methysergide - oral (cont.)

USES: This medication is used to prevent or decrease the pain/frequency of certain severe recurring headaches (vascular headaches such as migraine headaches and cluster headaches). Because of possible serious side effects, it is used after other treatments (e.g., beta blockers) have not worked.Methysergide is an ergot alkaloid. It is thought to work by narrowing blood vessels in the head, thereby reducing the throbbing effects of vascular headaches. Methysergide is not used to treat migraine attacks when they occur.

HOW TO USE: When starting this medication, take it at night with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. As your doctor increases your dose, this medication is usually taken 2 to 3 times a day with meals. Your dosage depends on your condition and response to treatment.Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose at first, gradually increasing the dose to lower the chance of side effects such as nausea. Your doctor will adjust your dose to find the best dose for you. Follow your doctor's directions carefully. The usual maximum dose for adults is 12 milligrams of methysergide each day.Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. If you are using this medication for headaches that occur in groups for periods of time (cluster headaches), it is usually taken only during the cluster and stopped after the cluster is over. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.Very serious side effects may occur when methysergide is taken continuously for a long time. Do not take methysergide for more than 6 months in a row. (See also Warning section.) This medication is for prevention. Do not use this medication to treat a current headache.Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Your headaches may become worse ("rebound headache") when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your doctor will direct you to stop taking the medication by gradually lowering your dose over 2 to 3 weeks. After properly stopping the medication, do not take it again for 3 to 4 weeks as directed by your doctor.Methysergide usually starts to work in 1 to 2 days. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens after 3 weeks.

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