By Ortho-McNeil

What is this medication for?

Almotriptan belongs to the class of medications called 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonists. Almotriptan is used to treat migraine headaches with or without aura (warning signs that occur before the headache begins). It is not used to prevent migraine headaches or to treat any other type of headache caused by other conditions.

Migraine headaches are thought to be caused by the swelling of the blood vessels in the head. Almotriptan works by reducing the swelling. Almotriptan eliminates or reduces the symptoms of migraine, including headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Axert® is available as:

  • tablets
    • 6.25 mg
    • 12.5 mg
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose for adults and adolescents age 12 to 17 years is one 6.25 mg or 12.5 mg tablet taken at the first sign of headache. If the headache improves and then returns, the dose may be repeated after 2 hours, but no more than 2 doses of 12.5 mg tablets should be taken within a 24-hour period (i.e., no more than 25 mg in any 24-hour period).

If you have no pain relief after taking the first dose, do not take a second dose without first talking with your doctor. If you need to treat more than 4 headaches in a 30-day period, talk with your doctor.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is very important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use higher doses than those prescribed by your doctor. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take almotriptan if you:

  • are allergic to almotriptan or any of the ingredients of the medication
  • are experiencing other types of headache such as a hemiplegic or basilar-type migraine
  • are taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) or have taken them within the past 2 weeks
  • have a history of heart disease (for example, angina pectoris, a history of heart attack, or silent ischemia)
  • have cerebrovascular (e.g., stroke or transient ischemic attacks) or peripheral vascular syndromes (e.g., ischemic bowel disease, Raynaud's syndrome), valvular heart disease, or an abnormal heart rhythm
  • have taken another selective serotonin agonist (e.g., sumatriptan, naratriptan) or an ergotamine-containing or ergot-type medication (e.g., dihydroergotamine, methysergide) within the past 24 hours
  • have uncontrolled high blood pressure
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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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