Frova (frovatriptan) for migraines: an introduction
Frova became available in 2002 and is a member of the triptan class of migraine treatments. It is approved for the acute treatment of migraines with aura and migraines without aura in adults. It is not a prophylactic migraine treatment, or migraine prevention treatment.
How Frova for migraines works
Frova, which belongs to the triptan class of migraine medications, is believed to relieve migraine symptoms by reducing swelling of the blood vessels around the brain and decreasing the amount of other pain-causing substances in the brain. Each different drug in the triptan class has a slightly different formula to give migraine sufferers options, because individuals respond differently to each medication.
Migraine medication is usually taken to ease symptoms. In Frova’s studies here’s a summary of the number of patients who found they had significantly less powerful migraine symptoms after two hours:
- Relief within two hours : 37% to 46%
Forms of Frova available to treat migraines
Frova comes in one form: traditional tablets that are swallowed.
Available form and price per dose
Frova tablet 2.5 mg , $37
Source for prices: Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs 2010
Most common side effects of Frova tablets
- Dry mouth
- Redness in the face
- Upset stomach
- Sensation of warm or cold
- Joint or bone pain
If any of the above side effects are serious or don’t go away, please tell your health care professional.
Serious side effects
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Chest pain, tightness, heaviness or pressure
- Tightness or pressure spreading to the throat, neck and jaw
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden, severe stomach pain
- Bloody diarrhea
- Paleness or blue color in the fingers or toes
- Slow or difficult speech
- Pain, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
- Rash or itching
Who should not take Frova for migraines
Frova has a similar chemical make up as other triptan medications for migraines, therefore just like other drugs in this class certain people should avoid Frova such as women who are pregnant, may become pregnant or who are breast feeding. Also people who suffer from hemiplegic migraines or basilar migraines shouldn’t take Frova. Because Frova causes blood vessel constriction, patients with heart disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, circulation problems including ischemic bowel disease, those with serious liver problems, those who have had previous strokes of any kind and smokers should not take Frova. Also patients with coronary artery disease or heart disease risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes or a strong family history of heart disease, should not be prescribed Frova for migraines without a cardiovascular evaluation. This drug should not be used within 24 hours of taking another drug in the triptan class or taking an ergotamine-containing or ergot-type medications. Patients who have taken a MAO-A inhibitor, which is prescribed for depression, within the past 14 days should not take Frova.
As always, the best source for advice on treating your migraines is your own migraine specialist. These medication descriptions are provided only for informational purposes. You should begin no medication regimen without first checking with your physician. Again, this information should in no way substitute or be mistaken for medical advice.