|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Mol. mass||335.465 g/mol|
|Half life||3–4 hours|
|Legal status||Prescription only|
Almotriptan (trade names: Axert® (US-Canada), Almogran® (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea… ) + also Almotrex® (Italy) and Amignul® (Spain)), is a triptan drug discovered and developed by Almirall for the treatment of migraine headache. It is available in 12.5 mg in most countries and also 6.25 mg in US and Canada.
Almotriptan is prescribed to treat the acute treatment of the
headache phase of migraine attacks with or without aura.
Almotriptan is the only oral triptan approved in the USA for the treatment of migraine in adolescent from 12 to 17 years of age.
Almotriptan is a selective and potent serotonin 5-HT1B/1D agonist. Because of the particular distribution of the 5-HT1B/1D receptors, almotriptan basically constricts the human meningeal arteries; therefore it has a limited effect on arteries supplying blood to the brain, and little effect on cardiac and pulmonary vessels.
Almotriptan has no clinically relevant pharmacokinetic drug interactions and is metabolized through different pathways, requiring no dosage adjustment in patients with non-severe renal or hepatic impairment. There are also no clinically relevant differences between men and women or between the young and the elderly.
The efficacy of almotriptan in the acute treatment of migraine attacks was established in clinical trials involving more than 3000 patients who were administered 12.5 mg and it was found to have a fast onset of action and high efficacy to reach pain free status (see references). Almotriptan relieves nausea, vomiting, photophobia (light hypersensitivity) and phonophobia (sound hypersensitivity) associated with migraine attacks pain. In the recent Act When Mild study, it was proven that taking almotriptan at the first sign of a migraine attack, while pain is still mild, provides optimal outcomes to ensure patients’ suffering is minimised. (see references)
(see SmPC) Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of
As with other 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists, almotriptan should not be used in patients with a history, symptoms or signs of ischaemic heart disease (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, documented silent ischaemia, Prinzmetal’s angina) or severe hypertension and uncontrolled mild or moderate hypertension.
Patients with a previous cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Peripheral vascular disease.
Concomitant administration with ergotamine, ergotamine derivatives (including methysergide) and other 5-HT1B/1D agonists is contraindicated.
Patients with severe hepatic impairment.
(see SmPC) Almotriptan has proved to have an adverse effects profile similar to placebo when used following the summary of product characteristics instructions (see references).
• 1. Early vs. non-early intervention in acute migraine-'Act
when Mild (AwM)'. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of
almotriptan. Goadsby PJ et al, Cephalalgia. 2008
• 2. Triptans (serotonin, 5-HT1B/1D agonists) in migraine:
detailed results and methods of a meta-analysis of 53 trials. MD
Ferrari et al., (Cephalalgia 2002; 22:633-658)
• 3. Almotriptan is effective and well tolerated in migraine
patients who respond poorly to oral sumatriptan: A double-blind,
randomized trial, Diener HC (Headache. 2005
• 4. Triptans and CNS side effects: pharmacokinetic and
metabolic mechanisms. DW Dodick et al. Cephalalgia. 2004
• 5. Triptans and chest symptoms: the role of pulmonary
vasoconstriction. DW Dodick (Cephalalgia, 2004,24, 298–304)
• 6. Almotriptan improves response rates when treatment is
within 1 hour of migraine onset. AJ Dowson et al., (Headache 2004;
• 7. A long-term open-label study of oral almotriptan 12.5 mg
for the treatment of acute migraine. NT. Mathew; for the Oral
Almotriptan Study Group (Headache. 2002;42:32-40)
• 8. Almotriptan is an effective and well-tolerated treatment
for migraine pain: results of a randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled clinical trial. AJ Dowson et al. (Cephalalgia
2002; 22, 453-461)
• 9. Tolerability and efficacy of almotriptan in the long-term
treatment of migraine, J. Pascual et al. (Eur Neurol
• 10. Consistent efficacy and tolerability of almotriptan in the
acute treatment of multiple migraine attacks: results of a large,
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J. Pascual et
al. Cephalalgia. 2000;20:588-596
• 11. Almotriptan in the treatment of migraine attacks in
clinical practice: results of the TEA 2000 observational study ,
Pascual J et al, Neurologia. 2003 Jan-Feb;18(1):7-17.
• 12. Early intervention with almotriptan: results of the AEGIS
trial (AXERT Early Migraine Intervention Study). Mathew et al,
Headache. 2007 Feb;47(2):189-98
• 13. Evaluation of efficacy, tolerability, and treatment
satisfaction with almotriptan in 3 consecutive migraine attacks.
The migraine--satisfaction with treatment: reality with Almogran
study. Massiouu H et al, Eur Neurol. 2006;55(4):198-203
• 14. Triptans in the treatment of migraine: drug selection by
means of the SOJA method Expert Opin Pharmacother. Janknegt J,2007
Oct;8 Suppl 1:S15-30
• 15. Patient preference in migraine therapy. A randomized,
open-label, crossover clinical trial of acute treatment of migraine
with oral almotriptan and rizatriptan Díez FI et al, J Neurol. 2007
• 16. Use of the sustained pain-free plus no adverse events
endpoint in clinical trials of triptans in acute migraine. Dodick
DW et al. CNS Drugs. 2007;21(1):73-82
• 17. A pharmacoeconomic evaluation of oral triptans in the
treatment of migraine in Italy. Gori S. et al. Minerva Med. 2006
• 18. Management costs of chest and CNS-related adverse events
associated with the treatment of acute migraine attacks with oral
triptans.] Slof J et al, Neurologia. 2005 Jul-Aug;20(6):290-8
• 19. Efficacy, speed of action and tolerability of almotriptan
in the acute treatment of migraine: pooled individual patient data
from four randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical
trials. Dahlöf CG et al. Cephalalgia 2006;26:400–408
• 20. Characteristics of migraine attacks and responses to
almotriptan treatment: a comparison of menstrually related and
nonmenstrually related migraines. Diamond ML et al., Headache