Compare Imitrex vs. Onzetra

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

Imitrex
(sumatriptan)

Onzetra
(sumatriptan)

Treats migraine headaches. Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.Treats migraine headaches. Onzetra (sumatriptan) is the only medicine that's available in a breath-powered nose powder to treat migraines. However, it can be expensive compared to other medicines.
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

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Have you used Onzetra (sumatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ImitrexOnzetra
  • 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 »
  • Changes in taste 17%
  • Discomfort in the nose 10%
  • Runny nose 3%
  • Stuffy nose 2%
More Onzetra side effects »
How it works
ImitrexOnzetra
Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.Onzetra (sumatriptan) is a selective serotonin receptor agonist called a triptan. It's believed that migraine headaches happen when blood vessels are too open and allow too much blood in the brain. Onzetra (sumatriptan) tightens the blood vessels, which relieves the pain.
Type of medication
ImitrexOnzetra
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ImitrexOnzetra
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Nasal powder
Used for
ImitrexOnzetra
Risk factors for serious side effects
ImitrexOnzetra
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
Detailed Imitrex (sumatriptan) risks & warnings »
  • Heart disease
  • History of chest pain
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • History of a stroke
  • Using Onzetra (sumatriptan) for more than 10 days a month
Detailed Onzetra (sumatriptan) 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.

Sleep
ImitrexOnzetra
  • 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
ImitrexOnzetra
  • 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.
  • Compared to pills, Onzetra (sumatriptan) is better absorbed in the body and good if it's hard to take pills.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) is a first choice medicine to treat migraines.
  • There is a copay program available that can make Onzetra (sumatriptan) cheaper.
Downsides and risks
ImitrexOnzetra
  • 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.
  • It can be very expensive. There are other forms of this same medicine that are much cheaper, including a nose spray.
  • You have to use two nosepieces to get the full dose of Onzetra (sumatriptan), which can be hard to remember.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) is only available in one strength.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ImitrexOnzetra
  • 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.
  • Follow the instructions exactly as shown by the package insert and your doctor or pharmacist; otherwise, Onzetra (sumatriptan) won't work correctly and you won't get any medicine.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) can only treat a migraine that's already happening. You can't use it to stop migraines from starting.
  • You have to use 2 nosepieces of Onzetra (sumatriptan) to get the full dose of medicine.
  • Don't use more than 2 full doses (4 nosepieces) in a 24-hour period.
  • If you're using more than 8 doses of Onzetra (sumatriptan) a month, talk to your doctor to see if you should try another medicine.
  • You can only use each nosepiece of Onzetra (sumatriptan) once. Throw it away in the trash after you've checked that you used the medicine correctly.
Learn more
More about ImitrexSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Imitrex (sumatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about OnzetraSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Onzetra (sumatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it