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All about: Naratriptan

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Amerge

Category

  • Antimigraine agent

Description

Naratriptan (NAR-a-trip-tan) is used to treat severe migraine headaches. Many people find that their headaches go away completely after they take naratriptan. Other people find that their headaches are much less painful, and that they are able to go back to their normal activities even though their headaches are not completely gone. Naratriptan often relieves symptoms that occur together with a migraine headache, such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to sound.

Naratriptan is not an ordinary pain reliever. It should not be used to relieve any kind of pain other than migraine headaches.

Naratriptan may cause serious side effects in some people, especially people who have heart or blood vessel disease. Be sure that you discuss with your doctor the risks of using this medicine as well as the good that it can do.

Naratriptan is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Oral
  • Tablets (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For naratriptan, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to naratriptan. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Naratriptan has not been studied in pregnant women. However, in some animal studies, naratriptan caused harmful effects to the fetus. These unwanted effects usually occurred when naratriptan was given in amounts that were large enough to cause harmful effects in the mother.

Breast-feeding—Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—This medicine has been tested in a limited number of children 12 years of age or older. In effective doses, the medicine has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.

Older adults—Although there is no specific information comparing the use of naratriptan in the elderly with use in other age groups, use of this medicine is not recommended in older adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine, especially other prescription medicine for migraine headaches or depression.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of naratriptan. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Angina (chest pain) or
  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • High blood pressure or
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease or
  • Stroke (history of)—The chance of side effects may be increased. Heart or blood vessel disease and high blood pressure sometimes do not cause any symptoms, so some people do not know that they have these problems. Before deciding whether you should use naratriptan, your doctor may need to do some tests to make sure that you do not have any of these conditions.

Proper Use of This Medicine

Do not use naratriptan for a headache that is different from your usual migraines . Instead, check with your doctor.

To relieve your migraine as soon as possible, use naratriptan as soon as the headache pain begins. Even if you get warning signals of a coming migraine (an aura), you should wait until the headache pain starts before using naratriptan.

Lying down in a quiet, dark room for a while after you use this medicine may help relieve your migraine.

Ask your doctor ahead of time about any other medicine you may take if naratriptan does not work. After you take the other medicine, check with your doctor as soon as possible . Headaches that are not relieved by naratriptan are sometimes caused by conditions that need other treatment.

If you feel much better after a dose of naratriptan, but your headache comes back or gets worse after a while, you may use more naratriptan. However, use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, and do not use it more often, than directed . Using too much naratriptan may increase the chance of side effects.

Your doctor may direct you to take another medicine to help prevent headaches. It is important that you follow your doctor's directions, even if your headaches continue to occur . Headache-preventing medicines may take several weeks to start working. Even after they do start working, your headaches may not go away completely. However, your headaches should occur less often, and they should be less severe and easier to relieve. This can reduce the amount of naratriptan or other pain medicines that you need. If you do not notice any improvement after several weeks of headache-preventing treatment, check with your doctor.

Dosing—The dose of naratriptan will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of naratriptan. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For migraine headaches:
      • Adults—1 or 2.5 mg as a single dose. If the migraine comes back after being relieved, another dose may be taken four hours after the last dose. Do not take more than 5 mg in any twenty-four-hour period (one day).
        Patients with kidney or liver disease should take less than 2.5 mg as a single dose once daily and should not exceed 2.5 mg in a twenty-four-hour period.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children since overdose is especially dangerous in children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Do not store tablets in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Drinking alcoholic beverages can make headaches worse or cause new headaches to occur. People who suffer from severe headaches should probably avoid alcoholic beverages, especially during a headache.

Some people feel drowsy or dizzy during or after a migraine, or after taking naratriptan to relieve a migraine. As long as you are feeling drowsy or dizzy, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert .

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur :

More common

Chest pain (severe); heaviness, tightness, or pressure in chest, throat, and/or neck; sensation of burning, warmth, heat, numbness, tightness, or tingling

Less common or rare

Convulsions (seizures); irregular heartbeat; slow heartbeat

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. Some of the following effects, such as nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, and general feeling of illness or tiredness, often occur during or after a migraine, even when naratriptan has not been used. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Dizziness; drowsiness; increased tiredness; nausea and/or vomiting

Less common or rare

Acne; anxiety; blurred vision; bone or skeletal pain; change in taste sensation; chills and/or fever; confusion; constipation; diarrhea; difficulty sleeping; eye problems; fainting; fluid imbalance; increased thirst; itching of the skin; joint pain; mood or mental changes; muscle or joint stiffness, tightness, or rigidity; muscle pain or spasms; pounding heartbeat; restlessness; skin rash; stomach discomfort and/or pain; sudden large increase in frequency and amount of urine; trembling or shaking of hands or feet; unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 07/07/1998

The information contained in the Thomson Healthcare (Micromedex) products as delivered by Drugs.com is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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