methysergide

Generic Name: methysergide (meth i SER jide)
Brand Name: Sansert

What is methysergide?

The exact way that methysergide works is unknown. It is believed to be involved in narrowing the veins and arteries that supply blood to your head.

Methysergide is used to prevent vascular headaches (e.g., migraines) and to reduce their severity.

Methysergide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about methysergide?

Notify your doctor immediately if you experience leg cramps when walking; hip, side, or chest pain; painful urination; shortness of breath; or coldness, numbness, or pain in your hands, feet, arms, or legs.

Slideshow: Living with Your Migraines: Tips for Treatment and Prevention

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methysergide may cause drowsiness. If you experience drowsiness, avoid these activities.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking methysergide?

Before taking methysergide, tell your doctor if you have

  • a peripheral vascular disease or poor circulation;

  • arteriosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries";

  • high blood pressure;

  • heart disease;

  • asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or any other lung disease;

  • a collagen disease;

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease; or

  • a serious infection.

You may not be able to take methysergide, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Do not take methysergide if you are pregnant. Methysergide is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that methysergide will cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Methysergide also can induce uterine contractions and harm the baby.

Methysergide passes into breast milk and can cause vomiting and diarrhea in a nursing infant. Do not take methysergide if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take methysergide?

Take methysergide exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Take methysergide with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.

Methysergide cannot be taken for longer than 6 months at a time. To prevent harmful side effects, these 6-month periods must be separated by methysergide-free intervals of at least 3 to 4 weeks.

Do not stop taking methysergide abruptly. Doing so could cause a rebound headache to occur. Your dosage should be reduced gradually over 2 to 3 weeks before treatment is discontinued.

Store methysergide at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a methysergide overdose include dizziness, hyperactivity, large pupils, a fast heart rate, euphoria, and, possibly, cold and blue hands and feet.

What should I avoid while taking methysergide?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methysergide may cause drowsiness. If you experience drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Weight gain has occurred with methysergide therapy. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise program to prevent weight gain.

Methysergide side effects

Stop taking methysergide and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives).

Notify your doctor immediately if you experience leg cramps when walking; hip, side, or chest pain; painful urination; shortness of breath; or coldness, numbness, or pain in your hands, feet, arms, or legs.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take methysergide and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • nausea, vomiting, heartburn, or abdominal pain;

  • diarrhea or constipation;

  • drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness;

  • weakness or poor coordination;

  • insomnia;

  • a rash or facial flushing;

  • weight gain; or

  • muscle or joint aches or discomfort.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Methysergide dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Cluster Headache:

For the prophylaxis of cluster headaches: 4 to 8 mg daily orally in divided doses with meals.

Usual Adult Dose for Migraine:

For the prophylaxis of migraine headaches: 4 to 8 mg daily orally in divided doses with meals.

What other drugs will affect methysergide?

Certain drugs can lead to poor blood flow if taken with methysergide. This can be dangerous and can cause symptoms such as a cold feeling in your fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, legs, or nose. In rare but severe cases, gangrene can result. The following drugs should not be taken with methysergide or should be used only under the supervision of your doctor:

  • other migraine headache medicines such as sumatriptan (Imitrex), zolmitriptan (Zomig), rizatriptan (Maxalt), naratriptan (Amerge), ergotamine (Ergomar), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E.), and others;

  • beta-blockers (which are used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and other heart conditions) such as carteolol (Cartrol), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), nadolol (Corgard), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal), sotalol (Betapace), and timolol (Blocadren); and

  • nicotine (in cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and smoking cessation products).

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with methysergide. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about methysergide written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Methysergide is available with a prescription under the brand name Sansert in 2 mg tablets. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.06. Revision Date: 8/30/04 2:59:45 PM.

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