Generic Name: almotriptan (Oral route)
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antimigraine
Pharmacologic Class: Serotonin Receptor Agonist, 5-HT1
Uses For Axert
Almotriptan is used to treat acute migraine headaches in adults and teenagers. It is not used to prevent migraine headaches and is not used for cluster headaches. Almotriptan works in the brain to relieve the pain from migraine headaches. It belongs to the group of medicines called triptans.
Almotriptan is not an ordinary pain reliever. It will not help with any kind of pain other than migraine headaches. This medicine is usually used in people whose headaches are not helped or relieved by acetaminophen (Tylenol®), aspirin, or other pain relievers.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using Axert
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of almotriptan in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of almotriptan in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving almotriptan.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Ergoloid Mesylates
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Methylene Blue
- St John's Wort
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angina, history of or
- Basilar migraine (migraine with vision and hearing problems) or
- Heart attack, history of or
- Hemiplegic migraine (migraine with some paralysis) or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure), uncontrolled or
- Ischemic bowel disease (bowels have low blood supply) or
- Peripheral vascular disease (clogged arteries) or
- Stroke, history of or
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA), or history of—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Coronary artery disease, history of or
- Diabetes or
- Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol in the blood) or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Obesity or
- Raynaud syndrome—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper Use of Axert
Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Using too much almotriptan may increase the chance of side effects.
Do not use this medicine for a headache that is not a migraine headache. Talk to your doctor about what to do for regular headaches.
This medicine comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For migraine headaches:
- Adults and teenagers 12 years of age and older—6.25 or 12.5 milligrams (mg) as a single dose. Your doctor may tell you to take another dose if the migraine comes back. However, the maximum dose for a single day (24 hours) is 25 mg.
- Children younger than 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For migraine headaches:
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using Axert
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it.
Check with your doctor if you used this medicine and your migraine did not go away, or if your migraine got worse or started occurring more often.
You should not take this medicine if you have used other triptan or ergot-type migraine medicines within the past 24 hours. Some examples of triptan medicines are frovatriptan (Frova®), naratriptan (Amerge®), rizatriptan (Maxalt®), sumatriptan (Imitrex®, Treximet®), and zolmitriptan (Zomig®). Some examples of ergot-type medicines are dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45®, Migranal®), ergotamine (Bellergal®, Cafergot®, Ergomar®, or Wigraine®), and methysergide (Sansert®).
This medicine may cause problems if you have heart disease. If your doctor thinks you might have a problem with this medicine, he or she may want you to take your first dose in the doctor’s office or clinic.
This medicine may increase your risk of having a heart attack, angina, or stroke. This is more likely to occur if you or a family member already have heart disease, if you smoke, if you are male and over 40 years of age, or if you are female and have gone through menopause. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a heart problem, such as chest pain or discomfort, an irregular heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, pain or discomfort in the shoulders, arms, jaw, back, or neck, shortness of breath, or sweating. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a stroke, such as confusion, difficulty with speaking, double vision, headaches, an inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles, an inability to speak, or slow speech.
Check with your doctor right away if you have chest discomfort, jaw or neck tightness after taking this medicine. Also, tell your doctor if you have sudden or severe abdominal or stomach pain or bloody diarrhea after using this medicine.
Make sure your doctor knows about all the other medicines you are using. Almotriptan may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome when taken with some medicines. This includes medicines to treat depression, such as citalopram (Celexa®), duloxetine (Cymbalta®), escitalopram (Lexapro®), fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®, or Symbyax®), fluvoxamine (Luvox®), paroxetine (Paxil®), sertraline (Zoloft®), or venlafaxine (Effexor®). Check with your doctor right away if you have agitation, confusion, diarrhea, excitement while talking that is not normal, fever, overactive reflexes, poor coordination, restlessness, shivering, sweating, trembling or shaking that you cannot control, or twitching. These could be symptoms of serotonin syndrome.
Using almotriptan alone or in combination with other migraine medicines for 10 or more days per month may lead to worsening of headache. You may keep a headache diary to record your headache frequency and drug use.
Check with your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision while you are using this medicine. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Almotriptan may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or trouble with your vision. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that requires you to be alert and able to see well.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Axert Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:Less common
- Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain
- discharge from the eye
- eye irritation
- fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- itching, redness, or swelling of the skin
- neck pain or rigid neck
- redness of the inner lining of the eyelid
- skin rash
- shortness of breath
- tightness in the throat
- Abdominal or stomach cramping or pain
- black, tarry stools
- blood in the stools
- bringing back up of food
- chest pain, severe
- cool, pale skin
- difficulty with swallowing
- heartburn, repeated
- increased sweating
- loss of appetite
- loss of vision
- rapid breathing
- tightness in the chest
- weight loss
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Burning, numbness, prickly, or tingling feeling
- dry mouth
- Aching, fullness, or tension in the sinuses
- anxious feeling
- back pain
- change in sense of taste
- cough producing mucus
- decreased sensitivity to touch
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- feeling of spinning
- feeling of warmth or heat
- flushing or redness of the skin
- increased sense of hearing
- lack or loss of strength
- muscle aches or weakness
- painful menstrual period
- quivering or trembling
- runny or stuffy nose
- sore throat
- trouble sleeping
- Abnormal increase in reflexes
- abnormally increased feeling of mental and physical well-being
- buzzing or ringing in the ears
- change in dreams or nightmares
- change in sense of smell
- change in sense of touch
- clumsiness or unsteadiness
- continuous, uncontrolled, back-and-forth or rolling eye movements
- difficulty in concentrating
- double vision
- dry eyes
- dry throat
- feeling of pins and needles
- increased sensitivity to sunlight
- increased thirst
- loss of voice
- mental depression
- muscle stiffness
- pain, redness, swelling, or warmth in the joints
- stabbing pain
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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