Navigation Links
Migraine Medications May Cause 'Serotonin Syndrome'
Date:5/14/2008

Rare disorder can lead to muscle spasms, fever, sweating and nausea, study finds

WEDNESDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- A commonly used migraine medication may cause so-called serotonin syndrome in rare cases, new research suggests.

Reporting in the May 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from Georgetown University and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration detail 11 cases of serotonin syndrome associated with the use of triptans alone that were reported to the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS).

"The FDA has already issued an advisory and an alert that when triptans are used in combination with SSRIs, there is a possibility of serotonin syndrome. The news here is that it doesn't have to be in combination, triptans alone can cause serotonin syndrome," said the study's lead author, Offie Soldin, an associate professor of medicine and oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Serotonin syndrome occurs when there is too much of the neurotransmitter serotonin, often because more than one medication that affects serotonin levels has been taken, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include mental status changes, overactive reflexes, muscle spasms, fever, uncoordinated movements, heavy sweating and nausea or vomiting.

People with migraine headaches may be especially at risk, because medications taken to prevent migraines from occurring -- such as Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro and Prozac -- are from a class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and they make serotonin more available in brain cells, called neurons. Additionally, the medications used to treat an oncoming or active migraine, such as Imitrex, Zomig, Frova, Maxalt and Axert, are from a class of medications known as triptans, which are selective serotonin receptor agonists, and can also make serotonin more available in your body. Other medications, such as older antidepressants, can also increase the levels of serotonin.

Serotonin syndrome is most likely to occur when you've just started serotonin-altering medications, according to the NIH.

Soldin and Dr. Joseph Tonning from the FDA, reviewed reports of serotonin syndrome from the AERS and found 27 cases of serotonin syndrome linked to the use of SSRIs and triptans.

The surprise for them was when they also found 11 cases of serotonin syndrome associated with triptan therapy alone.

The average age for someone experiencing serotonin syndrome associated only with triptan therapy was 39.9 years, and the most common symptoms included tremor, stiffness, palpitations, high blood pressure and agitation, according to the study.

Five people required hospitalization, and two cases were classified as "life-threatening." Four of the 11 cases cleared up within an hour of treatment.

"It's very rare and not likely to happen," said Soldin of serotonin syndrome. "And, you just need to stop taking the drugs when it does happen. If you're taking these medications and you have strange muscular, mental or hyperactivity symptoms, contact your doctor."

But, Soldin also pointed out that the FDA's reporting system is voluntary, so the actual incidence of serotonin syndrome may be higher.

Dr. Bruce Silverman, a neurologist at Providence Hospital and Medical Center in Southfield, Mich., said, "This is something to be aware of, but it's not a contraindication for triptans. These are very common drugs that have really improved people's lives, and so, many people are on these medications."

"The potential for this problem to occur is out there, but the numbers we've seen are really, really quite small; it's such a remote possibility," he added.

More information

To learn more about serotonin syndrome, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Offie Soldin, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, oncology and physiology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington D.C.; Bruce Silverman, D.O., neurologist, Providence Hospital and Medical Center, Southfield, Mich.; May 15, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Neuromuscular Dentistry Ends Womans Migraines
2. Migraine Tied to Thickening in Brain Area
3. Business Coalition Honors BlueChoice HealthPlan for Migraine Program
4. The HealthCentral Network Wins eHealthcare Awards for Breast Cancer and Migraine Web Sites
5. MAP Pharmaceuticals Reaches Agreement with FDA on Special Protocol Assessment for MAP0004 Phase 3 Clinical Trial in Patients With Migraine
6. Comatose locusts may help relieve migraines
7. Epilepsy Drug Doesnt Prevent Migraines
8. MyMigraineConnection.com and Migraine Expert Teri Robert Announce Seventh Annual Migraine and Headache Poetry Contest
9. Migraines Frequency Influences Heart Attack, Stroke Risk
10. Overuse of Opioids, Barbiturates Boosts Chronic Migraine Risk
11. Skin Pain, Sensitivity Rises With Migraine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. ... and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across ... in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their ... award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative ... has initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its ... Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors Luke’s Wings ... at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. The ... members that have been wounded in battle and their families. Venture Construction Group is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more ... that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that ... new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in ... on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 According to a ... (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, ... Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & ... studies the market for the forecast period of 2016 ... 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- MedSource announced today that it has selected Datatrial,s ... choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment to ... by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture (EDC) ... the EDC platform of choice in exchange for ... long been a preferred EDC platform by our ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: