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Naratriptan is used for the treatment of severe migraine headaches (pulsating headaches, often on one side of the head) with or without aura (visual disturbances usually in the form of geometric patterns or flashing, shimmering lights that one experiences just before a migraine attack).

How it works

Naratriptan belongs to a class of medications called selective serotonin receptor agonists. It prevents the release of certain natural substances (pro-inflammatory neuropeptides) that cause pain and other symptoms of migraine thereby relieving migraine attacks.

Common side effects

Nausea, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Feeling of discomfort, Sensation of warmth, Sleepiness, Throat infection, Neck pain, Vomiting, Fatigue, Abnormal sensation in skin


Expert advice

  • Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high blood cholesterol, family history of heart diseases or if you are smoker.
  • You should undergo a thorough examination of the heart (e.g. electrocardiogram [ECG]) before starting treatment with naratriptan.
  • Discontinue treatment if you develop abnormal rhythm of heart beats (arrhythmia) or if you experience sensations of pain, tightness or heaviness in the chest/ throat/ neck/ jaw.
  • Your blood pressure should be regularly monitored while on treatment with naratriptan.
  • Use of naratriptan in children and adolescents under 18 years of age is not recommended.
  • Take care not to exceed the recommended dose of naratriptan and avoid prolonged use as it can lead to exacerbation of headache (medication overuse headache).
  • Naratriptan treatment should start only after a clear diagnosis of migraine and exclusion of potentially serious neurological condition.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is naratriptan a controlled substance?
Naratriptan is not a controlled substance.

Q. Is naratriptan addictive? 
 It does not have potential for abuse or addiction. 
Q. Is naratriptan a narcotic/ blood thinner/ antidepressant/ opiate?
No. Naratriptan is used for the treatment of severe migraine headaches. It does not induce sleep and is not known to have effects on viscosity of blood. Its mechanism of action is different from opiates.
Q. Is naratriptan an anti-inflammatory?
Naratriptan is not an anti-inflammatory, but is used for the treatment of severe migraine headaches.  
Q. Does naratriptan contain aspirin/ sulfa/ ibuprofen/ caffeine?
No. Naratriptan does not contain aspirin, sulfa, caffeine or ibuprofen.
Q. Does naratriptan make you drowsy?
Yes it causes drowsiness (dizziness and sleepiness are among the known common side effects).

Q. Does naratriptan raise blood pressure?
 Increase in blood pressure is also a known side effect of naratriptan. 
Q. Does naratriptan get you high/ cause weight gain/ cause hair loss?
Increase in body weight, hair loss and making you feel extremely happy or high are not among the known side effects of naratriptan treatment.

Content on this page was last updated on 14 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)