Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available



  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
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Treats migraine headaches.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Save on your next Imitrex (Sumatriptan) prescription

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What to expect when you take Imitrex (Sumatriptan) for Migraine Headache

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • 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.
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Side effects for Imitrex (Sumatriptan)

From clinical trials of Imitrex / Migraine attacks (25 mg)  ( 726)

  • Pain and other pressure sensationsPain and other pressure sensations6% for Sumatriptan vs.4% for placebo
  • Atypical sensationsAtypical sensations5% for Sumatriptan vs.4% for placebo
  • Paresthesia (all types)Paresthesia (all types)3% for Sumatriptan vs.2% for placebo
  • Sensation warm/coldSensation warm/cold3% for Sumatriptan vs.2% for placebo
  • Pain - location specifiedPain - location specified2% for Sumatriptan vs.1% for placebo
  • Malaise/fatigueMalaise/fatigue2% for Sumatriptan vs.0% for placebo
  • Chest - pain/tightness/pressure and/or heavinessChest - pain/tightness/pressure and/or heaviness1% for Sumatriptan vs.1% for placebo
  • Other - pressure/tightness/ heavinessOther - pressure/tightness/ heaviness1% for Sumatriptan vs.2% for placebo

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Neck/throat/jaw - pain/ tightness/pressure
  • Vertigo

Risks and Warnings for Imitrex (Sumatriptan)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking

    Some people taking Imitrex (Sumatriptan) have reported temporary chest pain, pressure, and tightness. These symptoms are caused by heart vessels being constricted/tightened. Before starting Imitrex (Sumatriptan), people who have coronary artery disease, or are more likely to have it, should talk to their doctor about having a heart health assessment.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Imitrex (Sumatriptan)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Imitrex (Sumatriptan) can make you drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • I can work through the foggy period I get after taking it IF I'm up for the day. If I take it at night, I have to have at least four hours of sleep afterwards to function.