As a vasoconstrictor, analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent of the triptans group, almotriptan is used for the acute treatment of migraine with and without aura. It is not suitable for preventive treatment.
The mode of action is based on the agonism at the serotonin 5-HT1 receptors. Almotriptan is only available since 2009 as a second over-the-counter triptan. Until then, self-medication was limited to naratriptan.
Because of their good benefit-risk ratio, the prescription requirement was abolished for both active ingredients. However, it is still recommended to consult a doctor for persistent headaches over 24 hours and for other complaints.
Almotriptan is taken orally with liquid and is commercially available in tablet form. The bioavailability is 70%. The degradation happens in the liver. The half-life is about 3 - 4 hours. Almotriptan has proven to be well tolerated.
Almotriptan, one of the triptans, has a vasoconstrictive (vasoconstrictor) effect on the blood vessels in the brain directly at the point of pain. Migraine pain is caused by vasodilatory (vasodilator).
Closing the blood vessels with almotriptan not only relieves the pain. The additional complaints, such as nausea, vomiting, noise and photosensitivity, which are frequently complained of in connection with migraine, are also missing. In addition, almotriptan causes the amount of secreted inflammatory messengers to decrease. The first pain relief begins about half an hour after ingestion. The characteristic mechanism of action of almotriptan, however, means that the drug does not help with headaches of other genesis.
Almotriptan can not be used as a prophylactic against migraine attacks. But it does show a good effect, if it is already taken at the beginning of a migraine with a slight headache with some fluid. In this way, the strength and duration of migraine attacks can be influenced much better than in the case of advanced migraine with corresponding moderate or severe pain.
Although there is no complete explanation for the development of migraine, almotriptan is a good choice for therapy. The good compatibility of the active substance is another convincing argument for the prescription of this medicine.
Migraine attacks hardly ever occur in those affected, but are to be regarded as recurring companions. Migraine attacks are often unexpected, with grave consequences for both private and professional life. As an acute treatment Almotriptan therefore provides an effective help. Prevention can not be so.
If a migraine attack occurs, almotriptan should be taken immediately. It was specially developed for a targeted effect on the meningeal blood vessels. There, it inhibits ongoing inflammatory processes and restricts the dilated blood vessels responsible for pain in a migraine. The knowledge of the reliable and rapid onset of almotriptan is an additional relief for the sufferer.
Almotriptan owes its epithet "all-rounder" to its extraordinary therapeutic success. In a survey about two-thirds of the persons reported a significant reduction in pain within the next 2 hours after taking it. About a third of respondents even admitted that they were completely free from pain.
Already after about 30 minutes, a first relief of the pain is felt. In addition, the effect of almotriptan does not diminish over the long-term, and so-called recurrent headache in patients with 18 - 27% on medication with almotriptan was much less common than with alternative medication.
As helpful as almotriptan is for most migraineurs, it should not be taken in cases of hypersensitivity to the active substance and certain diseases.
Contraindications exist for a severe dysfunction of the liver and in certain cardiovascular diseases as well as vascular diseases. It must not be used in combination with ergotamine and ergotamine derivatives or other 5-HT1B / 1D agonists (triptans) as this may easily lead to an increase in the effects.
Taking Almotriptan may cause tiredness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting. Other side effects include: headache, ringing in the ears, dry mouth, tight throat, diarrhea, weakness, muscle and bone pain, chest pain, paresthesia and palpitations.