Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Imitrex

(Sumatriptan)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
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Treats migraine headaches.

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Our bottom line

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

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Upsides

  • 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

  • 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.

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

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Side effect rates for Imitrex (Sumatriptan)

726 From clinical trials of Imitrex / Migraine attacks (25 mg)
  • Pain and other pressure sensations
  • Atypical sensations
  • Paresthesia (all types)
  • Sensation warm/cold
  • Pain - location specified
  • Malaise/fatigue

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.

Common concerns from people taking Imitrex (Sumatriptan)

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Pregnancy
Pain
  • I used to wait until I knew the pain was a migraine, but it took so much longer to work, now I take it at the first sign. For the last year or so, I get tired after taking it, unless I'm up and moving around, but it's better than the pain!
Sleep
  • Imitrex (Sumatriptan) can make you drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.