Triptans and Heart Problems
For people with certain heart problems, triptans should not be taken. This includes people with:
- Coronary heart disease (more commonly referred to as just heart disease)
- Stable angina
- Unstable angina
- Variant angina (also known as Prinzmetal's angina).
In general, triptans should also not be taken by people with a history of a heart attack, stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA or "mini-stroke").
Triptans should be used with caution in people with possible risk factors for heart disease. In fact, you should be evaluated for heart disease before taking a triptan if you have heart disease risk factors, such as:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- A family history of heart disease
- Being a man over the age of 40
- Being a postmenopausal woman.
If you have any of these risk factors for heart disease, it is also strongly recommended that you take your first dose of a triptan in your healthcare provider's office (to monitor your heart).
Finally, for anyone taking triptan, contact your healthcare provider or call 911 right away if you have any possible heart attack symptoms (such as chest pain, chest tightness, or shortness of breath).