1 What is Amerge?

Brand: Amerge

Generic: Naratriptan Hydrochloride

Amerge selectively activates Serotonin (5-HT₁) receptors in cranial arteries. It causes vasoconstriction and reduction of inflammation associated with antidromic neuronal transmission resulting in pain relief in acute migraine attacks. 

This drug belongs to a new class of anti-migraine drugs that are called ‘triptan’. Currently, it is the preferred drug for patients who fail to respond to analgesics such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or other pain killers. 

Additionally, this drug also relieves other symptoms that are often associated with migraine such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound etc. 

Fewer headache recurrences in an attack are reported with naratriptan due to its longer half-life, may be slower in affording initial pain relief. 

Patients with cardiovascular diseases should not use such medications because of high risk of developing serious side-effects.

2 What To Know Before Using

If you are about to start Amerge, the risk and benefit ratio of taking this medicine should be considered. This is a decision that your doctor will make with your active participation. 

For this medicine, certain factors that may alter the drug action should be considered. Present and past illness, drug interactions, hypersensitivity reactions, pregnancy, lactation and metabolic impairments should be considered cautiously.

Certain drugs should not be used concurrently with such medications. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some drugs for another health problem. 

Sometimes, it is must to avoid some particular medicines during this drug therapy in order to avoid serious drug reactions. Naratriptan and Ergotamine should not be administered within 24 hours of each other because of increased risk of vasospastic reactions. 

Increased serum concentration has been noticed with Propranolol. Concurrent use with SSRIs may increase risk of serotonin syndrome. Moreover, interaction with 5-HT uptake inhibitors, MAO inhibitors and lithium has been reported.  

3 Proper Usage

Medicines should be used following the directions given by a doctor. The dose of Amerge will vary according to patient’s condition or requirements. You should follow the doctor's directions and advice. 

The amount of medicine that you take should not exceed the maximum therapeutic dose. Also, the frequency of your daily drug administration and the duration of drug therapy depend on the particular medical problem for which you are taking the medicine. 

In order to treat migraine headache, 2.5 mg of naratriptan is given orally at initial stage. If ineffective, second dose should not be given for same attack. If symptoms recur after initial response, a further dose of 2.5 mg may be given. But you should not take more than 5 mg in 24 hours. 

Always try to take your medicine in time. If you miss any dose of this medicine, you should take it as soon as possible. But when it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. 

You should store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. Outdated medicine must be disposed in an appropriate way.

4 Precautions To Take

Some important measures should be taken if you feel any discomfort following any drug therapy. Firstly, you should stop using the drug and then consult with your physician immediately. 

Regular visits are recommended to make sure Amerge is working properly or not. Although Naratriptan is well tolerated, its use is contraindicated in patients with ischemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, hypertension, epilepsy, hepatic or renal impairment and during pregnancy. Patients should be cautioned not to drive.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are some unwanted side-effects associated with Amerge that usually do not need medical attention. These side-effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine. 

Additionally, your health care professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side-effects.

Sometimes, you may need to consult with the doctor if you feel any of these: 

  • Tightness in head and chest
  • Feeling of heat and other paresthesias in limbs
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness is short lasting, but dose related side-effect

Slight rise in BP may also occur, but has little clinical relevance. Bradycardia, coronary vasospasm, and risk of myocardial infarction are the serious, but infrequent adverse-effects. Seizures and hypersensitivity reactions are rare.