Pizotifen As an Anti-Migraine Drug
Migraine is a disorder characterized by mild to acute attacks of headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Its other symptoms include sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia). More to this, the patient could experience an indefinite blurring of vision, paleness and lightheadedness.
A migraine attack may last from a few hours to three days. Its occurrences could range from twice a week to once or twice a year. It may or may have not a warning signs before an attack. While some people experience a warning sensation such as weakness, numbness in an arm or leg or light flashes with headaches every 20 or 30 minutes, most individual do not undergo these alerts.
Common anti-migraine drugs and side effects
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 for migraines associated with intolerable dizziness.
There are also preventive or prophylactic drugs for migraine. Interestingly, pizotifen - a popular appetite stimulant is one of these.
Pizotifen hydrogen maleate is classified as an antihistamine or anti-serotonin agent. As a prophylactic migraine drug, pizotifen works like a calcium channel blocker. It hinders the contraction in the arteries induced by serotonin - a neurotransmitter that controls pain.
Pizotifen is usually available in 500 mcg tablet and 500mcg per 10 ml in 60ml syrup.
For the elderly, pizotifen is to be given at night with the initial dose of 0.5 mg (500mcg). But if this dosage regimen doesn’t work, the dose is gradually increased to three times daily. Maximum dose for adult as a single dose is 3 mg and 4.5 mg in divided doses.
For children from the age 2 years old, usual doses are 5 (250mcg) to 10 ml (500 mcg). Kids from 6 to 12 years old are provided with the 10 (500mcg) to 20 ml (1mg) doses. Daily doses up to a maximum of 1.5mg should be given two to three divided doses.
In children from 6 years of age, a maximum single dose of 1mg can be given at night.
Common Brand names:
Litec ,Mosegor, Sandomigran, D-Fen, International Apex Pizotifen Maleate, Lysagor, Micrazen, Migofen, Migrafen, Migranil, Pizo- A, Pizofen, Pizotin, Polomigran, Sandomigrin, Sanmigran, Sanomigran and Zofen.
Pizotifen is contraindicated with individuals who have hypersensitivity to the drug, with premature infants, those with glaucoma and prostatic hypertrophy- an overgrowth or enlargement of prostate glands in males.
Pizotifen should be used in precaution in people with renal problems; in patients with history of epilepsy; in cases of urinary retention and in pregnant women. The concentrations of pizotifen in milk does not likely to affect the infant, but its use in nursing mothers is still not recommended.
Common side effects are sedation, nausea, dryness of mouth and weight gain.
Pizotifen side effects may be enhanced by sedatives, alcohol, antihistamines and cold preparations with antihistamines
Pizotifen as an Anti-migraine Drug
As a prophylactic medication, pizotifen can reduce the occurrence and period of migraine headaches but will not eliminate the condition. Although it can be an effective choice as prevention for migraine without the unpleasant side effect of heaviness, stomach upsets or liver problems, its use is still limited because of its untoward reactions as drowsiness and weight gain. With this, other prophylactic migraine drugs which include the cyclandelate, valproic acid, magnesium, the antidepressant amitriptyline, beta blockers propranolol and the calcium channel blocker verapamil are used in place of this drug. Pizotifen is not effective in relieving a migraine attack once in progress of if the pain has already begun.
© Phoenix Montoya @ March 24, 2011
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