Active Ingredients

Frovatriptan – Effect, Application & Risks


The active ingredient frovatriptan is a serotonin receptor antagonist . The drug belongs to the triptan category and is approved for the treatment of acute migraine attacks . In addition, the drug frovatriptan is also used in some cases for the preventive therapy of cluster headaches .

What is frovatriptan?

Originally, the drug Frovatriptan was produced by the manufacturer Vernalis. It is currently available in Germany from the pharmaceutical manufacturers Kohlpharma and Berlin-Chemie. The active substance frovatriptan is generally subject to prescription.

The substance is a so-called triptan and, from a structural point of view, appears as a ring-closed derivative. Its structure is also similar to the hormone serotonin . The drug frovatriptan has an antagonistic effect on the serotonin receptors.

Pharmacological action

Basically, the active ingredient frovatriptan is a strong antagonist for the receptors of the neurological messenger substance serotonin. The substance acts exactly on the 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptors. These are found in the blood vessels of the brain and in the presynaptic area of ​​neurons .

In the majority of cases, the drug Frovatriptan is used to treat acute migraines. If the drug frovatriptan is taken during such an attack, the corresponding receptors are activated. This affects the blood vessels in the brain and reduces the production of special inflammatory substances. With the stimulation of the 5-HT1B receptors, however, various cardiovascular side effects are also possible, which must be weighed up before using the drug.

The half-life of the active ingredient frovatriptan is relatively long at around 26 hours. This makes the substance the longest-acting triptan. For this reason, the drug is more effective in reducing the risk of recurrent migraine attacks than treatment with other types of triptans.

In addition, the drug leads to activation of the 5-HT7 receptors when used in high doses. In this context, fewer side effects were expected, but this has not yet been confirmed.

The bioavailability of the drug frovatriptan is between 20 and 30 percent. The substance is primarily metabolized in the liver . Later, the active ingredient is excreted from the human organism for the most part renally, i.e. via the kidneys .

The drug frovatriptan reduces pain by binding to various serotonin receptors. It activates significantly more receptors than other triptans. By attaching the drug to these receptors, the cerebral vessels dilate, improving blood flow and relieving the pain associated with migraines.

Medical Application & Use

From a chemical point of view, the drug Frovatriptan is one of the triptans. As such, it is used in the majority of cases as part of the therapy of acute migraine attacks. The drug frovatriptan unfolds its pain-relieving effects.

The active ingredient can also be used for other types of headaches . Frovatriptan is also used to prevent cluster headaches. Basically, the drug frovatriptan is taken orally in the form of tablets.

Risks & side effects

As part of the treatment with frovatriptan, attention should be paid to various undesirable side effects or other symptoms. Side effects occur with different frequencies and in different combinations, varying from person to person. Basically, the active ingredient frovatriptan is a prescription drug. Before prescribing, the attending physician carefully weighs up whether the potential side effects are justifiable in the individual case or whether the risk of complications is too high.

The most common side effects of frovatriptan include nausea , indigestion , and abdominal pain . Headaches, dry mouth , dizziness and paresthesias in the limbs are also possible. Under certain circumstances, the sense of touch is affected and there is severe tiredness . In some cases, patients also experience hot flashes , reddening of the skin and profuse sweating .

People who take the drug frovatriptan complain less frequently of disturbances in taste perception , tremor , lethargy and reduced ability to concentrate . Sometimes the muscles contract involuntarily .

Feelings of pressure in the chest area, which are similar to those of angina pectoris , are less common. However, this is a relatively rare side effect of the drug frovatriptan. The reason for this lies in an influence on the coronary vessels . Some patients also have high blood pressure ( high blood pressure ).

In addition, some potential interactions with other substances must be considered while taking the drug frovatriptan. Frovatriptan should not be taken together with the substance ergotamine , since the risk of coronary spasms (spasms of the coronary arteries) increases. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors and St. John’s wort should not be used at the same time as frovatriptan. Because these substances enhance the effect of the drug frovatriptan. In addition, it is strongly discouraged to take it together with MAO inhibitors.

Contraindications for treatment with the drug frovatriptan are, for example, hypersensitivity to the substance, high blood pressure and liver dysfunction . Caution is also required in the event of a heart attack or vascular diseases.

Frovatriptan is not suitable for treating some rare types of migraine. These include, for example, basilar migraine, ophthalmoplegic and familial hemiplegic migraine. Any side effects that occur should always be reported to the doctor treating you.

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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.