Active Ingredients

Eletriptan – Effect, Application & Risks


Eletriptan is a medicinal substance from the group of triptans (5-HT1 agonists). It is mainly used to treat acute headaches and migraines . Electriptan works by reducing serotonin levels in the brain .

What is eletriptan?

The active ingredient eletriptan is contained in numerous migraine medications. The drug belongs to the group of triptans. As such, it is primarily used to treat migraines and severe headaches.

Chemically, elecriptan is a serotonin receptor antagonist . Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the brain that is responsible, among other things, for narrowing of the blood vessels .

Electriptan is described as subtype 5-HAT 1B/1D and was first patented in 1992. Replax® and similar medications with this active ingredient are generally considered to require a prescription in the European Union. They can therefore not be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. The drug is sold as film-coated tablets, each containing either 20 mg or 40 mg of eletriptan.

Pharmacological action

As a subtype of a serotonin antagonist, elecriptan acts primarily on the serotonin receptors in the brain. The drug also exhibits affinity for 5-HAT 1F subtype receptors, which some parts of the scientific literature have suggested contributes to its effectiveness. 5-HAT 1F receptors are found on cerebral blood vessels as well as on neurons .

Eleptriptan triggers a noticeable and measurable reduction in serotonin release. This means that the body’s own blood vessels cannot constrict any further and thus ensures rapid relief from the headache.

In addition, elecriptan also blocks the release of other pain-triggering inflammatory mediators such as substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptides. As a result, the migraine-typical headache of those affected decreases significantly.

Medical Application & Use

Electriptan is found in a group of drugs called serotonin receptor agonists. Drugs containing the active ingredient block, among other things, the release of serotonin in the brain.

They are used to treat migraine headaches. They are suitable for headaches with or without an aura. The aura summarizes visual disturbances , numbness and speech disturbances that can occur before the onset of a migraine attack.

Risks & side effects

Electriptan can cause side effects . In the case of existing intolerances, it must not be taken under any circumstances.

Common side effects (affects 1 to 10 users in 100) are: chills , general weakness , chest discomfort, general upset stomach ( indigestion ), nausea , general feeling of stiffness in the muscles ([[muscle tension tension]]), sweating , reddening of the skin , back pain and muscle weakness .

Occasionally, shortness of breath , yawning , swelling of the face or hands and feet, increased sense of touch , blurred vision, eye pain , dry or watery eyes, frequent urination, and increased urinary volume or urinary problems .

Rare side effects, however, are asthma , hives , swelling of the tongue , shock , swelling of the lymph nodes , mood swings , voice changes, heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding in women and a slow heartbeat .

Ingestion is prohibited if there are severe functional impairments of the kidneys or liver , high blood pressure, heart problems in the past (e.g. angina pectoris , heart attack or cardiac arrhythmias ), if the blood flow is restricted , if medicines such as ergotamine are taken shortly before the desired intake have been taken or have had a stroke in the past .

Electriptan can cause significant interactions with other drugs. It should not be taken at all if ergotamine-containing or ergot-like medications were taken 24 hours previously. Interactions also exist with medicines used to treat HIV infection and AIDS (e.g. indinavir , ritonavir or nelfinavir ) , medicines used to treat fungal infections (e.g. ketoconazole or itraconazole ), medicines used to treat bacterial infections (e.g. clarithromycin , josamycin , or erythromycin).

Taking medicines containing elecriptan for several weeks can lead to a long-lasting headache.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.