—Methysergide can make your condition worse

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. If the amount you are to take does not prevent your headaches from occurring as often as before, do not take more than your doctor ordered. Instead, check with your doctor. Taking too much of this medicine or taking it too frequently may cause serious effects such as nausea and vomiting; cold, painful hands or feet; or even gangrene.

If this medicine upsets your stomach, it may be taken with meals or milk. If stomach upset continues or is severe, check with your doctor.

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For preventing migraine and other throbbing headaches:
      • Adults—2 milligrams (mg) (one tablet) two to four times a day.
      • Children—Use is not recommended.

Missed dose—

If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

If you have been taking this medicine regularly, do not stop taking it without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are using before stopping completely. If you stop taking it suddenly, your headaches may return or worsen.

Your doctor will tell you how long you should take this medicine. Usually it is not taken for longer than 6 months at a time. If the doctor tells you to stop taking the medicine for a while, do not continue to take it. If your body does not get a rest from the medicine, it can have harmful effects.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Even if taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert .

If dizziness occurs, get up slowly after lying or sitting down. If the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

Since drinking alcoholic beverages may make headaches worse, it is best to avoid alcohol while you are suffering from them. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Since smoking may increase some of the harmful effects of this medicine, it is best to avoid smoking while you are using it. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

This medicine may make you more sensitive to cold temperatures, especially if you have blood circulation problems. It tends to decrease blood circulation in the skin, fingers, and toes. Dress warmly during cold weather and be careful during prolonged exposure to cold, such as in winter sports. This is especially important for elderly people, who are more likely than younger adults to already have problems with their circulation.

Check with your doctor if a serious infection or illness of any kind occurs while you are taking methysergide, since an infection may make you more sensitive to the medicine's effects.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Chest pain or tightness in chest
convulsions (seizures)
difficult or painful urination
dizziness (severe)
fever or chills
increase or decrease (large) in the amount of urine
leg cramps
pain in arms, legs, groin, lower back, or side
pale or cold hands or feet
shortness of breath or difficult breathing
swelling of hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Abdominal or stomach pain
itching
numbness and tingling of fingers, toes, or face
weakness in the legs
Less common or rare
Changes in vision
clumsiness or unsteadiness
cough or hoarseness
excitement or difficulty in thinking
fast or slow heartbeat
feeling of being outside the body
hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
loss of appetite or weight loss
mental depression
nightmares
raised red spots on skin
redness or flushing of face
skin rash
unusual weight gain

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Diarrhea
dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position
drowsiness
nausea or vomiting
Less common or rare
Constipation
hair loss
heartburn
trouble in sleeping

After you stop using this medicine, your body may need time to adjust. The length of time this takes depends on the amount of medicine you were using and how long you used it. During this time check with your doctor if your headaches begin again or worsen.

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 6/12/2013

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