Compare Imitrex vs. Propranolol

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

Imitrex
(Sumatriptan)

Inderal
(Propranolol)

Treats migraine headaches. Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Inderal (Propranolol) is good for treating many heart problems and other problems in the body, but it has more side effects than other beta blockers. You can't miss doses.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.538461538461538Imitrex
Reviews for Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
77%
of people say Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is worth it
73%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Inderal (Propranolol)
62%
15% vs. Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
58%
15% vs. Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
17%
2% vs. Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
Side effects
ImitrexPropranolol
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Fatigue 4%
More Propranolol side effects »
How it works
ImitrexPropranolol
Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.Inderal (Propranolol) is an alpha and beta blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing heart rate, relaxing blood vessels, and lowering the body's fight-or-flight response.
Type of medication
ImitrexPropranolol
Antimigraine
Triptan
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Beta blocker
Prescription only
Available as
ImitrexPropranolol
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ImitrexPropranolol
Risk factors for serious side effects
ImitrexPropranolol
  • 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 »
    • Suddenly stopping Inderal (Propranolol)
      • Major surgery requiring anesthesia
      • Diabetes
        • Concurrent use of non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, digoxin or clonidine
          Detailed Inderal (Propranolol) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          ImitrexPropranolol
          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
          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
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          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.
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          • Imitrex (Sumatriptan) can make you drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
          No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.
          • Cases of heart failure due to taking Inderal (Propranolol) have been reported. Tell your doctor if you noticed increased swelling around your legs or ankles, sudden weight gain or sudden shortness of breath as these may be symptoms of heart failure.
          Upsides and benefits
          ImitrexPropranolol
          • 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.
          • A first-choice treatment to prevent chest pain (angina).
          • A first-choice treatment for heart failure, heart attack, heart valve disorders, and abnormal heart rhythm.
          • Also treats and prevents many non-heart problems, such as tremors, anxiety, migraines, and liver disease symptoms.
          Downsides and risks
          ImitrexPropranolol
          • 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.
          • Taking a beta blocker might make you feel more tired or out of breath during exercise or normal daily routines. This gets better for most people, but for some might not go away.
          • Has more side effects than some beta blockers because it crosses into the brain and central nervous system.
          • Not a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure according to the latest guidelines, except if you have heart failure or heart disease. As a second choice, your doctor might add it to medicines you're already taking if your blood pressure is still too high.
          • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar if you're diabetic.
          • You can't miss doses. Stopping Propranolol suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          ImitrexPropranolol
          • 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.
          • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
          • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
          • Can cause insomnia and fatigue.
          • Can hide symptoms of low blood sugar. Be careful if you're diabetic.
          • Don't stop taking this medicine suddenly.
          Learn more
          More about ImitrexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about PropranololSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert