Frovatriptan is a medication prescribed to treat migraine headaches. It can be used for migraines that occur with or without aura. Frovatriptan is sometimes known by its brand name Migard.
- Frovatriptan is taken to relieve the symptoms of a migraine
- Frovatriptan does not prevent migraines from occurring and should only be taken when a migraine occurs
- Frovatriptan is sometimes known by its brand name Migard
- Frovatriptan is part of the triptan medication family. Triptans are commonly used to treat migraines
- Frovatriptan can make you feel sleepy, so you must not drive or use heavy machinery if this occurs
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Frovatriptan Work?
Migraines are caused by a change in the chemicals within the brain. This causes the brain to send out confused signals which leads to a severe headache and nausea or vomiting (feeling sick or being sick).
Frovatriptan is a serotonin 5HT1 receptor agonist, a form of triptan. Triptans increase the release of serotonin, a natural substance found within the brain. The increase in serotonin helps to minimise the pain of a migraine and any associated sickness.
Frovatriptan works best if it is taken at the first sign of a migraine. This may be during the first stage of an aura, or as soon as you first notice the pain.
Frovatriptan is only taken when a migraine headache is starting, as it does not work to prevent migraines.
How is Frovatriptan Taken?
Frovatriptan is a tablet that should be swallowed with some water. It can be taken on an empty stomach if you have not eaten recently, but will also work if you have recently had a meal or snack.
Dosage of Frovatriptan
Each tablet contains 2.5mg of frovatriptan. The first tablet should be taken as soon as your migraine symptoms start.
If the migraine persists or recurs after the first tablet, a second tablet can be taken as long as at least 2 hours have passed since the first tablet.
You must not take more than 2 tablets (5mg) in a 24 hour period.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like all medications, frovatriptan can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Indigestion or stomach pain
- Feeling tired or sleepy – you must not drive or operate heavy machinery if this occurs
- Changes to your eyesight
- Feeling dizzy.
If any of the above side effects are troublesome, you should speak to your doctor for further advice.
Occasionally, some people notice chest discomfort, flushing, feeling hot, or tingling sensations after taking frovatriptan. These side effects usually settle quickly, but if they persist you should stop taking frovatriptan and speak to your doctor.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Frovatriptan may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your doctor if you:
- Have heart disease, angina, or have ever had a heart attack
- Have high blood pressure
- Have peripheral arterial disease (blood vessel disease in the peripheries such as your arms or legs)
- Have ever had a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischaemic attack – TIA)
- Have liver disease
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to frovatriptan, another triptan medication, or any other medicine
- Are older than 65 or younger than 18
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
Some medications can interact with frovatriptan. You may be advised that frovatriptan will not suit you if you already take:
- Another medication for migraine including ergotamine or methysergide
- Antidepressants including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Antidepressants including SSRIs such as fluoxetine, citalopram and sertraline
- Fluvoxamine for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Some oral contraceptive medications
- St John’s Wort (a common herbal remedy used for low mood).