Almotriptan is a drug that is mainly used in the treatment of migraines. It belongs to the group of triptans and its chemical structure makes it a so-called 5-HT1 receptor agonist. Like all triptans, the drug is not intended for preventive treatment, but should only be used when the first symptoms of a migraine set in.
Effect and duration of action
Almotriptan works by stimulating the 5-HT1 receptors, which are distributed in many places in the body. Almotriptan works in three different ways. On the one hand, after the drug binds to a 5-HT1 receptor, the vessels that are dilated during a migraine attack are narrowed, which leads to a decrease in the throbbing pain stimulus. In a second step, mediators, which are released from the body during a migraine attack and which cause inflammatory changes, are prevented from being released, which reduces the inflammation. In the third way, almotriptan works by reducing the transmission of pain stimuli via the cerebral cortex, i.e. pain is not felt while taking almotriptan as it is without medication.
In addition to the headache-relieving effect, Almotriptan can often also successfully reduce the often very massive accompanying symptoms of a migraine attack. These include nausea and vomiting, visual disturbances and sensitivity to light. In the best case, no other medication besides almotriptan has to be taken at all. After the ingestion, which should take place immediately after the first headache symptoms, an initial improvement of the symptoms occurs within the first 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Further information on the subject can be found here: Triptans
in the at best the headache disappears completely and no further medication is necessary. In some cases the headache comes back after about 4-6 hours or the accompanying symptoms. When exactly a triptan begins to work depends on the one hand each organism individually off, on the other hand, which preparation was chosen and in which Dosage form it is applied. Triptans that are taken as tablets usually start a little more slowly than e.g. Triptans, which are taken as a nasal spray.
Almotriptan is usually quite well tolerated. However, there are some side effects and drug interactions that should be considered. Because the drug causes the blood vessels to contract, the blood vessels in the heart may also contract, which can lead to what is known as an angina pectoris attack. In very pronounced cases this can result in a heart attack.
Furthermore, while taking a triptan, drops in blood pressure and a rapid pulse have been found.Sometimes there can also be neurological concomitant symptoms with almotriptan. Paresthesias and numbness of arms, legs and hands or fingers should be mentioned here. Dizziness is relatively common when taking almotriptan. This is mostly a mixture of vertigo and vertigo. This is probably also due to a drug-related constriction of the blood vessels.
Sometimes a paradoxical reaction can also occur with almotriptan, i.e. the drug triggers headaches, although it was supposed to reduce them. In those cases in which one or more of the side effects occur, the drug should be discontinued. Furthermore, the combined intake with other medications should also be considered. Almotriptan should not be taken in combination with a drug from the group of MAO inhibitors.
This group of drugs is rarely used today in the treatment of major depression. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used more frequently, and they should not be combined with almotriptan either. The reason for this is the danger that the combined intake of SSRIs and almotriptan could lead to a so-called serotin syndrome. This leads to an unnatural accumulation of serotonin in the organism. The symptoms of serotonin syndrome are sweating, feeling sick, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, headache, nausea and vomiting. It is imperative that treatment is rapid, as serotonin syndrome can also develop into a life-threatening condition.
You can find a lot more information under our topic: Serotonin Syndrome
The use of almotriptan is absolutely contraindicated if the patient has one of the following diseases: coronary heart disease, stroke, liver or kidney failure. Furthermore, Almotriptan must not be taken during pregnancy and by breastfeeding women.
As with many other pain relievers, a excessive use to the opposite effect lead in terms of headache. More precisely, it is a paradoxical effect that can result from an excessively long period of intake with almotriptan. Sometimes it is the case that the headache is then only triggered by almotriptan. It also happens that the headache initially improves after taking almotriptan, but then the headache recurs within a few hours, which those affected then again Almotriptan can take hold.
If such symptoms have occurred over long periods of use, weaning the triptan must be considered. A weaning treatment should not at home alone be carried out, rather preferably stationary in a pain clinick. Here you can also use medication to specifically address complaints that arise from weaning from Almotriptan. Most of the time, patients sign up for a triptan weaning treatment who had to take 15 tablets or more a month. After the weaning phase, a new treatment principle must be established, as triptans should not then be taken again.
The main indication for almotriptan is symptomatic migraine. The drug can treat migraine attacks that are either combined with an aura or without aura. As aura is called the migraine accompanying neurological symptoms that are called Harbingers of a migraine attack you can see. These harbingers are mostly unusual hearing noises or visual disturbances as well as a generally uneasy feeling. Patients usually have the feeling “that something is wrong” in advance, but then usually cannot provide any further information. With the visual disturbances it comes to characteristic lightning-like symptoms that restrict the field of vision and last about 10-60 minutes. A short time after the aura appears, the migraine headache begins. Almotriptan should only be taken for migraine-related headaches. Due to its principle of action, the drug is not helpful against tension-related headache. The drug can also be used against cluster headaches.
Almotriptan is dosed using 12.5 mg tablets. You can regardless of meals can be taken whole. The daily dose is also 12.5 mg. A second tablet can be taken if the headache returns within the next 24 hours, but this is a must At least 2 hours after the first tablet be respected. If you experience symptoms while taking almotriptan, you should under no circumstances take a second tablet, but consult a doctor. Almotriptan is allowed not in connection with alcohol be taken, otherwise one Change in drug absorption or breakdown in the body would take place.
Acquisition in the pharmacy
Almotriptan is without a prescription in the pharmacy to acquire. One pack contains 2 tablets of 12.5 mg each. Before taking almotriptan, however, a doctor should be consulted, as Almotriptan is only effective in the case of mirage-related headaches. If you have a strong, unprecedented headache, you should a doctor should also be consulted immediately; just as with very long-lasting headaches.
Almotriptan vs. Naratriptan
Either Naratriptan as well as almotriptan are prescription-free available from the pharmacy. For both drugs, small pack sizes are dispensed, the intake of which should not initially be exceeded. Both preparations are about the same in effect. The onset of action of naratriptan takes place after about an hour, at most after 4 hours. Almotriptan usually works a little earlier. Depending on the patient and organism, it can also be different onset of action the corresponding preparations come.