Almotriptan is used to treat migraine headaches.
Take one tablet as soon as you start to feel a migraine headache develop. Do not take it before the headache begins (for example, during the 'aura phase'), as it may be less effective.
Your chest may feel tight or 'heavy' after taking almotriptan. These sensations do not usually last for long, but if they continue or become intense, do not take any more almotriptan tablets, and let your doctor know as soon as possible.
Almotriptan can make you feel sleepy. If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines.
It is not clear what causes migraine. It is thought that some chemicals in the brain increase in activity, and as a result parts of the brain then send out confused signals which result in the symptoms of migraine.
It is also not clear why people with migraine should develop these chemical changes. Many migraine attacks occur for no apparent reason, but in some people there may be things which trigger an attack, like certain foods or drinks.
Almotriptan is effective in relieving migraine attacks once an attack has started but it does not help prevent headaches or migraine attacks from starting. It works by stimulating the receptors of a chemical in the brain, called serotonin (or 5HT). This eases the symptoms of a migraine.
Other tretament ideas
- It may help to keep a migraine diary. Note down when and where each migraine attack started, what you were doing, and what you had eaten that day. A pattern may emerge, and it may be possible to avoid one or more things that trigger your migraine attacks.
- Almotriptan is used to treat a migraine once it has started, but there are other medicines that are available that may help to prevent you having migraines. If you have migraines frequently, discuss this with your doctor.
- Do not take other migraine treatments, such as other triptans or ergotamine, as well as almotriptan. However, some people may benefit from taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkiller (such as naproxen) as well as almotriptan. Your doctor will advise you about this if it is needed.
- If you find that almotriptan does not relieve your migraine, make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor, as an alternative preparation may be more effective for you.
- If you buy any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with your pharmacist which medicines are safe for you to take.
- Some people who get frequent migraine attacks are in fact getting medication-induced headache. Medication-induced headache (also called medication-overuse headache) is caused by taking painkillers or triptans too often. If you use almotriptan or painkillers on more than two days per week on a regular basis, you may be at risk. You should talk to your doctor if you suspect this.
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about almotriptan and a full list of the unwanted side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take almotriptan exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is usual to take one tablet as soon as you start to feel a migraine headache develop. If your migraine at first improves but then comes back again, you may take another tablet, providing it is at least two hours after you took the first one. Do not take more than two tablets in 24 hours. If your migraine is not eased after taking the first tablet, a further dose is unlikely to work and so do not take a second tablet.
- Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You can take almotriptan before or after meals.
- Almotriptan is meant to be used during a migraine attack, not to stop one from coming on. There is some evidence that taking it too early in a migraine attack may make the treatment less effective. You should wait until you feel mild discomfort (usually, the beginning of the migraine headache) rather than taking it at the aura stage or when you feel that a migraine may be developing.
|Feeling tired, sleepy or dizzy||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple foods|
|Occasionally, some people feel intense tightness or pain in their chest||If this happens, do not take any further tablets and speak with your doctor about it
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking almotriptan it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are aged over 65 years or under 18 years old.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have heart problems or angina, or if you have recently had a heart attack.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have circulation problems.
- If you have problems with your liver or kidneys.
- If you have ever had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (also referred to as a TIA or 'mini-stroke').
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine. It is particularly important that you tell your doctor if you have had a bad reaction to a sulfonamide medicine used to treat an infection.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
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