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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Serious side effects with almotriptan are rare. However, almotriptan may cause a heart attack, chest pain or tightness, sudden or severe abdominal pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, heartbeat irregularities, swelling of eyelids, face, or lips, skin rash, or hives. Seek emergency medical assistance immediately.
Common

Nausea, drowsiness, prickling or tingling sensations, dry mouth, headache.
Less Common

Many less common side effects can occur; consult your doctor if you are concerned about any adverse or unusual reactions you experience while taking this drug.
Almotriptan Malate


Drug Class:
Antimigraine/antiheadache drug

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets

Why Prescribed
To treat severe, acute migraine headaches. Almotriptan is not intended as a migraine preventive or for use against any other kinds of pain or headache, including basilar and hemiplegic migraines. Your doctor will determine whether this medication is appropriate in your particular case.

How It Works
The exact mechanism of almotriptan’s action is unknown. However, it is believed that almotriptan may reduce the swelling of blood vessels in the brain that are associated with the pain of migraine, block the release of substances from nerve endings that cause more pain and other symptoms of migraine, and interrupt the transmission of specific pain signals from the brain.

Range and Frequency
A single dose ranging from 6.25 to 12.5 mg is generally effective. If the migraine returns or there is only partial relief, the dose may be repeated once after 2 hours, but no more than 25 mg should be taken in a 24-hour period. Since individual response to almotriptan may vary, your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage. A general recommendation is to take one 6.25 mg tablet as the initial dose.

Onset of Effect
Within 2 hours.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
The medication can be taken with or without food.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Missed Dose
Not applicable, since the drug is taken only when necessary.

Stopping the Drug
Consult your doctor before discontinuing almotriptan.

Prolonged Use
No special problems are expected. Patients at risk for heart disease should undergo periodic medical tests and evaluation.

Over 60
This drug should not be used unless the presence of coronary heart disease has been ruled out through appropriate diagnostic tests.

Driving and Hazardous Work
Some people feel drowsy or dizzy during or following a migraine attack or after taking almotriptan. Avoid driving or other tasks requiring concentration if you have such symptoms.

Alcohol
No special warnings, although alcohol may trigger or exacerbate migraine headaches.

Pregnancy
Adequate human studies have not been done. Discuss with your doctor the relative risks and benefits of using almotriptan while pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Almotriptan may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
Safety and effectiveness have not been established for children under age 18.

Special Concerns
Serious, but rare, heart-related problems may occur after taking almotriptan. Almotriptan should not be used by anyone with any symptoms of coronary artery disease (chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath). Anyone at risk for unrecognized CAD--such as postmenopausal women, men over the age of 40, or those with known risk factors for heart disease (hypertension, high blood cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, strong family history of heart disease, or cigarette smoking)--should have the first dose of almotriptan administered in a doctor’s office, and then only after tests show they are probably free of coronary artery disease.

Overdose Symptoms
No overdoses have been reported.

What to Do
Although overdose is unlikely, if you take a much larger dose than prescribed, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Do not take almotriptan within 24 hours of taking naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, ergotamine-containing medication, dihydroergotamine mesylate, or methysergide mesylate. Almotriptan and MAO inhibitors such as phenelzine, tranylcypromine, procarbazine, and selegiline should not be used within 14 days of each other. Do not take almotriptan within one week of using ketoconazole, itraconazole, or erythromycin.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
You should not take almotriptan if you have a history of angina, heart disease, stroke, uncontrolled hypertension, heartbeat irregularities, or peripheral vascular disease. Almotriptan should be used with caution in patients with liver disease or severely impaired kidney function.

Date Published: 05/23/2005
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