Migraine and Cluster Headache Medications (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Types of drugs in this class include almotriptan (Axert, Almogran), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge, Naramig), rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT), sumatriptan (Imitrex, Imitrex Nasal, Imigran), and zolmitriptan (Zomig, Zomig-ZMT, Zomig Nasal).
How triptans work: Triptans are used to treat migraine or cluster headaches once they occur. Triptans stimulate serotonin (a chemical needed to transmit various nerve signals to the brain), decrease inflammation, and reverse blood vessel dilation (expansion) around the brain, thereby relieving the migraine or cluster headache symptoms.
Some of the newer triptans, such as eletriptan (Relpax), rizatriptan (Maxalt), and zolmitriptan (Zomig), are considered more selective for the specific serotonin receptor (5-HT1D) than older triptans. The increased affinity for 5-HT1D may result in decreased toxicity.
Who should not use these medications - Individuals with the following conditions should not use triptans:
Use: Triptans are available in a variety of dosage forms designed to be swallowed, dissolved in the mouth, injected under the skin, or sprayed up the nose.
Drug or food interactions
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2016
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
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Although migraine is a term applied to certain headaches with a vascular quality, overwhelming evidence suggests that migraine is a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by varying degrees of recurrent vascular-quality headache, photophobia, sleep disruption, and depression.