Axert and Heart Problems
There are numerous possible side effects of Axert, and heart problems are among them. During previous clinical studies, heart problems (such as a heart attack, changes in heart rhythm, and cardiac arrest), were possible side effects of Axert. However, this risk of heart problems is greater in people who have a history of heart disease and in those who have risk factors for heart disease. People with heart disease should not take Axert and people with risk factors for heart disease should use the drug with caution.
An Overview of Axert and Heart ProblemsAxert® (almotriptan maleate) is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches. It is part of a class of migraine medications known as 5-HT agonists (or more commonly just "triptans").
Some people may experience side effects during treatment with Axert, and heart problems are among these possible side effects. For this reason, people with a history of heart problems should not take Axert. People who have risk factors for heart problems should use Axert with caution.
Heart Problems With Axert -- What's the Risk?It is thought that heart problems with Axert occur because Axert can cause the blood vessels of the heart (known as coronary arteries) to spasm. This narrows the blood vessels and decreases the amount of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood that is able to get to the heart muscle.
In clinical studies that looked at both the benefits and risks of Axert, heart problems were seen in rare cases (less than 1 percent of the people taking the medication). This risk however, was greater in those who had a history of heart disease and those who had risk factors for heart disease. Heart problems were often quite serious and, in some cases, even resulted in loss of life. Some of the heart problems seen with Axert include:
- A temporary lack of oxygen to the heart (myocardial ischemia)
- A heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- The heart stopping (cardiac arrest).