Generic Name: eletriptan (EL e TRIP tan)
Brand Name: Relpax
What is eletriptan?
Eletriptan is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Eletriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms.
Eletriptan is used to treat migraine headaches. Eletriptan will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.
Eletriptan should not be used to treat a common tension headache, a headache that causes loss of movement on one side of your body, or any headache that seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches. Use this medicine only if your condition has been confirmed by a doctor as migraine headaches.
Eletriptan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about eletriptan?
You should not take eletriptan if you have any history of heart disease, or if you have angina, blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart, uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe liver disease, ischemic bowel disease, a history of a heart attack or stroke, or if your headache seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches.
Do not take eletriptan within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine.
Do not use eletriptan within 72 hours before or after taking: clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, ritonavir, or nelfinavir.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using eletriptan?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to eletriptan, or if you have:
coronary heart disease, angina (chest pain), blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart;
a history of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke, including "mini-stroke";
severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
severe liver disease;
ischemic bowel disease; or
a headache that seems different from your usual migraine headaches.
To make sure you can safely take eletriptan, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
high blood pressure, a heart rhythm disorder; or
risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Eletriptan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to anyone under 18 years old.
How should I use eletriptan?
Your doctor may want to give your first dose of this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to quickly treat any serious side effects that occur.
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take eletriptan as soon as you notice migraine symptoms.
After taking a tablet: If your headache does not completely go away, or goes away and comes back, take a second tablet 2 hours after the first. Do not take more than 80 mg of eletriptan in 24 hours. If your symptoms have not improved, contact your doctor before taking any more tablets.
Call your doctor if your headache does not go away at all after taking the first eletriptan tablet.
Never use more than your recommended dose. Overuse of migraine headache medicine can make headaches worse.
Do not take migraine headache medication for longer than 10 days in any 1 month. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your migraine attacks.
If you use eletriptan long-term, your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). This will help your doctor determine if it is still safe for you to take eletriptan.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since eletriptan is used as needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule. Call your doctor promptly if your symptoms do not improve after using eletriptan.
After taking an eletriptan tablet, you must wait 2 hours before taking a second tablet. Do not take more than 80 mg of eletriptan in 24 hours.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using eletriptan?
Do not take eletriptan within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine, including:
medicines like eletriptan--almotriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, and others; or
ergot medicine--dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, ergonovine, methylergonovine.
Do not use eletriptan within 72 hours before or after taking any of the following medicines:
itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral);
clarithromycin (Biaxin); or
ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept).
Eletriptan may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Eletriptan side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using eletriptan and call your doctor at once if you have:
fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
sudden severe stomach pain (especially after meals), constipation or diarrhea, weight loss;
fever, diarrhea that is bloody;
numbness, tingling, cold feeling or burning pain in your feet or toes;
tightness or heavy feeling in your legs, pale or blue-colored appearance in your fingers or toes;
heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
dangerously high blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure; or
high levels of serotonin in the body--agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting.
Common side effects may include:
weakness, tired feeling.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Eletriptan dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Migraine:
Use only after a clear diagnosis of migraine has been established
Initial dose: 20 mg or 40 mg orally, once
-Provided there has been some response to first dose, a second dose may be administered at least 2 hours later if migraine returns or symptoms recur.
Maximum dose: 80 mg in a 24-hour period
-Doses should be individualized as responses vary; in clinical trials, benefit was observed with 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg doses; however an increased incidence of side effects was observed at the 80 mg dose.
-This drug should not be used to treat basilar or hemiplegic migraines because these patients are at a greater risk of stroke.
-The safety of treating an average of 3 or more migraine attacks in a 30-day period has not been established.
Use: For the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura.
What other drugs will affect eletriptan?
Taking eletriptan while you are using certain other medicines can cause high levels of serotonin to build up in your body, a condition called "serotonin syndrome," which can be fatal. Tell your doctor if you also use:
medicine to treat depression;
medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder;
a narcotic (opioid) medication; or
medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with eletriptan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about eletriptan
- Other brands: Relpax
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about eletriptan.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.02.
Date modified: November 30, 2016
Last reviewed: September 26, 2016