Compare Lamictal vs. Imitrex

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

Lamictal
(Lamotrigine)

Imitrex
(Sumatriptan)

Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood. Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.Treats migraine headaches. Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.178571428571429Lamictal
Reviews for Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
67%
of people say Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is worth it
58%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
77%
+10% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
73%
+15% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
15%
+4% vs. Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
Side effects
LamictalImitrex
  • Double vision 41%
  • Dizziness 27%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 18%
  • Blurred vision 15%
  • Nausea 14%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Incoordination 4%
More Lamictal 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 »
How it works
LamictalImitrex
Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to calm nerve activity in the brain.Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.
Type of medication
LamictalImitrex
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Antimigraine
Triptan
Prescription only
Available as
LamictalImitrex
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
Used for (click to learn more)
LamictalImitrex
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lamictal (Lamotrigine)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Imitrex (Sumatriptan)
Risk factors for serious side effects
LamictalImitrex
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Increasing the dose too quickly
        • Taking birth control pills
        • Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly
        Detailed Lamictal (Lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
        • 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 »
          Pregnancy category
          LamictalImitrex
          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
          • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
          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
          No specific sleep-related info.
          • Imitrex (Sumatriptan) can make you drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          LamictalImitrex
          • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
          • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
          • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
          • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
          • 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.
          Downsides and risks
          LamictalImitrex
          • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
          • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
          • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
          • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
          • 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.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          LamictalImitrex
          • Follow dose adjustments set by your doctor to minimize skin rash.
          • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
          • Report rash, blurry vision, fever, persistent headache, or neck stiffness to your doctor.
          • Makes hormonal birth control less effective.
          • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
          • 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.
          Learn more
          More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about ImitrexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert