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What is Eletriptan?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Eletriptan is a prescription medication used to treat symptoms of migraine headaches, such as pain and sensitivity to light and sound. This medication does not prevent migraines and will not reduce the number of headaches a person has. Instead, eletriptan is typically taken at the first signs of a migraine and works by reducing the amount of swelling in the blood vessels of the brain. Some potential side effects of eletriptan may include heartburn, stomach pain, or drowsiness. Some other medications, including herbal treatments, may interfere with the effectiveness of eletriptan.

Nausea or sensitivity to light and sound often accompany the pain of a migraine headache. These symptoms often appear before the pain begins. Eletriptan should be taken at the first sign of any of these symptoms. If the symptoms do not subside after two hours or if the symptoms disappear and return after at least two hours, a second dose may be taken. If the symptoms still do not improve, a doctor should be consulted. It is not recommended to take more than two doses of this medication in any 24-hour period, so the doctor may prescribe a different medication or recommend another type of treatment.

The patient's doctor should be aware of all prescription or non-prescription medications being taken, including any herbal medications. Some types of medication may interfere with the effectiveness of eletriptan, so it is important that the prescribing physician knows everything the patient is taking. In some cases, the dosages may need to be changed, or another type of migraine medication may be more appropriate. The female patient should tell the doctor if she is pregnant or may become pregnant before using this medication.

There are some potential side effects when taking eletriptan to treat migraines. Most of these side effects are mild and do not prevent the patient from successfully using this medication. Any bothersome side effects should be discussed with the physician. Drowsiness, dizziness, or upset stomach are among the most commonly reported side effects, and although quite uncommon, some more serious side effects are also possible. Chest pain or sudden severe stomach pain should be considered a medical emergency, and the patient should report to the nearest emergency room right away. An allergic reaction to eletriptan is rare, but if the patient experiences difficulty breathing or swelling of the face or throat, immediate medical assistance is necessary, as this is a potentially life-threatening complication.

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