Compare Imitrex vs. Effexor

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

Imitrex
(sumatriptan)

Effexor
(venlafaxine)

Treats migraine headaches. Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.Improves mood and helps you relax. Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It may work when other antidepressants haven't, but it's more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.29Imitrex
Reviews for Imitrex
74%
of people (All ages) say Imitrex is worth it
68%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Imitrex (sumatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Effexor
62%
+12% better vs. Imitrex
51%
+17% better vs. Imitrex
23%
+4% better vs. Imitrex
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ImitrexEffexor
  • Pain and other pressure sensations 2%
  • Atypical sensations 1%
  • Paresthesia (all types) 1%
  • Sensation warm/cold 1%
  • Pain - location specified 1%
  • Malaise/fatigue 2%
  • Chest - pain/tightness/pressure and/or heaviness 1%
  • Neck/throat/jaw - pain/ tightness/pressure 2%
  • Other - pressure/tightness/ heaviness 1%
  • Vertigo 2%
More Imitrex side effects »
  • Nausea 26%
  • Headache 1%
  • Somnolence 14%
  • Dry mouth 11%
  • Dizziness 11%
  • Insomnia 8%
  • Abnormal Ejaculation 16%
  • Constipation 8%
  • Nervousness 17%
  • Asthenia 14%
More Effexor side effects »
How it works
ImitrexEffexor
Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
ImitrexEffexor
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ImitrexEffexor
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
ImitrexEffexor
Risk factors for serious side effects
ImitrexEffexor
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
Detailed Imitrex (sumatriptan) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Effexor (Venlafaxine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
Detailed Effexor (venlafaxine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Sex
ImitrexEffexor
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
ImitrexEffexor
  • Imitrex (Sumatriptan) can make you drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
ImitrexEffexor
  • 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.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
  • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood. Many other antidepressants affect only serotonin, but not norepinephrine too.
Downsides and risks
ImitrexEffexor
  • 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.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • Overdosing on this medication could be fatal.
  • It's more likely to cause nausea and vomiting or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants. Also causes more sleepiness than others.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ImitrexEffexor
  • 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.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • You can take the extended-release form once a day with food either in the morning or in the evening at about the same time each day.
  • Extended-release capsules should be swallowed whole. If you can’t swallow pills, open the capsule, sprinkle it on a spoonful of applesauce and then swallow it without chewing.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about ImitrexSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Imitrex (sumatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it