What Is Frovatriptan?

Andrew Kirmayer
Andrew Kirmayer

Able to make the blood vessels in the brain narrower, frovatriptan is a medication often used to treat migraine headaches. The drug typically works by inhibiting serotonin, a compound that can trigger the walls of blood vessels to widen. Pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other symptoms of migraines are usually relieved when frovatriptan is taken, while it is generally not recommended as a preventative medication. Doctors typically advise on the proper dosage and may provide other instructions as well. The medication is usually taken as a pill and can have serious side effects which can require immediate medical attention.

Frovatriptan is generally taken once a migraine headache has started. The dosage may depend on a doctor’s instructions, the product label, or the frequency and severity of the headaches; pain sometimes gets worse if too much of the drug is taken. Some manufacturers recommend no more than three doses in a day, while others suggest only two. A second dose is often recommended if the headache continues unabated after the first dose.

For patients taking other medications, or with other medical conditions, the side effects of frovatriptan can be serious. Allergies to ingredients in the medicine can be dangerous, while conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or liver and kidney problems can lead to adverse reactions as well. Side effects can also be exacerbated by medications such as beta blockers and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Pregnant women or those planning to be should generally avoid the drug.

Side effects often include drowsiness or dizziness, while heartburn and stomach pain may occur as well. Severe reactions such as swelling in the mouth and trouble breathing, confusion, and hallucinations can happen too. Other issues sometimes include seizures, heart problems, mood changes, and a blue color in fingers and toes.

If these side effects occur after taking frovatriptan, then immediate medical help may be necessary, while the more typical, less severe ones should be monitored carefully. When mild reactions such as dry mouth or upset stomach do not go a way or get worse, then a physician should usually be contacted. Doctors sometimes perform tests to see whether frovatriptan is working to treat the condition, or if there are side effects that might not be apparent otherwise. The medication is generally recommended for use by adults over 18 years old, and can be unsafe for children.

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