Imitrex vs. Cafergot

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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(Ergotamine / Caffeine)

Treats migraine headaches. Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.Coming soon.
How it works
Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.Coming soon.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Suppository
Used for (click to learn more)
  • Migraine Vascular headache
Find lowest prices
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
of people say Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Side effects
  • Pain and other pressure sensations 4%
  • Paresthesia (all types) 3%
  • Atypical sensations 2%
  • Chest - pain/tightness/pressure and/or heaviness 1%
  • Pain - location specified 1%
  • Sensation warm/cold 1%
  • Other - pressure/tightness/ heaviness 1%
More Imitrex side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Cafergot side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Cafergot »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
    • Patients taking SSRIs and SNRIs
    • History of high blood pressure
    • History of seizures
    Detailed Imitrex (Sumatriptan) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    Pregnancy category
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    See the FDA package insert
    XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

    Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

    See the FDA package insert
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    • Comes in several forms. Ask your doctor if you should use the pill, nasal spray, patch, or injection.
    • A combination of forms can be used if symptoms do not improve.
    • The nasal spray and injectable forms work very quickly.
    • It's generally safe to use if you are pregnant.
    • Comes in a generic form, so it can be pretty cheap.
    Coming soon.
    Downsides and risks
    • The oral and nasal versions of Imitrex (Sumatriptan) have an unpleasant after-taste.
    • Does not prevent migraine headaches; it only treats them once they start.
    • Must wait 1 hour before using second injection.
    • Can cause rebound (more) headaches if Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is used too often.
    • Need to have your blood pressure checked often, especially if you're pregnant.
    Coming soon.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    • Take it as soon as your headache starts.
    • If you use the nasal spray, be sure to blow your nose before using it.
    • If you use the patch, put it on a dry area free of scars, tattoos, or other cuts and scrapes. Be sure to press the button to activate it.
    • If you use the injection, you can use a second injection if you still have a headache after an hour. If you have symptoms 2 hours after the injection, switch to the pill version.
    • Imitrex (Sumatriptan) can make you drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
    • Lie down in a dark room after taking Imitrex (Sumatriptan) to help ease the pain.
    Coming soon.
    Learn more
    More about ImitrexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about CafergotSide effectsFDA package insert