Clinical data
Trade namesSandomigran
AHFS/Drugs.comInternational Drug Names
  • AU: B1
Routes of
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
Pharmacokinetic data
Protein binding91%
MetabolismGlucuronidation (main route). N-glucuronide accounts for >50% of plasma and 60–70% of urinary excreted drug
Elimination half-life23 hours
Excretion18% feces, 55% urine (both as metabolites)
  • 4-(1-methyl-4-piperidylidine)-9,10-dihydro -4H-benzo-[4,5]cyclohepta[1,2]-thiophene
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard100.036.014 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass295.44 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • s1c3c(cc1)C(\c2c(cccc2)CC3)=C4/CCN(C)CC4
  • InChI=1S/C19H21NS/c1-20-11-8-15(9-12-20)19-16-5-3-2-4-14(16)6-7-18-17(19)10-13-21-18/h2-5,10,13H,6-9,11-12H2,1H3 checkY
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Pizotifen (INN) or pizotyline (USAN), trade name Sandomigran, is a benzocycloheptene-based drug used as a medicine, primarily as a preventive to reduce the frequency of recurrent migraine headaches.[1]


The main medical use for pizotifen is for the prevention of migraine and cluster headache. Pizotifen is one of a range of medications used for this purpose, other options include propranolol, topiramate, valproic acid, cyproheptadine and amitriptyline. While pizotifen is effective in adults,[2] evidence of efficacy in children is limited,[3] and its use is limited by side effects, principally drowsiness and weight gain, and it is usually not the first choice medicine for preventing migraines, instead being used as an alternative when other drugs have failed to be effective.[4] It is not effective in relieving migraine attacks once in progress. Pizotifen has also been reported as highly effective in a severe case of erythromelalgia, a rare neurovascular disease that is sometimes refractory to the other drugs named above.[5]

Other applications for which pizotifen may be used include as an antidepressant, or for the treatment of anxiety or social phobia.[6][7] Animal studies also suggest that pizotyline could be used in the treatment of serotonin syndrome or MDMA overdose[8] in a similar manner to the closely related antihistamine/antiserotonin medication cyproheptadine.

Adverse effects

Side effects include sedation, dry mouth, drowsiness, increased appetite and weight gain.[9] Occasionally it may cause nausea, headaches, or dizziness. In rare cases, anxiety, aggression and depression may also occur.


Caution is required in patients having closed angle glaucoma and in patients with a predisposition to urinary retention as the medication exhibits a relatively small anticholinergic effect. Dose adjustment is required in people who have chronic kidney disease. Liver injury has also been reported. Pizotifen treatment should be discontinued if there is any clinical evidence of liver dysfunction during treatment. Caution is advised in patients having a history of epilepsy. Withdrawal symptoms like depression, tremor, nausea, anxiety, malaise, dizziness, sleep disorder and weight decrease have been reported following abrupt cessation of pizotifen.[10] Pizotifen is contraindicated in patients who suffer from hypersensitivity to any of its components, also Pizotifen is contraindicated in gastric outlet obstruction, pregnancy, angle-closure glaucoma and difficulty urinating.[11]


Pizotifen is a serotonin antagonist acting mainly at the 5-HT2A and 5HT2C receptors. It also has some activity as an antihistamine as well as some anticholinergic activity.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Stark RJ, Valenti L, Miller GC (August 2007). "Management of migraine in Australian general practice". The Medical Journal of Australia. 187 (3): 142–146. doi:10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb01170.x. PMID 17680738. S2CID 10357983.
  2. ^ Jackson JL, Cogbill E, Santana-Davila R, Eldredge C, Collier W, Gradall A, et al. (2015-07-14). "A Comparative Effectiveness Meta-Analysis of Drugs for the Prophylaxis of Migraine Headache". PLOS ONE. 10 (7): e0130733. Bibcode:2015PLoSO..1030733J. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130733. PMC 4501738. PMID 26172390.
  3. ^ Barnes N, Millman G (July 2004). "Do pizotifen or propranolol reduce the frequency of migraine headache?". Archives of Disease in Childhood. 89 (7): 684–685. doi:10.1136/adc.2004.054668. PMC 1719986. PMID 15210509.
  4. ^ Pierangeli G, Cevoli S, Sancisi E, Grimaldi D, Zanigni S, Montagna P, Cortelli P (May 2006). "Which therapy for which patient?". Neurological Sciences. 27 (Suppl 2): S153–S158. doi:10.1007/s10072-006-0592-0. PMID 16688621. S2CID 24217802.
  5. ^ Cohen JS (November 2000). "Erythromelalgia: new theories and new therapies". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 43 (5 Pt 1): 841–847. doi:10.1067/mjd.2000.109301. PMID 11050591. S2CID 40807034.
  6. ^ Standal JE (October 1977). "Pizotifen as an antidepressant". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 56 (4): 276–279. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.1977.tb00228.x. PMID 335788. S2CID 6445059.
  7. ^ Banki CM (March 1978). "Clinical observations with pizotifene (Sandomigran) in the treatment of nonmigrainous depressed women". Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten. 225 (1): 67–72. doi:10.1007/bf00367352. PMID 348154. S2CID 13510725.
  8. ^ Young R, Khorana N, Bondareva T, Glennon RA (October 2005). "Pizotyline effectively attenuates the stimulus effects of N-methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA)". Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. 82 (2): 404–410. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2005.09.010. PMID 16253319. S2CID 20885754.
  9. ^ Crowder D, Maclay WP. Pizotifen once daily in the prophylaxis of migraine: results of a multi-centre general practice study. Current Medical Research and Opinion. 1984;9(4):280-5.
  10. ^ "SANDOMIGRAN® pizotifen 500 micrograms coated tablets" (PDF). AFT Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Medsafe: New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety. 21 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Pizotifen". Universal reference book of medicines – via Likarstwo.ru.
  12. ^ Dixon AK, Hill RC, Roemer D, Scholtysik G (1977). "Pharmacological properties of 4(1-methyl-4-piperidylidine)-9,10-dihydro-4H-benzo-[4,5]cyclohepta[1,2]-thiophene hydrogen maleate (pizotifen)". Arzneimittel-Forschung. 27 (10): 1968–1979. PMID 411500.