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Methysergide maleate Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to methysergide maleate: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by methysergide maleate. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Major

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking methysergide maleate:

  • 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

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking methysergide maleate, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

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

Severity: Minor

Some of the side effects that can occur with methysergide maleate may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

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.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to methysergide maleate: oral tablet


General side effects including fibrotic changes have been reported in the retroperitoneal, pleuropulmonary, cardiac, and other tissues. Retroperitoneal fibrosis is usually confined to the retroperitoneal connective tissue above the pelvic brim and may present with symptoms of malaise, fatigue, weight loss, backache, low grade fever, urinary obstruction, and vascular insufficiency. Several cases of fibrotic plaques, simulating Peyronie's disease have also been reported.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects including fibrosis limited to the pleural and subjacent pulmonary tissues has been reported. In such instances, patients usually present with dyspnea, tightness and pain in the chest, pleural friction rubs, and pleural effusion.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects including fibrotic changes such as nonrheumatic thickening of the aortic root and aortic and mitral valves have been reported. Encroachment of retroperitoneal fibrosis on the aorta, inferior vena cava and their common iliac branches may result in vascular insufficiency of the lower limbs. Intrinsic vasoconstriction of large and small arteries may occur at any stage of therapy. Progression to ischemic tissue damage has rarely been reported.

Postural hypotension and tachycardia have also been reported.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, constipation, elevated gastric acid, and abdominal pain have been reported.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included seizure, insomnia, drowsiness, mild euphoria, dizziness, ataxia, lightheadedness, hyperesthesia, and feelings of dissociation or hallucinations.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects including facial flushing, telangiectasia, and nonspecific rashes have been reported rarely. Increased hair loss may also occur.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects have included neutropenia, eosinophilia, and thrombocytopenia.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects including arthralgia and myalgia have been reported.[Ref]


Ocular side effects including mydriasis have been reported.[Ref]


Other side effects have included peripheral edema, weakness, weight gain, and fever.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Sansert (methysergide maleate)" Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ.

Not all side effects for methysergide maleate may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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