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Ergotamine, dihydroergotamine: current uses and problems.

In randomized clinical trials oral ergotamine was found superior to placebo but inferior to oral sumatriptan 100mg. In contrast rectal ergotamine was found to have higher efficacy (73% headache relief) than rectal sumatriptan (63% headache relief). Intranasal dihydroergotamine (DHE) was found superior to placebo but less effective than subcutaneous and intranasal sumatriptan. In general, the use of the more specific drugs, the triptans, causing less adverse events and being more effective, is preferable to the use of the ergotamine in the acute treatment of migraine. If ergotamine is to be used the rectal route is preferable. The rectal dose of ergotamine should be tailored to the individual patient. The intranasal dose of DHE , between 1 and 2 mg, should also be tailored to the individual patient. In order to avoid drug-induced headache ergotamine and DHE should not be used daily.[1]

References

  1. Ergotamine, dihydroergotamine: current uses and problems. Tfelt-Hansen, P. Current medical research and opinion. (2001) [Pubmed]
 
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