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Eletriptan (Systemic)

Brand Names

In the U.S.-

  • Relpax


  • Antimigraine agent


Eletriptan (el-ih-TRIP-tan) is used to treat severe migraine headaches. Many people find that their headaches go away completely after they take eletriptan. 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. Eletriptan often relieves other symptoms that occur together with a migraine headache, such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to sound.

Eletriptan is not an ordinary pain reliever. It will not relieve any kind of pain other than migraine headaches. This medicine is usually used for people whose headaches are not relieved by acetaminophen, aspirin, or other pain relievers.

Eletriptan has caused 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.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • 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 eletriptan, the following should be considered:

Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to eletriptan. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy- Eletriptan has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that eletriptan causes birth defects and other problems. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding- Eletriptan passes into human breast milk. Caution should be used if you are breast feeding. If you are breast feeding, you should discuss the risks and benefits of this medicine with your doctor.

Children- Studies on this medicine have been done only in patients 18 years of age or older, and there is no specific information comparing use of eletriptan in children with use in other age groups.

Teenagers- Studies on this medicine have been done only on a small number of adolescents (11 to 17 years of age). However, eletriptan is not recommended for use in patients younger than 18 years of age.

Older adults- Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. However, eletriptan has been shown to remain in the body longer in elderly patients. It has also been shown to increase blood pressure.

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. When you are taking eletriptan, it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following:

  • CYP3A4 inhibitors (clarithromycin [e.g., Biaxin], itraconazole [e.g., Sporonox], ketoconazole [e.g., Nizoral], nefazodone [e.g., Serzone], nelfinavir [e.g., Viracept], ritonavir [e.g., Norvir], troleandomycin [e.g., Tao])-Do not use eletriptan within 72 hours of taking these medicines.
  • 5****“hydroxytryptamine agonists (almotriptan [e.g., Axert], frovatriptan [e.g., Frova], naratriptan [e.g., Amerge], rizatriptan [e.g., Maxalt], sumatriptan [e.g., Imitrex], zolmitriptan [e.g., Zomig]) or
  • Ergot-containing or ergot-type medicines (bromocriptine [e.g., Parlodel], cabergoline [e.g., Dostinex], dihydroergotamine [e.g., D.H.E. 45, Migranal], ergoloid mesylates [e.g., Hydergine], ergonovine [e.g., Ergotrate], ergotamine [e.g., Bellergal, Cafergot, Wigraine], methylergonovine [e.g., Methergine], methysergide [e.g., Sansert], pergolide [e.g., Permax])-Taking eletriptan within 24 hours of taking these medicines may cause serious heart problems.

Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of eletriptan. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
  • Basilar migraine or
  • Cerebrovascular syndrome, such as
  • Stroke or
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or
  • Coronary artery disease, such as
  • Angina (chest pain) or
  • Decreased blood flow to your heart or
  • Heart attack, history of, or
  • Other heart conditions or
  • Hemiplegic migraine or
  • High blood pressure, not treated or
  • Liver problems, severe or
  • Peripheral vascular disease, such as
  • Bowel disease or
  • Raynaud's syndrome-Eletriptan should not be used if you have any of these conditions.
  • Cerebrovascular event-Eletriptan should be used with caution in patients who have an increased risk of bleeding in the brain, stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
  • Coronary artery disease, predisposition to-Eletriptan and similar medicines may cause serious heart problems, especially if you have a predisposition for heart problems.
  • High blood pressure, treated-Eletriptan may cause high blood pressure in patients already being treated for high blood pressure.
  • Kidney problems-Eletriptan may cause increased blood pressure in patients who have kidney problems.
  • Liver problems, mild or moderate-This could cause higher blood levels of eletriptan.

Proper Use of This Medicine

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

To relieve your migraine as soon as possible, use eletriptan as soon as the headache pain begins.

You may get additional benefit from eletriptan if you lie down in a quiet, dark room after taking eletriptan.

Ask your doctor ahead of time about any other medicine you may take if eletriptan does not work. After you take the other medicine, check with your doctor as soon as possible.

If you feel much better after a dose of eletriptan, but your headache comes back or gets worse after 2 or more hours, you may use one additional dose of eletriptan. Do not take a second tablet if the first did not help your headache at all. 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.


The dose of eletriptan 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 eletriptan. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Follow your doctor's orders for preventing migraine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For migraine headaches:
      • Adults-20 milligrams (mg) or 40 mg as a single dose. If the migraine comes back after being relieved, another dose be taken two hours or more after the first dose. Do not take more than 2 doses in any twenty-four-hour period
      • Children-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.


To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • 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 may make headaches worse or cause new headaches to occur. People who suffer from severe headaches should probably avoid alcoholic beverages.

Call your doctor if your usual dose of eletriptan does not relieve three consecutive headaches, or the frequency or severity of headaches increases.

Call your doctor right away if you have severe chest pains or shortness of breath.

This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert.

Side Effects of This Medicine

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.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Less common
    • Chest pain or tightness;  difficulty swallowing 

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

  • More Common
    • Dizziness;  lack or loss of strength ;  nausea;  sleepiness or unusual drowsiness 

  • Less common
    • Acid or sour stomach;  belching;  burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, ****œpins and needles", or tingling feelings;  dry mouth ;  feeling of warmth;  headache ;  heartburn;  indigestion ;  redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally upper chest;  stomach soreness or discomfort;  stomach upset or pain 

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

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT