Eletriptan (Oral)

Eletriptan is a triptan drug that is used for treating migraine headaches when they occur.

Overview

Eletriptan is a triptan drug used for the treatment of migraine headaches. It is taken as soon as possible once a migraine occurs in order to stop it while it is happening or to lessen the symptoms of a migraine.

Eletriptan was approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. in 2002, and is a prescription drug in the U.S. Eletriptan is found most commonly sold under the brand name Relpax, which is manufactured and distributed by Pfizer in the U.S. and Canada. The patent on brand name Relpax expired in 2017, and thus other pharmaceutical companies can now manufacture and sell generic versions of Eletriptan.

Migraines are believed to be caused by a variety of different functions in the brain, including possible swelling of blood cells. This is part of what makes a migraine much more intense than normal headaches. In addition to head pain, migraines can cause nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light. There are also often signs that may indicate a migraine is coming soon, which is when medications are most effective for use in preventing symptoms. Signs that a migraine is forthcoming include dumbness, seeing lights flashing or spotted vision, and difficulty speaking or other muscle movements.

Eletriptan is a serotonin receptor agonist, which specifically blocks certain 5-HT1 family receptors. This helps it to reduce the swelling of blood vessels, which likely causes or contributes to migraine headaches. Eletriptan also blocks certain substances that cause nausea, pain, and other common symptoms of migraine headaches.

Eletriptan does not prevent migraines, but lessens their effects once they occur. Eletriptan should be taken as needed, and is not used regularly to treat or prevent chronic migraines. It cannot lessen the amount of migraines a person has, and is not used for anything other than alleviating pain when a migraine occurs. Eletriptan also does not treat other types of migraines, which is why a doctor needs to diagnose you as suffering from migraine headaches before taking Eletriptan. Using Eletriptan to treat regular headaches is not effective and can be dangerous. You should not take Eletriptan unless migraines are severe and a doctor has recommended medication to lessen its effects (and not too regularly).

Many patients find that they feel a tightness in their abdomen after taking Eletriptan, or become sleepy. These conditions should go away fairly soon after taking a dose and are not harmful. If these symptoms do not go away, alert a doctor and stop taking Eletriptan. These symptoms should also not reoccur long after taking Eletriptan, so tell a doctor if they do occur again when you have not taken Eletriptan.

Conditions Treated

  • Migraine headaches (certain types only)

Type Of Medicine

  • Selective serotonin receptor agonist

Side Effects

There are a number of more common side effects that you may experience when taking Eletriptan - these can be harmful or not. Even if some are not harmful, you may decide that dealing with the side effects is not worth the benefits of using Eletriptan. This is a conversation you may need to have with your doctor once you know how your body reacts to use of Eletriptan. This may take a few dosages and some experience to figure out. While they may not be serious, you should tell you doctor if you experience any of the following side effects and they do not go away or worsen and become severe:

  • Weakness or tiredness, lethargy
  • Upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Headache or head pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Feeling extremely hot or cold (chills or fever)

Other side effects may be more serious. If you experience any of the following side effects after taking Eletriptan, you should alert your medical professional immediately:

  • Tightness, pain, or pressure in the chest, throat, neck, or jaw area
  • Difficulty speaking or slowness of speech
  • Numbness in limbs, including arms and legs
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Sever constipation
  • Rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cold sweat
  • Extreme lightheadedness

Additionally, there are some side effects that might indicate an allergic reaction to Eletriptan. If you experience any of the following side effects, you should alert your doctor immediately and seek treatment. You may be allergic to Eletriptan and another migraine medication would be better suited for you.

  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Paleness or blue color of the fingers and toes
  • Pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet

This list of side effects is not exhaustive, and you should see a medical professional if you experience any symptoms that are out of the ordinary. Even if you experience non-serious side effects when taking Eletriptan, you should tell your doctor about them. Knowing how your body reacts to different dosages and medicines will help them to better prescribe and treat your condition. You should also alert your doctor if your migraines feel different after taking Eletriptan, or if they simply don't feel the same as they used to. This could indicate a different type of headache that should not be treated with Eletriptan.

Dosage

Eletriptan is taken orally, and can be taken with or without food. It should only be taken during a migraine (as soon as possible once symptoms begin showing), and not taken before or after or as a preventative measure. Generally, a doctor or hospital will observe you the first time you take Eletriptan to ensure that you do not react badly to it, and to help doctors determine what dosage of Eletriptan works best for you.

You should always carry one or two spare dosages of Eletriptan with you. Migraines are impossible to predict, and Eletriptan is most effective when taken at the onset of a migraine attack. Carrying Eletriptan with you will allow you to take Eletriptan immediately.

You should also keep track of your prescriptions. When you are down to your last two or three dosages of Eletriptan, you should get another prescription or have your prescription refilled.

Eletriptan is generally sold in 20 mg and 40 mg doses. It can be taken in 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg dosages. 80 mg in a 24-hour period is the highest recommended safe dose, and higher chances and severity of side effects have been observed in those taking 80 mg dosages.

The exact dosage you take is specific to you. You should consult a doctor before taking Eletriptan so that they can best advise an appropriate dosage. They can also help you to adjust your dosage until you find one that suits you best.

If you take one dose once your migraine has started, and you find that your migraine symptoms have not gone away after two hours, you can take another dosage after two hours. Remember though that you should never take more than 80 mg within 24 hours.

Treating more than three migraines using the recommended dosage within a 30-day timeframe has not been tested. If you need to treat more than three migraines in a 30-day period or have already done so, speak to your doctor. There may be other options or treatments for you. When it comes to how many times you should take Eletriptan in a certain timeframe, follow your doctor's advice.

Eletriptan should not be used to treat certain types of migraines as these patients are at a greater risk of stroke. Talk to your doctor about your specific condition to ensure that Eletriptan is the best choice for you.

In elderly patients, the dosage may need to be adjusted. Elderly patients generally should take the lowest possible dosage. Eletriptan may affect elderly patients more strongly and is not always the best option.

Overdose:

It is possible to overdose on Eletriptan. If you or someone you know has overdosed, you should call poison control at 1-800-222-1222. Alert medical professionals immediately and call 911 if the person who has overdosed is unresponsive.

Signs of overdose include:

  • Worsening headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Buzzing in your ears
  • Confusion
  • Severe chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uneven heartbeats
  • Seizure

If you take Eletriptan too often or too much in a short amount of time, you can also cause migraines to become more frequent or painful. This is why it is important to only follow your doctor's dosing instructions and talk to your doctor if you have already used Eletriptan more than two times in one month. There may be other medications or treatments that can help if you experience migraines more often than Eletriptan can treat.

Interactions

Eletriptan may interact poorly with a variety of other medications. Before starting Eletriptan, you should talk to your doctor about what other medications you are taking and whether Eletriptain is safe or the right choice to take with those medications.

The followinf medications should never be taken with Eletriptan.

  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone)
  • Elavil (amitriptyline)
  • Elavil (amitriptyline)
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
  • Frova (frovatriptan)
  • Imitrex (sumatriptan)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Lyrica (pregabalin)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
  • Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)

Warnings

Eletriptan has a number of warnings and precautions. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take and inform them that you take Eletriptan before taking any new medications. Also tell your doctor if you take any natural remedies or supplements. Additionally, alert your doctor if you take any of the following:

  • Tylenol
  • Antidepressants such as Elavil or any other medications used to treat certain psychiatric disorders
  • Asendin
  • Anafranil
  • Norpramin
  • Adapin or Sinequan
  • Tofranil
  • Aventyl or Pamelor
  • Vivactil
  • Surmontil
  • Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (brand names Advil, Motrin) or Aleve
  • E.E.S., E-Mycin, or Erythrocin
  • Diflucan
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Sarafem, Luvox, Paxil, or Zoloft
  • Selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like Pristiq, Cymbalta, Meridia, and Effexor
  • Calan, Covera, Isoptin, or Verelan

While you may be able to take some of these with Eletriptan, you should inform your doctor if you take or have recently stopped taking any of the following:

  • Marplan
  • Nardil
  • Eldepryl
  • Parnate

Some of these medications may not prevent you from taking Eletriptan, but you will need to have not taken them in the last 24, 48, or 72 hours. That is why it is important to tell you doctor what medications you have taken recently, and they can properly advise you on whether or not and when to begin using Eletriptan.

Tell your doctor before taking Eletriptan if you have ever had a heart attack, heart disease, ischemic bowel disease, strokes, high blood pressure, circulation problems, blood clots, are overweight, smoke, have diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease, liver disease, or blood clotting in the legs.

Eletriptan can contribute or cause other conditions. Talk to a doctor to understand your risks before starting to use Eletriptan.

Serotonin syndrome is one condition that use of Eletriptan can contribute to. Serotonin syndrome can cause hallucinations, fever, vomiting, and other serious symptoms.

Use of Eletriptan can also contribute to Raynaud's syndrome, which causes a loss of color in one's fingers and toes.

Eletriptan can also lead to poor blood circulation and loss of feeling, tingling, or cramping in certain limbs, like legs and arms. This is why Eletriptan is normally not prescribed for people who already have poor blood circulation or other blood conditions.

Eletriptan can also lead to stomach and intestinal complications, which may cause stomach pain after eating, sudden weight loss, constipation, vomiting, and other symptoms.

Use of Eletriptan can also lead to heart problems and heart attacks. If you feel tightness in your chest, chest pain, or other symptoms that may indicate a heart attack, alert emergency medical services immediately and tall your doctor before using more Eletriptan. This is also why Eletriptan is not recommended for use in patients with a history of circulation or heart problems.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before taking Eletriptan. Also tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed. Eletriptan can pass through breastmilk and potentially be harmful to nursing babies.

You should not drive or operate heavy machinery when taking Eletriptan. Eletriptan can cause extreme drowsiness and sleepiness. Different dosages and the times you take it may effect you differently, and you cannot predict how it may effect you each time.

You should not drink alcohol when taking Eletriptan. Some grapefruit products may interact with Eletriptan, and you should avoid grapefruit products or talk to your doctor about consuming grapefruit products before taking Eletriptan.

Do not take Eletriptan if you have taken any of the following in the past 24 hours:

  • Selective serotonin receptor agonists (like Axert, Frova, Amerge, Maxalt, Imitrex, Treximet, or Zomig)
  • Ergot-type medications like Parlodel, D.H.E. 45, Migranal, Hydergine, Ergotrate, Cafergot, Ergomar, Methergine, Sansert, or Permax.

Do not take Eletriptan within 72 hours of taking Biaxin, Sporanox, Nizoral, Serzone, Viracept, Norvir, or TAO.

Other common medications may react badly with Eletriptan. Tell your doctor if you use:

  • Any medication to treat depression or any other psychiatric disorder
  • A narcotic
  • Any medicine used to prevent nausea and vomiting

Storage

Eletriptan should be stored in a safe place, out of the reach of children. You should always ensure that you fasten the child safety lock on the bottle tightly and completely.

You should store Eletriptan in a dry place at room temperature. It should not be in direct sunlight or in a moist environment. This means that bathrooms are often not the best place to store medications.

If you need to dispose of Eletriptan, you should do so by taking it to a medication take-back facility or program. If you cannot find a medicine take-back program near you, you can also consult the FDA's approved list of methods for disposing of this medicine. You should not throw Eletriptan in the garbage or flush it down the toilet.

If you cannot find a medicine take-back program, the FDA recommends reading the bottle label carefully for any instructions about how to properly dispose of the medication. You can mix the medicine with dirt, kitty litter, or coffee grounds and place them together in a sealed container, which you can then throw away in your household disposal unit.

When done with a prescription of Eletriptan, you can dispose of the empty bottle in your usual garbage, but you should first be sure to scratch out all of your personal details on the container before doing so.

Summary

In summary, Eletriptan is a drug used for the treatment of migraine headaches, taken as soon as a migraine has started.

Eletriptan does not prevent migraines, but lessens their effects once they occur. Eletriptan should be taken as needed, and is not used regularly to treat or prevent chronic migraines. It cannot lessen the amount of migraines a person has.

There are a number of more common side effects that you may experience when taking Eletriptan. Other side effects may be more serious. Talk to your doctor about any side effects you experience, as only he or she can decide if these side effects are indicative of a serious problem.

Eletriptan is taken orally, and can be taken with or without food. It should only be taken during a migraine (as soon as possible once symptoms begin showing).

The exact dosage you take is specific to you. A doctor can help determine and change your dosage until you find a dosage that best suits you. Never take more than 80 mg total of Eletriptan in 24 hours.

Treating more than three migraines using the recommended dosage within a 30-day timeframe has not been tested. If you need to treat more than three migraines in a 30-day period or have already done so, speak to your doctor.

In elderly patients, the dosage may need to be adjusted. Elderly patients generally should take the lowest possible dosage.

It is possible to overdose on Eletriptan. Alert medical professionals immediately and call 911 if the person who has overdosed is unresponsive. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of overdose before taking Eletriptan.

Eletriptan may interact poorly with a variety of other medications. Before starting Eletriptan, you should talk to your doctor about what other medications you are taking and whether Eletriptain is safe or the right choice to take with those medications.

Tell your doctor before taking Eletriptan if you have ever had a heart attack, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, circulation problems, blood clots, are overweight, smoke, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease, liver disease, blood clotting in the legs.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before taking Eletriptan. Also tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed. Eletriptan can pass through breastmilk and potentially be harmful to nursing babies.

You should not drink alcohol when taking Eletriptan. Some grapefruit products may interact with Eletriptan, and you should avoid grapefruit products or talk to your doctor about consuming grapefruit products before taking Eletriptan.

Eletriptan should be stored in a safe place at room temperature, out of the reach of children.