Axert : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Axert (Almotriptan) is used to treat the symptoms of migraines (severe, throbbing headaches that are sometimes accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to sound and light). Axert is in a class of medications called selective serotonin receptor agonists. It works by narrowing the blood vessels around the brain, preventing pain signals from being sent to the brain, and blocking the release of certain natural substances that cause pain, nausea, and other migraine symptoms. Axert does not prevent migraine attacks or reduce the number of headaches you have.
How should this medicine be used?
Axert (Almotriptan) comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken at the first sign of a migraine. If your symptoms improve after taking Axert but return after 2 hours or more, you can take a second tablet. However, if your symptoms do not improve after taking Axert, do not take a second tablet before calling your doctor. Your doctor will tell you the maximum number of tablets you can take in a 24-hour period. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you don’t understand. Take Axert exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You can take your first dose of Axert in a doctor’s office or other medical facility where they can monitor you for serious reactions.
Call your doctor if your headaches do not improve or occur more often after taking Axert.
If you take Axert more often or for longer than recommended, your headaches may get worse or they may occur more often. You should not take Axert or any other headache medicine for more than 10 days a month. Call your doctor if you need to take Axert to treat more than four headaches in a 1 month period.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Axert,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Axert, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Axert tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Do not take Axert if you have taken any of the following medications in the past 24 hours: other selective serotonin receptor agonists such as eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex, in Treximet) or zolmitriptan (Zomig); or ergot-type medications such as bromocriptine (Parlodel), cabergoline, dihydroergotamine (DHE 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Cafergot, Ergomar, Wigraine), methylergonovine (Metisehergidaide) ) and pergolide (Permax).
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking, have recently stopped taking, or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: acetaminophen (Tylenol); aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); clarithromycin (Biaxin); indinavir (Crixivan); ; nefazodone (Serzone); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, in Symbyax), fluvoxamine, paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft); selective serotonin / norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), sibutramine (Meridia), and venlafaxine (Effexor); troleandomycin (TAO); and zafirlukast (Accolate). Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the following medicines or if you stopped taking them in the last week: antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); and ritonavir (Norvir). Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the following medications or if you stopped taking them in the past 2 weeks: monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl), and tranylcypromine (Parnate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease; a heart attack; angina (chest pain); irregular heartbeat; stroke or “mini stroke”; o circulatory problems such as varicose veins, blood clots in the legs, Raynaud’s disease (problems with blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears and nose) or ischemic bowel disease (bloody diarrhea and stomach pain caused due to decreased blood flow to the intestines). Your doctor may tell you not to take Axert.
- Tell your doctor if you smoke or are overweight; if you have or have ever had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or kidney or liver disease; if you have gone through menopause (life change); or if any family member has or has ever had heart disease or a stroke.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you plan to be sexually active while taking this drug, talk to your doctor about effective birth control. If you become pregnant while taking Axert, call your doctor.
- You should know that Axert may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Talk to your doctor about your headache symptoms to make sure they are caused by a migraine. Axert should not be used to treat hemiplegic or basilar migraine or headaches caused by other conditions (such as cluster headaches).
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor about drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Axert may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- dry mouth
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in the chest, throat, neck, or jaw
- slow or difficult speech
- weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- sudden or severe stomach pain
- bloody diarrhea
- rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- breaking out in a cold sweat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- paleness or blue color of the fingers and toes
- pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
Axert may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor. You must check your blood pressure regularly.
You should keep a headache diary noting when you have headaches and when you take Axert.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.