March 21, 2017

Methysergide tablets

What are methysergide tablets?

METHYSERGIDE (Sansert®) is one of a group of medicines known as ergot alkaloids. Methysergide helps to prevent certain kinds of throbbing headaches such as migraine and cluster headaches. It is not helpful once the headache has started. Generic methysergide tablets are not available.

NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.

What should my health care professional know before I take methysergide?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • blood clots

  • chest pain

  • heart or blood vessel disease

  • heart valve problems

  • infection

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • lung disease

  • peptic ulcer

  • phlebitis

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • systemic lupus (SLE)

  • stroke

  • tobacco smoker

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to methysergide, tartrazine dye, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take methysergide tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Take methysergide with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, skip that dose. Return to your normal schedule. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with methysergide?

Do not use any of the following migraine drugs within 24 hours of this medicine: almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, or zolmitriptan. Also, do not use this drug with caffeine-ergotamine combinations (example: Cafergot®, Wigraine®); dihydroergotamine (DHE®, Migranal®); ergotamine (example: Ergomar®); ergonovine; or methylergonovine (Methergine®).

Methysergide may also interact with the following drugs:

  • antibiotics such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, and troleandomycin

  • antifungal drugs like fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole or voriconazole

  • bromocriptine

  • cabergoline

  • cocaine

  • ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine®)

  • herbal products like feverfew or guarana

  • fluoxetine

  • fluvoxamine

  • grapefruit juice

  • imatinib, STI-571

  • medicines for colds, flu, or breathing difficulties

  • medicines for high blood pressure

  • medicines or herbal products to decrease weight or appetite

  • metronidazole

  • nefazodone

  • nicotine

  • some medications for the treatment of HIV infection or AIDS

  • zileuton

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking methysergide?

Check with your prescriber or health care professional if you do not get relief from your headaches after the first 3 weeks.

It is important to tell your prescriber or health care professional as soon as you can if you get any of the following side effects: cold, numb, or painful hands or feet; leg cramps when walking; any type of pain around your chest, stomach or in your side.

Methysergide decreases the circulation of blood to your skin, fingers, and toes. You may get more sensitive to the cold. Elderly patients are more likely to feel this effect. Dress warmly and avoid long exposure to the cold.

You may get dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires mental alertness until you know how methysergide affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly.

Alcohol can make headaches worse or bring on a new headache. Therefore, you should avoid alcoholic drinks. Because smoking can increase side effects of methysergide, you should avoid smoking.

After 6 months of treatment, you must give your body a 3 to 4 week rest period without methysergide. Before you stop taking this medicine you must gradually reduce the dose over 2 to 3 weeks so that you do not get a headache rebound effect. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for a schedule.

If you are going to have any type of surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking methysergide.

What side effects may I notice from taking methysergide?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • chest pain or tightness

  • cold hands or feet

  • confusion or hallucinations (hearing and seeing things that are not really there)

  • difficulty breathing

  • fast or pounding heartbeat

  • fever or chills

  • increase or decrease in the amount of urine passed

  • leg or arm pain or cramps

  • pain or difficulty passing urine

  • stomach pain, or pain in your side

  • swelling of hands, ankles, or feet

  • tingling, pain or numbness in feet or hands

  • vomiting

  • weakness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea

  • dizziness or lightheadedness

  • heartburn

  • nausea

  • weight gain

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed.


March 21, 2017


U.S. FDA-approved Package Insert