Headache Home > Axert

A healthcare provider may prescribe Axert to treat migraine headaches. The medicine is not designed to prevent migraines, but it can help to relieve migraine symptoms once they start. Axert comes in a tablet form that should be taken by mouth as soon as the symptoms of a migraine start. A few side effects of the medication include tingling, dry mouth, and nausea.

What Is Axert?

Axert® (almotriptan maleate) is a prescription medication that is used to treat migraine headaches. It will not help to prevent migraines, but it can help to treat a migraine that has already started.
 
(Click Axert Uses for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Axert?

Axert is made by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals.
 

How Does It Work?

Axert is part of a class of migraine medications called 5-HT agonists (or more commonly known as "triptans"). During a migraine headache, some of the blood vessels in the head become dilated (wider than they usually are). Axert works by narrowing these blood vessels, helping them return to their normal state. This action helps to relieve migraine symptoms.
 

Effects

In previous studies, 55.4 percent to 64 percent of people with migraines had no (or mild) pain within two hours of taking Axert tablets, compared to only 33 percent to 40 percent of people who did not take it.
 

When and How to Take Axert

Some general considerations include:
 
  • This medication should be taken by mouth as soon as possible once a migraine starts.
     
  • Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water or other fluids.
     
  • If your headache comes back or does not go away, your healthcare provider may recommend a second dose of Axert after waiting at least two hours from the time you took the first dose. Let your healthcare provider know if the medication does not work completely after one dose.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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