Compare Imitrex vs. Topamax

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

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Imitrex (Sumatriptan)

Prescription only

Topamax (topiramate)

Prescription only
Treats migraine headaches.

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

3.9/ 5 average rating with 31 reviewsforImitrex
Prevents seizures and migraine headaches.

Topamax (topiramate) is very effective at preventing many types of seizures and migraines, but it can cause several severe side effects that can lead to stopping the medication.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 56 reviewsforTopamax
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.
  • Can lower your number of seizures and also prevent migraine headaches. This medicine can be used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures.
  • Doesn't need routine blood tests like similar medications.
  • Available in short-acting and long-acting forms.
  • Comes as a generic, so it's relatively 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.
  • Can cause many severe side effects. People starting Topamax (topiramate) need to be monitored for these effects as soon as they start treatment.
  • This medicine can take 4 to 6 weeks for the full effects of this medication to kick in, especially for people taking it for migraines.
  • Children taking Topamax (topiramate) for long periods of time need to have their dose adjusted by their pediatrician as they grow.
  • At higher doses (ie. 400 mg/day), children may experience difficulty with concentration/attention, fever, flushing, and confusion.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
Price
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Reviews
31 reviews so far
74%
saidit'sworth it
68%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Imitrex (Sumatriptan)?

Leave a review
56 reviews so far
52%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
36%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Topamax (topiramate)?

Leave a review
Side effects
6possible side effects
  • Pain and other pressure sensations
    6%
  • Atypical sensations
    5%
  • Paresthesia (all types)
    3%
  • Sensation warm/cold
    3%
  • Pain - location specified
    2%
  • Malaise/fatigue
    2%
See more detailed side effects
39possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    26%
  • Loss of appetite
    24%
  • Fatigue
    16%
  • Injury
    14%
  • Nervousness
    14%
  • Personality disorder (behavior problems)
    11%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention
    10%
  • Weight loss
    9%
  • Aggressive reaction
    9%
  • Abnormal gait
    8%
  • Purpura
    8%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    8%
  • Viral infection
    7%
  • Impaired coordination
    6%
  • Nausea
    6%
  • Increased saliva
    6%
  • Muscle spasm
    5%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Difficulty with memory
    5%
  • Pneumonia
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Speech disorders/ related speech problems
    4%
  • Nose bleed
    4%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Urinary incontinence
    4%
  • Stomach flu
    3%
  • Psychomotor slowing
    3%
  • Skin disorder
    3%
  • Allergic reaction
    2%
  • Abnormal reflexes
    2%
  • Thirst
    2%
  • Pussing
    2%
  • Hair loss
    2%
  • Dermatitis
    2%
  • Increased hair growth
    2%
  • Red skin rash
    2%
  • Eye abnormality
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Leukopenia
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Tightening of blood vessels (myocardial angina, ischemia, or infarction)
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking
  • Stroke
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Patients taking SSRIs and SNRIs
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Fever and inability to sweat
    • Children
  • Mental and cognitive changes
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Depakote
  • Kidney stones
    • Low-carb diet
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions
  • Vision problems
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Topamax (topiramate) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings