ergotamine/belladonna/phenobarbital - oral, Bellergal-S (cont.)
USES: This combination medication is used to treat or prevent a certain type of headache (vascular headaches such as migraine headaches and cluster headaches). Ergotamine helps narrow widened blood vessels in the head, which reduces the throbbing effects of vascular headaches. Caffeine increases the effects of ergotamine by also narrowing the widened blood vessels in the head.The suppository form is used when medications cannot be taken by mouth (e.g., due to nausea and vomiting).
HOW TO USE: Unwrap and insert one suppository rectally as directed by your doctor. Remain lying down for a few minutes, and avoid having a bowel movement for an hour or longer so the drug will be absorbed. The suppository is for rectal use only.If the suppository is exposed to heat and softens, chill in ice-cold water before unwrapping and using the suppository.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. This medication works best if it is used as the first signs of the headache occur. If you wait until the headache has worsened, the medication may not work as well.This medication usually should be used only as needed. It is not meant for long-term daily use. The maximum dose is 2 suppositories for a single headache attack and 5 suppositories in any 7-day period.This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time (more than a few weeks) or in high doses. In such cases, rebound headaches may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. This headache may be different from your original headache and may last a few days. Report any such headaches to your doctor immediately. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.Inform your doctor if you notice increased use of this medication, the medication not working as well, a worsening of headaches, an increase in the number of headaches, or use of this medication for more than 2 headache episodes a week. Your doctor may need to change your medication and/or add a separate medication to prevent the headaches.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, restlessness, trouble sleeping, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: rectal pain/bleeding, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, tingling/pain/coldness in the fingers/toes, whitish fingers/toes/nails, loss of feeling in the fingers/toes, bluish hands/feet, muscle pain/weakness, severe stomach/abdominal pain, lower back pain, little or no urine.Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, vision changes, confusion, slurred speech.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions