Naratriptan treats migraine headaches. It relieves migraine symptoms once they start so should be taken as soon as migraine starts. This medication is not used to prevent migraines.

Naratriptan Overview

Reviewed: April 16, 2013

Naratriptan is a prescription medicine used to treat migraine headaches in adults.  Naratriptan belongs to a group of drugs called 5-HT agonists or "triptans".  It is believed to work by causing dilated blood vessels in the brain to narrow.

Naratriptan comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth as soon as a migraine starts.

Common side effects of naratriptan include dizziness, feeling hot or cold, and light sensitivity.

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Naratriptan Cautionary Labels


Uses of Naratriptan

Naratriptan is a prescription medicine used to treat symptoms of migraine headaches with or without aura in adults. It is not used for the prevention of migraine headaches. Aura refers to changes in vision or speech, numbness, tingling and other symptoms that occur shortly before the headache begins. 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses.  Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Naratriptan Brand Names

Naratriptan may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Naratriptan Drug Class

Naratriptan is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Naratriptan

Naratriptan may cause serious side effects. See “Drug Precautions” section. 

These serious side effects include:

  • changes in color or sensation in your fingers and toes (Raynaud’s syndrome)
  • stomach and intestinal problems (gastrointestinal and colonic ischemic events). Symptoms of gastrointestinal and colonic ischemic events include:
    • sudden or severe stomach pain
    • stomach pain after meals
    • weight loss
    • nausea or vomiting
    • constipation or diarrhea
    • bloody diarrhea
    • fever
  • problems with blood circulation to your legs and feet (peripheral vascular ischemia). Symptoms of peripheral vascular ischemia include:
    • cramping and pain in your legs or hips
    • feeling of heaviness or tightness in your leg muscles
    • burning or aching pain in your feet or toes while resting
    • numbness, tingling, or weakness in your legs
    • cold feeling or color changes in 1 or both legs or feet
  • shortness of breath or wheezing
  • hives (itchy bumps); swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat

The most common side effects of naratriptan include:

  • dizziness
  • warm, hot, burning feeling to your face (flushing)
  • cold and hot temperature sensations
  • sensitivity to light or vision problems
  • ear, nose, and throat infections
  • feeling weak, drowsy, or tired
  • decrease in saliva

This is not a complete list of naratriptan side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Naratriptan Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take anti-depressant medicines called:

  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Be sure to tell your doctor if you take other medicines for migraines.

This is not a complete list of naratriptan drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Naratriptan Precautions

Naratriptan can cause serious side effects, including:

Heart attack and other heart problems that may lead to death can happen in people taking naratriptan. Symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back.
  • chest pain or chest discomfort that feels like heavy pressure, squeezing, or fullness
  • pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • breaking out in a cold sweat
  • nausea or vomiting
  • feeling lightheaded

Stop taking naratriptan and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a heart attack.

Serotonin syndrome is a serious and life-threatening problem that can happen in people taking naratriptan, especially if naratriptan is used with anti-depressant medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Talk to your doctor about antidepressant medications before you receive naratriptan.

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome:

  • mental changes such as seeing things that are not there (hallucinations), agitation, or coma
  • fast heartbeat
  • changes in blood pressure
  • high body temperature
  • tight muscles
  • trouble walking
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Do not take naratriptan if you have:

  • heart problems or a history of heart problems
  • narrowing of blood vessels to your legs, arms, stomach, or kidney (peripheral vascular disease)
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • severe kidney problems
  • severe liver problems
  • hemiplegic migraines or basilar migraines. If you are not sure if you have these types of migraines, ask your doctor.
  • had a stroke, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or problems with your blood circulation
  • taken any of the following medicines in the last 24 hours:
  • an allergy to naratriptan hydrochloride or any of the ingredients in naratriptan

Naratriptan can cause dizziness, weakness, or drowsiness. If you have these symptoms, do not drive a car, use machinery, or do anything where you need to be alert.

Naratriptan Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of naratriptan there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving naratriptan.


Inform MD

Before you receive naratriptan, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have high blood pressure
  • have high cholesterol
  • have diabetes
  • smoke
  • are overweight
  • are a female who has gone through menopause
  • have heart disease or a family history of heart disease or stroke
  • have kidney problems
  • have liver problems
  • have had epilepsy or seizures
  • are not using effective birth control

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Naratriptan and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if naratriptan will harm your unborn baby.

Naratriptan and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Naratriptan passes into your breast milk and may harm your baby. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take naratriptan.


Naratriptan Usage

For some people, the first dose of naratriptan should be taken in their doctor's office. Ask your doctor if you should take your first dose in a medical setting.

Naratriptan comes as a tablet to be taken by mouth as soon as possible once a migraine starts.

Naratriptan tablets should be swallowed whole with water or other liquids. Do not chew or crush naratriptan tablets. This medication can be taken with or without food.

Your doctor may instruct you to take a second dose of naratriptan if your migraine does not go away after the first dose. Wait at least four hours after the first dose before taking a second dose of naratriptan. Do not take more than a total of 5 mg of naratriptan in a 24‑hour period.

Naratriptan is not meant to be taken on a daily basis. Take naratriptan only when you have a migraine.

Naratriptan Dosage

Take naratriptan exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. 

The maximum recommended daily dose of naratriptan is 5 mg.


Naratriptan Overdose

If you take too much naratriptan, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store naratriptan between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep naratriptan and all medicines out of the reach of children.