Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood pressure: Eletriptan may increase blood pressure. If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, do not take eletriptan.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Eletriptan may cause dizziness or drowsiness affecting your ability to safely drive or operate machinery. Avoid these and other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Headache type: Eletriptan should only be used where there is a clear diagnosis of migraine headache.
Heart and blood vessel problems: This medication can cause serious heart and blood vessel problems, including heart attack, stroke, and extremely high blood pressure that requires emergency treatment. If you have heart disease or a history of heart disease, do not take eletriptan (see "Who should not take this medication?" above). Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
It is strongly recommended that you not use eletriptan if you are at risk for, but have not been diagnosed with, heart disease, unless an examination shows that you do not have heart disease. People at risk for heart disease include those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or a strong family history of heart disease; people who smoke or are obese; women in early or natural menopause; and men over 40 years old. If you belong to one of these groups of people, your doctor may also recommend regular heart checkups while you are taking this medication.
Kidney disease: If you have decreased kidney function, doses of more than 20 mg of eletriptan daily should be avoided, as this medication may cause severe increases in blood pressure.
Liver disease: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication. If you have severely reduced liver function, do not use eletriptan.
Medication overuse headaches: As with other pain relief medications, overuse of eletriptan may lead to medication overuse headaches, or "rebound headaches," where the headache returns as the medication wears off. Avoid taking more of this medication than is recommended by your doctor. If you experience more frequent headaches, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Seizures: There have been rare reports of seizures experienced by people taking this medication. Most of these people had a previous history of epilepsy or medical conditions that increase the risk of seizures. If you have a history of epilepsy or other condition that increases your risk of seizure, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Serotonin syndrome: This medication may cause a rare but potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome, especially when used with other medications that increase serotonin levels (e.g., fluoxetine, paroxetine, venlafaxine). Get immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as:
- fast heart rate
- increased body temperature
- lack of coordination
- overactive reflexes
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking eletriptan, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children and adolescents:The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children and adolescents less than 18 years of age. Its use by this age group is not recommended.
Seniors: People over 65 years of age who take eletriptan experience a greater increase in blood pressure than younger people. Experience with eletriptan in people over 65 years of age is limited and its use is not recommended for this age group.