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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pizotifen an Appetite Stimulant for Migraine?

A year ago we have an expiring drug for migraine headache - a generic sumatriptan. Compared to the branded type, this generic version is cheaper but still expensive to be recommended for migraine headaches. Most our customers usually prefer low-cost OTC analgesics like mefenamic or ibuprofen. Analgesics are not directed at migraine but can relieve the pain associated with it.

Sumatriptan is classified as the newest form of anti-migraine drugs. It helps constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation. The triptans are used when migraine-headaches do not respond to the pain-relievers and to the vasoconstrictors like ergotamine and isometheptine or if adverse reactions are intolerable in the said two groups.

Anyway, to put the near expiry sumatriptan to good use, my boss decided to give ten tablets of these to a friend of hers who was delighted with the free anti-migraine drug. However the next day, the friend had to return the nine unused tablets because of an untoward reaction.  She complained of heaviness as if she was going to die. At first my boss thought of it because of the sumatriptan being an expiry candidate, however checking the possible adverse reactions, we found out that heaviness is actually a side effect of sumatriptan.

Pizotifen an appetite stimulant for migraine? 

Renal failure and stomach upsets are the most common complaint in anti-migraine drugs particularly with the NSAIDS (mefenamic, diclofenac, ibuprofen etc.). While vasoconstrictors as ergotamine can cause heart attack or stroke, triptans like sumatriptan and zolmitriptan can have an intolerable unpleasant effect of pressure or heaviness.

Migraine-headaches can be a burden. There are natural ways to counteract or prevent migraine attacks. However, most people still rely on drugs. Analgesics, vasoconstrictors and the triptans are typically the common drugs for migraine. An anti-nausea drug like flunarizine is also indicated with migraines associated with dizziness.

There are also preventive or prophylactic drugs for migraine. Interestingly, pizotifen, a popular appetite stimulant is one of these.