Ergotamine/caffeine treatment of orthostatic hypotension in parkinsonism with autonomic failure

Richard B. Dewey, Surendra D. Rao, Stephanie L. Holmburg, Ronald G. Victor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Eight patients with parkinsonism who developed severe orthostatic hypotension, were treated with oral ergotamine/caffeine. Significant long-term improvement in standing systolic blood pressure and symptoms of syncope and lightheadedness were observed in four of these patients. One patient in whom the drug was effective discontinued it because of nausea. Another lost benefit after 2 weeks of successful therapy. Significant supine systolic hypertension occurred in only one patient, which was easily managed by nifedipine given at night. Symptoms or signs of ergotism were not observed. Oral ergotamine/caffeine should be considered as a cost-effective treatment for refractory orthostatic hypotension in carefully selected patients with parkinsonism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-599
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Autonomic failure
  • Ergotamine
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Parkinsonism
  • Shy-Drager syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Ergotamine/caffeine treatment of orthostatic hypotension in parkinsonism with autonomic failure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this