At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Naramig® is a headache medication that helps reduce the pain caused by a migraine, a type of headache that can cause extreme pain, disorientation, nausea or vomiting. It is the brand name for a drug called naratriptan hydrochloride, which helps shrink the blood vessels and reduces the throbbing or burning sensations this headache can cause. However, it will not prevent it from coming back — it only helps reduce the pain from an occurring migraine attack.
More specifically, this drug is referred to as a serotonin agonist, which acts as a replacement for serotonin, a neurotransmitter and vasoconstrictor. When this drug enters the brain, it triggers the receptors in the brain that are normally triggered by serotonin, which causes the blood vessels to shrink. This helps stop the migraine from stimulating the pain receptors, which can make the headache more manageable.
There are certain limits, however. For example, Naramig® tends to be more effective when taken during the beginning of a migraine. It can also be used during a migraine aura, a term used to describe a range of symptoms that occur before the onset of a migraine. These symptoms are entirely unique — if any symptoms occur repeatedly before a migraine, this is most likely an aura. Naramig® can help reduce the initial pain when it is used during an aura but cannot prevent the migraine from occurring.
Its inability to prevent migraines is why it is also used with other drugs, such as those that prevent or reduce the frequency of migraines. Antiseizure drugs, beta-blockers and antidepressants are effective for some people. These drugs — and Naramig® — can cause certain side effects that could result in other health problems, however, many of which affect blood flow.
The reason why these drugs can affect blood flow is due to the shrinking of the blood vessels, which makes it harder for blood to pass through the vessels smoothly. When the blood vessels are expanded, blood can flow more easily, reducing pressure on the arteries and veins. Compressing these veins increases pressure, however, which increases a person's total blood pressure. There is also a higher likelihood clots can get trapped in these compressed vessels compared to regular-size vessels.
These effects can be serious, especially for those with pre-existing blood pressure or heart problems. As such, people with high blood pressure may not be able to take Naramig®; the drug also is not recommended for those with high cholesterol because they are more likely to develop clots, which can cut off blood flow. Blood clots are serious and can trigger a stroke or heart attack.