Eletriptan treats migraine headaches. For best results, take it at the first sign of a migraine. Do not take more than recommended daily and weekly amounts as this may result in rebound headaches.
Eletriptan is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches once they have started. Eletriptan 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. Eletriptan 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 eletriptan include dizziness, nausea, and weakness.
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Uses of Eletriptan
Eletriptan 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.
Eletriptan Brand Names
Eletriptan may be found in some form under the following brand names:
Eletriptan Drug Class
Eletriptan is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Eletriptan
Eletriptan is generally well tolerated. As with any medicine, people taking eletriptan may have side effects. The side effects are usually mild and do not last long.
The most common side effects of eletriptan are:
- pain or pressure sensation (e.g., in the chest or throat)
In very rare cases, patients taking triptans, such as eletriptan, 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 eletriptan.
Overuse of anti-migraine drugs like eletriptan 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 eletriptan 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 eletriptan.
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 eletriptan 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 eletriptan.
- 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 eletriptan in the blood.
- are allergic to eletriptan or any of its ingredients. The active ingredient is eletriptan.
Eletriptan Food Interactions
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with eletriptan 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 eletriptan.
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.
Eletriptan 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.
Eletriptan and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Eletriptan is excreted in human breast milk. It is not known if eletriptan will harm your nursing baby.
Eletriptan comes in 20 mg and 40 mg tablets. When you have a migraine headache, take your medicine as directed by your doctor.
- Take one eletriptan 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 eletriptan in any 24-hour period.
Take eletriptan 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 eletriptan must be individualized.
If after the initial eletriptan 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 eletriptan call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
- Store eletriptan at room temperature 15–30°C (59–86°F).
- Keep eletriptan and all medicines out of the reach of children.