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How do serotonin receptor agonists help relieve migraine pain?

Serotonin receptor agonists (triptans), such as sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, rizatriptan, naratriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan, are drugs that work by causing selective narrowing (constriction) of blood vessels that have expanded during migraine attacks.

Although they may be effective at any time, these drugs may be most effective when taken after migraine pain begins.

It should be noted that all these drugs may cause side effects, include flushing, nausea, dizziness, chest pain and/or tightness, neck stiffness, and tingling at the injection site or in extremities. Serotonin receptor agonists should not be used by people with cardiac disease or uncontrolled high blood pressure; by individuals who are taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors or vasoconstrictors; or by pregnant women.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.