Generic Name: almotriptan (AL-moe-TRIP-tan)
Brand Name: Axert
Axert is used for:
Treating acute migraine headaches with or without aura (eg, dark spots, flashing lights, wavy lines). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Axert is a serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonist "triptan." It works by narrowing the blood vessels in the brain and thereby reducing pressure and pain in the brain. A migraine headache is thought to be caused by widened blood vessels exerting pressure on the brain.
Do NOT use Axert if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Axert
- you have a history of ischemic heart disease (eg, angina, heart attack), coronary artery disease (CAD), other moderate to severe heart problems, brain blood vessel disease (eg, stroke, transient ischemic attack), or other blood vessel disease (eg, Raynaud syndrome, ischemic bowel disease)
- you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or ischemic heart disease
- you have hemiplegic or basilar migraine headaches
- you have used certain other migraine medicines within the past 24 hours (eg, an ergot alkaloid [eg, ergotamine], another serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonist [eg, eletriptan, rizatriptan])
- you are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the past 14 days
- you are taking sibutramine
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Axert:
Some medical conditions may interact with Axert. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to any sulfonamide medicine, such as acetazolamide, celecoxib, certain diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide), glyburide, probenecid, sulfamethoxazole, valdecoxib, or zonisamide
- if you have a history of liver or kidney problems, seizures (eg, epilepsy), other types of headaches (eg, cluster headaches), or heart problems, or if a family member has had heart disease
- if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, or a history of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, diabetes, or smoking
- if you are a woman who is past menopause or you have had a hysterectomy
- if you are a man who is over 40 years old
- if you are very overweight
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Axert. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (eg, duloxetine), or sibutramine because the risk of a serious side effect called serotonin syndrome may be increased. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome may include mental or mood changes, hallucinations, fast heartbeat, fever, loss of coordination, muscle spasms, increased sweating, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole), ergot alkaloids (eg, ergotamine), HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), verapamil, or another serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonist [eg, eletriptan, rizatriptan]) because they may increase the risk of Axert's side effects
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Axert may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Axert:
Use Axert as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with Axert. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Take Axert by mouth with or without food.
- Take Axert with a full glass of water (8 oz [240 mL]).
- Swallow Axert whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- It is best to take a dose of Axert as soon as you notice symptoms of a migraine attack.
- If your headache returns, a second dose may be taken. Allow at least 2 hours between doses of Axert.
- If your pain continues after the first dose, do not take a second dose without talking with your health care provider. Do not take more than 2 tablets in a 24-hour period.
- If you miss a dose of Axert and you still have a headache, follow your doctor's dosing instructions. Contact your doctor if you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose. Do not take Axert more often than prescribed. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Axert.
Important safety information:
- Axert may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Axert with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- If Axert does not stop or decrease the severity of your migraine attack or if your symptoms become worse, check with your doctor.
- Axert is intended to relieve acute migraine headaches. Do not use it to prevent or reduce the number of attacks you experience. Use Axert only to treat an actual migraine attack. If you have a headache that is different from your usual migraine attacks, check with your doctor before using Axert.
- Overuse of Axert can cause your headache to become worse. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
- Rarely, serious and sometimes fatal heart problems (eg, heart attack, irregular heartbeat) have happened within a few hours of using Axert. Contact your doctor at once if fast or irregular heartbeat; chest, throat, jaw, or neck tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness; breaking out in a cold sweat; shortness of breath; numbness or tingling of an arm or leg; severe stomach pain, dizziness, or vomiting; or fainting occur. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Serotonin syndrome is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by Axert. Your risk may be greater if you take Axert with certain other medicines (eg, SSRIs, SNRIs). Symptoms may include agitation; confusion; hallucinations; coma; fever; fast or irregular heartbeat; tremor; excessive sweating; and nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
- Serious and sometimes fatal brain blood vessel problems like stroke have rarely happened with Axert. Contact your doctor at once if you have confusion; one-sided weakness; or speech or vision changes.
- Axert should not be used to prevent or reduce the number of migraine headaches you have. If you have a headache that is different than your usual migraine headaches, check with your doctor before using Axert.
- You will need to check your blood pressure often. Talk with your doctor.
- Lab tests, including heart function tests, may be performed while you use Axert. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use Axert with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Axert should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Axert while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Axert, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of Axert:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; nausea; sleepiness; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody diarrhea; burning, numbness, or tingling; changes in vision; chest pain; cold, pale, or blue-colored fingers or toes; confusion; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; one-sided weakness; seizures; severe headache, dizziness, or vomiting; severe stomach pain; shortness of breath; slurred speech; tightness, pain, or pressure in the jaw, neck, or chest; wheezing.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Axert:
Store Axert at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Axert out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Axert, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Axert is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Axert or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Axert. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Axert. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Axert.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.