Q. I have had chronic daily headaches and migraines with aura for years. I also have fibromyalgia, TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome) disorder and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). All of these involve chronic pain. I take Relpax® for the migraines, which helps a lot with the aura and works okay for the headache. I also take Cymbalta® for depression, but haven’t noticed any pain relief from it. The only other medication I seem to tolerate is Advil®. Since I have a headache “24-7”, with no beginning or ending, I never really know what causes it. How many pain relievers (like Advil) do you have to take to get a rebound headache? I never take more than two a day, but I wonder if taking them for several days makes my headache worse. I want to do anything I can to prevent an already difficult situation from getting worse. Continue Reading
In further news about the potential risks of some pharmaceuticals, a recent study of 120,000 migraineurs found that people with heart conditions, who should not take certain migraine medications called triptans, had been prescribed the medications anyway. Continue Reading
Taking the triptan medications eletriptan (Relpax®) or sumatriptan (Imitrex®) before menstruation may reduce the severity and duration of menstrual migraine attacks, and possibly prevent them altogether. Triptans are usually taken to stop migraine attacks, but some healthcare providers use them as “mini-preventives” to ward off attacks. A recent study compared the effect of the two triptans, with half of the 90 women enrolled receiving eletriptan and half receiving sumatriptan. Continue Reading
All questions are answered by:
Richard Wenzel, PharmD
Diamond Headache Clinic Inpatient Unit
St. Josephýs Hospital, Chicago, IL
Perhaps more than any group of medications, the triptans have contributed to the improved recognition and treatment of migraine and other types of headache. Introduced in the United States in 1993, these drugs have been an important catalyst for research, advanced healthcare professionalsý understanding of migraine, and offered an effective drug option to halt attacks, all of which ultimately benefitted thousands of migraine sufferers.
There are now seven triptans available in the U.S. The triptans appear to act in migraine by binding to selected receptors for serotonin found in the blood vessels (5HT1B) and nerve endings (5HT1D). By binding to these receptors, triptans keep migraines from developing or cause them to end. Continue Reading
Relpax® (eletriptan hydrobromide) is used for the acute treatment of migraine. Relpax® is in the class of medications known as triptans. More than 9,000 patients participated in the clinical trials and they treated in excess of 70,000 migraine attacks. Relpax® was effective in relieving migraine pain and the associated symptoms of nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Side effects include fatigue, somnolence (sleepiness), nausea and dizziness. Adverse events with Relpax® are similar to adverse events for the triptan class of medications.