Axert 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.

Axert Overview


Axert is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches once they have started. Axert 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 Axert 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 Axert

Axert 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.


Axert Drug Class

Axert is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Axert

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 Axert side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

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

Axert 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 Axert. 

Some people may have a reaction called serotonin syndrome, which can be life-threatening, when they use Axert. In particular, this reaction may occur when they use Axert 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 Axert.

Do not take Axert 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 Axert or any of its ingredients.

Axert Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Axert 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 Axert, 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 Axert if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Axert 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.

Axert and Lactation

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

Axert 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 Axert tablets in a 24-hour period.
  • If you take too much medicine, contact your doctor, hospital emergency department, or poison control center right away.

Axert Dosage

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

Axert Overdose

If you take too much Axert, 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.