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Getting headaches whenever I have lack of sleep or drink any alcohol. Generally take Vasograin. Any side effects?

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Addiction Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 1486 Questions
Good morning . I am male aged 45 years , healthy & an active sportsman . I have problem for acute headaches [ like a migrain ] whenever I have lack of sleep or drink any alcohol or even a beer . I generally take half of a full tablet of Vasograin to avoid the headache . It works pretty good , but does it have side effects ? I have been averaging 10 tablets a month for last 12 years . Do I need any tests like Kidney Function or a head scan ?
Other than this , I have no other health problem like heart or anything , God bless .

India 0000
Posted Wed, 6 Nov 2013 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Preeti Parakh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
No major risks likely for you.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome to Healthcare Magic!

Vasograin tablets contain ergotamine, caffeine, paracetamol and prochlorperazine. The main ingredient is ergotamine which helps control an episode of migraine. Among other ingredients, paracetamol adds to the pain relief. Caffeine prevents sedation caused by ergotamine. Prochlorperazine controls the nausea that is often seen in migraine.

Ergotamine is not considered a safe medicine because of its potential to cause constriction of blood vessels by contracting the muscles found in the walls of blood vessels. This promotes formation of blood clots which can cause serious problems like stroke. It also causes contraction of muscles in other parts of the body like intestines, uterus in females etc. It also causes drowsiness, dyspepsia, and chest pain due to contraction of cardiac muscles.

However, since you are taking not more than 1 tablet every two to three days, I do not feel that this dose can cause any serious consequences. But if possible, try plain paracetamol tablets (500 mg) and see if they work for at least the milder episodes. Use Vasograin only for more severe episodes.

No blood tests or brain imaging is needed for monitoring the side effects of Vasograin in the dose you are taking. If you are sure that your headaches are migrainous (usually unilateral, throbbing pain, associated with nausea, aggravated by exposure to noise and bright lights), you can also take medicines for prophylaxis of migraine, which will prevent the episodes from occurring in the first place. Amitryptiline and propranolol work well.

Hope this helps you. Please feel free to ask if you need any clarifications.

Best wishes.

Dr Preeti Parakh
MD Psychiatry
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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