Almotriptan

Almotriptan is used for the treatment of migraines. You may be able to take a second dose in 2 hours if migraine does not improve. May cause nausea or increases in blood pressure.

Almotriptan Overview

Reviewed: June 25, 2012
Updated: 

Almotriptan is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches once they have started. Almotriptan belongs to a group of drugs called serotonin receptor agonists or "triptans", which relieve pain by narrowing blood vessels around the brain. 

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken at the first sign of a migraine headache.
 
Common side effects of almotriptan include nausea, headache, tingling feeling, and sleepiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how it affects you.

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Uses of Almotriptan

Almotriptan is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches once they have started, with or without aura.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Almotriptan Brand Names

Almotriptan may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Almotriptan Drug Class

Almotriptan is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Almotriptan

The most common side effects in adults are:

  • nausea
  • sleepiness
  • tingling or burning feeling 
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • vomiting
  • dizziness

If you experience sleepiness, you should not drive or operate heavy machinery or perform any task that requires mental alertness.

Serious side effects may occur. See "Drug Precautions" section.

This is not a complete list of almotriptan side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Almotriptan Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and  herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, such as phenelzine sulfate (Nardil) or tranylcypromine sulfate (Parnate) for depression or another condition, or if it has been less than two weeks since you stopped taking an MAO inhibitor.
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), ritonavir (Norvir), or erythromycin (Emycin), or if it has been less than one week since you stopped taking one of these drugs.
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), two types of drugs for depression or other disorders. Common SSRIs are Celexa (citalopram HBr), Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac/Sarafem (fluoxetine), Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), and fluvoxamine. Common SNRIs are Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Effexor (venlafaxine).

These medicines may affect how almotriptan works, or almotriptan may affect how these medicines work. This is not a complete list of almotriptan drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Almotriptan Precautions

In very rare cases, patients taking this class of medicines experience serious side effects including death. These effects include:

  • heart problems
  • stroke
  • increased blood pressure

Tell your doctor right away if you feel tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw after taking almotriptan

Some people may have a reaction called serotonin syndrome, which can be life-threatening, when they use almotriptan. In particular, this reaction may occur when they use almotriptan together with certain types of antidepressants known as SSRIs or SNRIs. Symptoms may include:

  • mental changes (hallucinations, agitation, or coma)
  • fast heartbeat
  • changes in blood pressure
  • high body temperature or sweating
  • tight muscles
  • trouble walking
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms after taking almotriptan.

Do not take almotriptan if you:
  • have ever had heart disease.
  • have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • have hemiplegic or basilar migraine. If you are not sure, ask your doctor.
  • have taken another serotonin receptor agonist (e.g., another triptan) in the last 24 hours. These include naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet), or zolmitriptan (Zomig).
  • have taken ergotamine-type medicines in the last 24 hours. These include ergotamine (Bellergal-S, Cafergot, Ergomar, Wigraine), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45), or methysergide (Sansert).
  • had an allergic reaction to almotriptan or any of its ingredients.

Almotriptan Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with almotriptan and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

Inform MD

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and  herbal supplements. 

Before receiving almotriptan, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including:

  • past or present medical problems
  • past or present high blood pressure, chest pain, shortness of breath, or heart disease
  • liver or kidney problems
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol
  • overweight
  • smoking
  • family members with heart disease
  • you are past menopause
  • you are a male over 40 years old
  • allergic reactions to sulfonamides, also known as sulfa drugs or other allergies

Talk to your doctor about using almotriptan if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Almotriptan and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.

Almotriptan and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if almotriptan is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Almotriptan Usage

  • When you have a migraine headache, take your medicine as directed by your doctor.
  • If your headache comes back after your first dose, you may take a second dose 2 hours or more after the first dose. If your pain continues after the first dose, do not take a second dose without first checking with your doctor.
  • Do not take more than two almotriptan tablets in a 24-hour period.
  • If you take too much medicine, contact your doctor, hospital emergency department, or poison control center right away.

Almotriptan Dosage

Take almotriptan exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. The maximum recommended daily dose is 25 mg.

Almotriptan Overdose

If you take too much almotriptan, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

Keep your medicine in a safe place where children cannot reach it. It may be harmful to children. Store your medicine away from heat, light, or moisture at a controlled room temperature. If your medicine has expired, throw it away as instructed. If your doctor decides to stop your treatment, do not keep any leftover medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so. Throw away your medicine as instructed. Be sure that discarded tablets are out of the reach of children.