Relpax (generic: eletriptan) is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches once they have started. Relpax belongs to a group of drugs called selective serotonin receptor agonists or "triptans", which reduce swelling of blood vessels surrounding the brain. This swelling is associated with the headache pain of a migraine attack. Relpax blocks the release of substances from nerve endings that cause more pain and other symptoms like nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.
This medication comes in tablet form to be taken at the first sign of a migraine headache. A second tablet can be taken after 2 hours if needed.
Common side effects of Relpax include dizziness, nausea, and weakness.
Relpax is a prescription medicine used to treat migraine headaches in adults.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Relpax is generally well tolerated. As with any medicine, people taking Relpax may have side effects. The side effects are usually mild and do not last long.
The most common side effects of Relpax are:
- pain or pressure sensation (e.g., in the chest or throat)
In very rare cases, patients taking triptans, such as Relpax, may experience serious side effects, including heart attacks. Call your doctor right away if you have:
- severe chest pains
- shortness of breath
Some patients taking triptans may have a reaction called serotonin syndrome particularly during combined use with certain types of antidepressants, SSRIs or SNRIs.
Symptoms may include confusion, hallucinations, fast heart beat, feeling faint, fever, sweating, muscle spasm, difficulty walking and/or diarrhea. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms after taking Relpax.
Overuse of anti-migraine drugs like Relpax can lead to daily headaches. Talk to your doctor if you have persistent non-migraine headaches.
This is not a complete list of side effects. Talk to your doctor if you develop any symptoms that concern you.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take or plan to take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, supplements, and herbal remedies. Your doctor will decide if you can take Relpax with your other medicines.
Some medicines used in treating depression such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may cause a condition called serotonin syndrome especially during combined use with certain migraine medications. Your doctor needs to know if you are taking any of these medicines, when taking Relpax.
Common SSRIs are Celexa (citalopram HBr), Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozax/Sarafem (fluoxetine), Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), and fluvoxamine. Common SNRIs are Cymblata (duloxetine) and Effexor (venlafaxine).
Tell your doctor if you take any of the following medicines:
Do not take Relpax if you:
- have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- have heart disease or a history of heart disease.
- have hemiplegic or basilar migraine (if you are not sure about this, ask your doctor).
- have or had a stroke or problems with your blood circulation.
- have serious liver problems.
- have taken any of the following medicines in the last 24 hours: other "triptans" or triptan combination products such as almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova™), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex) sumatriptan and naproxen sodium, (Treximet™), zolmitriptan (Zomig); ergotamines like Bellergal-S, Cafergot, Ergomar, Wigraine; dihydroergotamine like D.H.E. 45 or Migranal; or methysergide (Sansert). These medicines have side effects similar to Relpax.1
- have taken the following medicines within at least 72 hours: ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), nefazodone (Serzone), troleandomycin (TAO), clarithromycin (Biaxin), ritonavir (Norvir), and nelfinavir (Viracept). These medicines may cause an increase in the amount of Relpax in the blood.2
- are allergic to Relpax or any of its ingredients. The active ingredient is eletriptan.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Relpax and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any ingredient in Relpax.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Relpax will harm your unborn baby. Relpax has not been studied in pregnant women. Relpax should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Relpax is excreted in human breast milk. It is not known if Relpax will harm your nursing baby.
Relpax comes in 20 mg and 40 mg tablets. When you have a migraine headache, take your medicine as directed by your doctor.
- Take one Relpax Tablet as soon as you feel a migraine coming on.
- If your headache improves and then comes back after 2 hours, you can take a second tablet.
- If the first tablet did not help your headache at all, do not take a second tablet without talking with your doctor.
- Do not take more than two Relpax Tablets in any 24-hour period.
Take Relpax exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you. The dosage of Relpax must be individualized.
If after the initial Relpax dose (20 mg or 40 mg), headache improves but then returns, a repeat dose may be beneficial. If a second dose is required, it should be taken at least 2 hours after the initial dose. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 80 mg.
If you take too much Relpax, call your doctor or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Relpax is available in 20 mg and 40 mg tablets.
Store Relpax Tablets at room temperature 15–30°C (59–86°F). Keep Relpax and all medicines out of the reach of children.