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The eMC  

Last Updated 20 Jun 2007

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Methysergide 1mg tablets

Methysergide maleate (Meth-iss-er-jyde mal-ee-ate) is a medicine which is used in carcinoid syndrome and preventing certain types of headaches.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Methysergide maleate varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

Methysergide 1mg tablets

Information specific to Methysergide 1mg tablets when used in preventing certain types of headaches

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Your medicine

Medicines are used to treat, control or prevent a condition. Some medicines will give you immediate relief from your symptoms while others take much longer to work.

Methysergide maleate has been prescribed for your current medical problems and should not be used for other medical problems. Do not share your medicine with other people as it may not be suitable for them and could cause them harm. In the same way, you should not use medicines that belong to other people.

The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should take. It also tells you how often to take your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should take. Depending on your response to the medicine, how the medicine works and the goals of your treatment, your prescriber may vary your dose. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.

Methysergide maleate is used to prevent certain types of headaches such as migraines and cluster headache. These types of headaches are known as vascular headaches. In vascular headaches the blood vessels in the head swell and cause pain. Methysergide maleate helps to stop these blood vessels from becoming swollen by blocking some of the effects of a chemical called serotonin which is found in the body.

Methysergide maleate can also be used to treat the diarrhoea which occurs in carcinoid syndrome. In carcinoid syndrome there is a high level of serotonin in the blood and this causes diarrhoea. Methysergide maleate blocks some of the effects of the high level of serotonin reducing diarrhoea.

Other information about Methysergide maleate:

  • your doctor may start you on a low dose of this medicine and then increase the dose depending on how you respond to treatment
  • if you have been taking Methysergide maleate for six months you will need to have a break from treatment. After a break of one month your prescriber will decide if you need to start taking it again
  • do not take certain types of serotonergics within 24 hours of taking Methysergide maleate. Do not take Methysergide maleate within six hours of taking certain types of serotonergic preparations. For more information about these other medicines, contact your prescriber

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then talk to your prescriber.

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When to take your medicine

Some medicines work best if they are taken at a specific time of day. Getting the most from your medicine can also be affected by what you eat, when you eat and the times at which you take other medicines. Make sure you follow any specific instructions given to you by your prescriber or that are in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine.

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How to take your medicine

Some medicines have specific instructions about how to take them. This is because they work better when taken correctly. These instructions can include getting the right dose and special instructions for preparing the medicine. Make sure you follow any specific instructions given to you by your prescriber or that are in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine.

If you are having problems taking this medicine, you should talk to your prescriber or pharmacist. They may be able to give you advice on other ways to take your medicine or other medicines that are easier for you to take.

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Taking too much of your medicine

Taking extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems. If you take extra doses of your medicine, you must get medical advice immediately. You may need a test to assess the effect of taking extra doses. This is because the effects of taking too much medicine are very complex and it is therefore essential that you seek medical advice.

Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111 for advice.

Make sure you take all of your medicine containers with you if you are advised to go to hospital.

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Stopping your medicine

If you are not having any problems taking this medicine then do not stop taking it, even if you feel better, unless advised to do so by your prescriber. If, however, you find that this medicine is causing you problems then you should talk to your prescriber about your concerns.

If your medical team decides that it is best that you do not take this medicine any more, they may advise that you do not stop Methysergide maleate abruptly. This is because, in some instances, stopping Methysergide maleate abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms or cause your original condition to return. In these instances, reducing the dose of Methysergide maleate gradually over time may reduce the chances of having these problems.

If you are in any doubt, contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111.

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Looking after your medicine

The instructions on how you should keep your medicine are on the pharmacy label. It is a good idea to keep your medicine in the original container. This will help to keep your medicine in the best condition and also allow you to check the instructions. Do not take the medicine if the packaging appears to have been tampered with or if the medicine shows any signs of damage. Make sure that the medicine is out of the sight and reach of children.

Specific information on how to look after Methysergide maleate can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the medicine label. Alternatively, you can request information about how to look after your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.

You must not take the medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. If you have any unused medicine, return it to your pharmacist who will dispose of it safely.

You must not take the medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. If you have any unused medicine, return it to your pharmacist who will dispose of it safely.

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Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Methysergide maleate is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for a child.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to check that this medicine is not having any undesired effects
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Side-effects

A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks.

Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.

Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience. Very occasionally, certain side-effects can be beneficial.

Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown:

  • a feeling of lack of interest or lack of energy
  • behavioural changes
  • circulation problems
  • cramps in the legs
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • eye or eyesight problems
  • fibrosis of the heart, lung, blood vessels or peritoneum - seek medical advice if you develop pain or tenderness in the loin or flank, chest pain, back pain, a general feeling of being unwell, coldness or numbness of the limbs, limb pain, breathing problems or if you develop urinary problems such as urinating less or if you find it painful or difficult to urinate
  • hair loss
  • heart attack
  • heartburn
  • kidney problems
  • mental health problems
  • nausea
  • oedema
  • pain or cramps or pins and needles in the leg when walking
  • raised blood pressure
  • skin problems
  • stomach pain or discomfort
  • vomiting
  • weight gain

If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call 111.

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Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

In addition to conventional medicines, some recreational drugs are also known to interact with Methysergide maleate.

The following medicines may interact with Methysergide maleate:

The following types of medicine may interact with Methysergide maleate:

Some recreational drugs are also known to interact with Methysergide maleate. Make sure that you tell your prescriber if you plan to use or have recently used:

  • nicotine

If you are taking Methysergide maleate and any of the medicines, types of medicines or recreational drugs shown above, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

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Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.

If you are planning to take or are already taking any complementary preparations and vitamins you should ask your prescriber whether there are any known interactions with Methysergide maleate.

Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.

If you experience any unusual effects while taking this medicine in combination with complementary preparations and vitamins, you should tell your prescriber.

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Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

Like all medicines Methysergide maleate can cause side effects. You should see how this medicine affects you and then judge if you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt, talk to your prescriber.

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Diet

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Methysergide maleate:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when taking Methysergide maleate
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Alcohol

Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Methysergide maleate:

  • there are no known interactions between alcohol and Methysergide maleate
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Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Methysergide maleate:

  • do not take this medicine during pregnancy

This medicine is not suitable during pregnancy. It is essential that you seek urgent medical advice if you become pregnant or think you have become pregnant while taking this medicine.

If you are planning to become pregnant, you should discuss your personal circumstances with your doctor so that together you can make a decision about what treatment you may need during your pregnancy.

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Breast-feeding

Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Methysergide maleate:

  • women who are breast-feeding must not take this medicine

Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. If you wish to breast-feed you should discuss with your prescriber whether there are any other medicines you could take which would also allow you to breast-feed. You should not stop this medicine without taking advice from your doctor.

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Ingredients of your medicine

Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They are also added to improve the medicine's taste and appearance and to make it easier to take. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.

This medicine contains methysergide maleate.

We are unable to list all of the ingredients for your medicine here. For a full list, you should refer to the patient information leaflet that comes with this medicine. You should check that you are able to take the ingredients of your medicine, especially if you have any allergies. You should also check whether any of these ingredients are known to have side-effects.

If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Methysergide maleate before, do not take Methysergide maleate. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.

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Methysergide maleate, Version 1, last updated 20 Jun 2007