Qulipta is a prescription drug used to treat episodic migraine in adults. This drug can cause mild side effects, and serious side effects may also be possible. Below, you’ll find information about Qulipta’s potential side effects.
Qulipta comes as a tablet that you swallow and contains the active ingredient atogepant. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) If Qulipta works to prevent your migraine episodes, your doctor will likely recommend that you take it long term.
For more information about Qulipta, see this in-depth article.
Some people may experience mild to serious side effects during their Qulipta treatment. Examples of Qulipta’s commonly reported side effects include:
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
Qulipta can cause mild side effects. Examples that have been reported include:
- fatigue (low energy)
- decreased appetite
- weight loss
- increased liver enzymes, which may indicate liver damage*
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
In most cases, these side effects should be temporary. And some may be easily managed. But if you have symptoms that are ongoing or bother you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. And don’t stop taking Qulipta unless your doctor recommends it.
Qulipta may cause mild side effects other than those listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Qulipta, visit MedWatch.
Serious side effects were not reported in studies of people taking Qulipta. But it’s still possible that you could have serious side effects from this drug. It’s also possible to experience an allergic reaction, though it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in Qulipta’s studies.
If you develop serious side effects while taking this drug, call your doctor right away. If they seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Below are answers to some common questions about Qulipta’s side effects.
Does Qulipta cause weight loss or weight gain?
Weight gain was not a reported side effect in people taking Qulipta in studies. You may experience weight loss from taking this drug, which may be because the drug can cause a decrease in appetite. But this was not one of the most common side effects that people using Qulipta reported.
If you notice unintentional changes in your weight during your treatment, talk with your doctor. They can help you determine what may be causing the weight change.
Is hair loss a side effect of Qulipta?
If you notice hair loss during your treatment with Qulipta, talk with your doctor. They can help determine what may be causing it. They may also be able to recommend ways to treat your hair loss, such as with the over-the-counter medication minoxidil (Rogaine).
Will taking Qulipta cause dizziness?
No, dizziness was not a side effect that people taking Qulipta reported in studies. But it may be a side effect of migraine itself. In addition to severe head pain, migraine can cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, or vision changes.
If you have dizziness while taking Qulipta, talk with your doctor. They can help determine what may be causing this symptom and suggest the best way to treat it.
Does Qulipta cause depression?
No, depression was not a side effect reported in studies of people taking Qulipta. But some drugs used to prevent migraine, such as Depakote (divalproex), may cause changes in mood, including depression.
And you may have an increased risk of depression if you have migraine.
If you notice symptoms of depression during your treatment with Qulipta, talk with your doctor. Symptoms may include:
- feeling sad or lonely
- sleeping more or less often than usual
- weight loss or weight gain
- loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
Your doctor can help you determine what may be causing your depression. They may also be able to recommend ways to treat it, such as taking an antidepressant.
Learn more about some of the side effects Qulipta may cause.
You may have nausea from taking Qulipta. It was one of the most common side effects reported in studies of the drug. And you may be at an increased risk of this side effect if you’re taking a higher dose of Qulipta.
Nausea may also be a migraine symptom. So if you’re unsure about what’s causing your nausea, talk with your doctor. They can help you determine the cause.
What might help
If you have nausea while taking Qulipta, tell your doctor. They may be able to recommend ways to reduce this side effect. In some cases, they may recommend taking a lower dose of Qulipta, to see if your nausea improves.
- painful bowel movements
- belly pain
- difficulty going to the bathroom
What may help
If you have constipation that’s severe or bothersome, talk with your doctor. They’ll be able to suggest ways to reduce this side effect. For example, they may recommend increasing your water consumption or using an over-the-counter medication, such as MiraLax (polyethylene glycol).
Increased liver enzymes
Although it wasn’t common, it’s possible to develop an increase in the level of liver enzymes in your blood during Qulipta treatment. This increase in liver enzymes may indicate liver problems, so it’s important to tell your doctor right away if you notice any symptoms of liver damage, including:
What might help
In studies of Qulipta, people with increased liver enzymes did not report liver problem symptoms. So your doctor may check your blood levels during your treatment.
If you do develop symptoms of liver damage, tell your doctor right away. They’ll likely do a blood test to see if your symptoms are related to your liver enzymes. If they find that your liver enzyme levels have increased, they may have you stop taking Qulipta and try a different migraine prevention treatment.
Like most drugs, Qulipta can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in studies.
Symptoms can be mild to serious and can include:
- skin rash
- flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
- swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What might help
If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest a treatment to manage your symptoms. Examples include:
- an antihistamine you take by mouth, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
- a topical product you apply to your skin, such as hydrocortisone cream
If your doctor confirms you’ve had a mild allergic reaction to Qulipta, they’ll decide if you should continue taking it.
If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.
If your doctor confirms you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to Qulipta, they may have you switch to a different treatment.
Keeping track of side effects
During your Qulipta treatment, consider taking notes on any side effects you’re having. You can then share this information with your doctor. This is especially helpful when you first start taking new drugs or using a combination of treatments.
Your side effect notes can include things such as:
- what dose of the drug you were taking when you had the side effect
- how soon you had the side effect after starting that dose
- what your symptoms were
- how it affected your daily activities
- what other medications you were taking
- any other information you feel is important
Keeping notes and sharing them with your doctor will help them learn more about how Qulipta affects you. They can then use this information to adjust your treatment plan if needed.
Qulipta may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. These are known as drug-condition interactions. Other factors may also affect whether Qulipta is a good treatment option for you. Talk with your doctor about your health history before starting Qulipta. Below are some factors to consider.
Kidney problems. If you have kidney problems, tell your doctor before starting Qulipta. Your kidneys help remove Qulipta from your blood. If you have kidney problems, you may not be able to get rid of the drug. This can cause it to build up in your body, which may increase your risk of side effects. Due to this risk, your doctor may recommend a lower dose of Qulipta if you have kidney problems.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Qulipta or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe it for you. Ask them about other medications that might be better treatment options.
Liver problems. Tell your doctor if you have any liver problems before starting treatment with Qulipta. This medication is broken down in your body by your liver. If you have a liver problem, your body may not be able to get rid of Qulipta like it should. This can cause the drug to build up, which may increase your risk of side effects. Due to this risk, your doctor may recommend a different migraine-prevention medication. (For more information see “Increased liver enzymes” under “Side effects explained” above.)
Alcohol and Qulipta
There are no known interactions between alcohol and Qulipta. But drinking alcohol while you’re taking Qulipta may cause your side effects to get worse. For example, both alcohol and Qulipta can cause nausea, so both together may increase your risk of this side effect.
In addition, alcohol may be a migraine trigger for some people (meaning alcohol may cause migraine episodes).
If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the safety of drinking it during your treatment with Qulipta.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Qulipta
It’s not known if it’s safe to take Qulipta during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. At this time, no studies have been done in pregnant people to see if the drug is safe. There are also no studies to determine if Qulipta may be present in human breast milk or what effects the drug may have on a breastfeeding child.
If you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before taking Qulipta. They can help you determine if it may be safe for you.
You may have side effects from Qulipta, but these are usually mild. Before you start treatment with this drug, talk with your doctor about any questions you have. Here are a few examples to help get you started:
- How should I treat side effects that I have from Qulipta?
- Am I at an increased risk of side effects from this drug due to my other medical conditions?
- If I have side effects from this drug, can I try another calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonist treatment such as Ubrelvy (ubrogepant)?
To learn more about Qulipta, see these articles:
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If I’m also taking medication to treat migraine, am I at an increased risk of side effects from Qulipta?Anonymous
It’s possible, but it depends on the other drug you’re taking and the possible side effects it may cause.
Qulipta may cause side effects such as nausea, constipation, and fatigue (low energy). So if your migraine treatment also causes these symptoms, your risk of side effects may be increased if you take Qulipta along with it.
If you’re concerned about side effects you may have during your treatment with Qulipta, talk with your doctor.The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.