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Drugs & Medications

Axert

GENERIC NAME(S): ALMOTRIPTAN MALATE

Uses

Almotriptan is used to treat migraines. It helps to relieve headaches, pain and other symptoms of migraines, including sensitivity to light/sound, nausea, and vomiting. Prompt treatment allows you to get back to your normal routine and may decrease your need for other pain medications. Almotriptan does not prevent future migraines or reduce how often you may get a headache.

Almotriptan belongs to a group of drugs called triptans. It affects a certain natural chemical (serotonin) that constricts blood vessels in the brain. It may also block other pain pathways in the brain.

How to use Axert

Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist before you start using almotriptan and each time you get a refill. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take this medication by mouth at the first sign of a migraine, or as directed by your doctor. It may be taken with or without food. Do not take almotriptan to prevent a migraine. If there is no improvement in your symptoms, do not take any more doses of this medication before talking to your doctor.

If your symptoms are only partly relieved, or if your headache comes back, you may take a second dose after 2 hours or as directed by your doctor. Do not take more than 2 doses in a 24-hour period.

If you have never taken this medication before and you have risk factors for heart disease (see Precautions), you may be advised to take your first dose in your doctor's office in order to monitor for rare but serious heart problems (e.g., heart attack).

Your dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Overuse of drugs to treat sudden migraine attacks can lead to worsening of headache (medication overuse headache) or rebound headache. Therefore, do not use this medication more often or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you need to use this medication more often, if the medication is not working as well, or if you have more frequent or worse headaches. Your doctor may need to change your medication and/or add a separate medication to help prevent the headaches.

Side Effects

Drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, sensations of tingling/numbness/prickling, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Chest/jaw/neck tightness can commonly occur shortly after using almotriptan. Only rarely are these signs of a serious condition. However, you may not be able to tell this apart from a serious reaction related to a lack of blood flow to the heart, brain or other parts of the body. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but very serious (rarely fatal) side effects occur: chest pain, jaw/left arm pain, fainting, fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat, vision changes, weakness on one side of the body, confusion, slurred speech, sudden or severe stomach/abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, change in the amount of urine.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: blue fingers/toes/nails, cold sensation of hands/feet, hearing changes, mental/mood changes.

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

In the unlikely event you have a serious allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

See also How to Use section.

Before taking almotriptan, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other triptan migraine drugs; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be taken if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have a history of: heart disease (e.g., chest pain, heart attack), decreased blood flow in the brain (e.g., stroke, transient ischemic attack), blood circulation disease (e.g., ischemic bowel disease), uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension), certain types of headaches (hemiplegic or basilar migraine).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain blood circulation disorders (e.g., Raynaud's disease), kidney problems, liver problems.

Tell your doctor if you have the following risk factors for heart disease: diabetes, family history of heart disease, high blood pressure (controlled), high cholesterol, overweight, smoker, female after menopause, male over age 40.

If you are at high risk for heart disease, your doctor may want to check your heart before prescribing almotriptan.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Other medications can affect the removal of almotriptan from your body, which may affect how almotriptan works. Examples include azole antifungals such as ketoconazole/itraconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin, protease inhibitors such as ritonavir.

The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine), among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.

If you also take any ergotamine medication (e.g., dihydroergotamine or methysergide) or any other "triptan" drugs (e.g., zolmitriptan, sumatriptan), you will need to separate your almotriptan dose from your dose of these other medications in order to lessen the chance of serious side effects. Ask you doctor how long you should wait between your doses of these drugs.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., amitriptyline, chlorpromazine, risperidone, trazodone).

Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Take this medication only as needed when a migraine occurs, as directed by your doctor. This medication should not be taken on a regular schedule. Never increase your dose of this medication or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Certain foods/beverages or food additives (e.g., red wine, cheese, chocolate, monosodium glutamate) as well as some lifestyle patterns (e.g., irregular eating/sleeping habits, stress) may bring about a migraine headache. Avoiding these "triggers" may help decrease the frequency of migraine headaches. Consult your doctor for more details.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Information last revised October 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

Images

AXERT 6.25 MG TABLET
AXERT 6.25 MG TABLET
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AXERT 12.5 MG TABLET
AXERT 12.5 MG TABLET
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AXERT 6.25 MG TABLET
AXERT 6.25 MG TABLET

Identification

color
white
shape
round
imprint
2080
This medicine is a white, round, coated tablet imprinted with "2080".
AXERT 12.5 MG TABLET
AXERT 12.5 MG TABLET

Identification

color
white
shape
round
imprint
A
This medicine is a white, round tablet imprinted with "A".

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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