Headache Home > Side Effects of Triptans

Common side effects of triptans include warm or cold sensations, dry mouth, and dizziness. Triptan side effects are generally mild and easy to treat, but in some cases, they may be more serious. Some of these more serious side effects include severe chest pain, bloody diarrhea, changes in vision, or shortness of breath.

Triptans Side Effects: An Overview

As with any type of medicine, there are possible side effects with triptans. However, not everyone who takes triptans will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate them well. When people do develop side effects, in many cases they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
There are also several factors that seem to affect the chances of developing side effects, including:
  • The dosage and type of triptan
  • Age
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medicines being taken at the same time.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with triptans. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of triptan side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Triptans

Each triptan has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials in which the side effects seen in a group of people taking the drug are documented and compared to another group not taking the medicine. Based on these studies, some of the most common triptan side effects include:
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Abnormal sensations, such as tingling, burning, or pricking (paresthesia)
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Throat or neck symptoms
  • Warm or cold sensations
  • Feelings of heaviness, pressure, or tightness (especially in the throat, chest, or neck)
  • Flushing (redness of the skin, especially of the face).
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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