Imitrex

Generic Name: Sumatriptan

  • What is Imitrex?

    Imitrex is a kind of medicine called a triptan, which is used to treat migraine headaches.

    Imitrex is available as tablets, injection, and nasal spray.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Imitrex?

    Imitrex is used only to treat migraine headaches; it is not used to prevent or reduce the number of attacks you have.

    There is a risk of heart attack associated with Imitrex. If you have heart problems, do not take Imitrex. Talk to your doctor about other migraine treatments.

    You may feel drowsy or dizzy because of your migraine or treatment with Imitrex tablets. Use caution when engaging in activities that require alertness (such as driving or using machines) until you know how this drug affects you.

    Call your doctor right away if you experience chest pain, tightness, or pressure that is severe and does not go away; sudden and/or severe abdominal pain; serotonin syndrome (symptoms may include confusion, hallucinations, fast heartbeat, feeling faint, fever, sweating, muscle spasm, difficulty walking, and/or diarrhea); allergic reactions (for example, shortness of breath; wheezing; heart throbbing; swelling of eyelids, face, or lips; a skin rash, skin lumps, or hives which happens rarely); or if you feel unwell in any other way or have any symptoms that you do not understand.

  • Who should not take Imitrex?

    Do not begin treatment with Imitrex if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

    Also, do not take this medication if you have severe liver problems, uncontrolled high blood pressure, have had a stroke, or you are taking any other medications with ergotamine or within 2 weeks of taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, or MAOI, a class of drugs used to treat depression, psychiatric and emotional disorders, and Parkinson's disease.

    Imitrex should not be used in people who have heart problems, such as coronary artery disease (CAD). Also, do not take this drug if you have symptoms or risk factors for CAD such as diabetes, high cholesterol, if you smoke, are overweight or obese, are menopausal, or a male >40 years old.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Imitrex?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Imitrex. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are overweight, have diabetes, smoke, a strong history of heart disease, are postmenopausal, are a male >40 years old, kidney or liver problems, had a stroke, seizures (epilepsy), are pregnant, may be pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Tablets

    Adults: The usual dose is 25 milligrams (mg), 50 mg, or 100 mg taken at the first sign of a migraine. If the pain is not relieved, another dose may be taken at least 2 hours after the first dose; the maximum daily dose of Imitrex is 200 mg.

    Nasal Spray

    Adults: Imitrex nasal spray is available as 5 mg or 20 mg. The usual dose is a single nasal spray in 1 nostril.

    For any attack where you have no response to the first nasal spray, do not take a second nasal spray without first talking with your doctor. Do not take more than a total of 40 mg of Imitrex nasal spray in any 24-hour period.

    Injection

    Adults: The maximum recommended dose of Imitrex injection is 6 mg given subcutaneously (just below the skin). The maximum recommended dose that may be given in 24 hours is two 6-mg injections separated by at least 1 hour.

  • How should I take Imitrex?

    Imitrex tablets should be swallowed whole with water or fluids. Do not split the tablets. If your symptoms of migraine come back or if you have a partial response to the first dose, you can take a second tablet 2 hours after the first tablet, but not sooner.

    Imitrex injection should only be administered subcutaneously, just below the skin.

  • What should I avoid while taking Imitrex?

    Avoid becoming pregnant while being treated with Imitrex.

    For any attack where you have no response to the first dose of Imitrex, do not take a second dose without first talking to your doctor.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Imitrex?

    If Imitrex is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Imitrex with the following: other migraine medicines, citalopram, dihydroergotamine, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, methysergide, olanzapine/fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, or venlafaxine.

  • What are the possible side effects of Imitrex?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: burning/tingling/prickly sensation on the skin, chest pain or tightness, cold/warm sensation, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, sleepiness/tiredness, flushing, feeling sick, tingling

  • Can I receive Imitrex if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Imitrex during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Imitrex?

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once. Imitrex is usually taken on an as-needed basis.

  • How should I store Imitrex?

    Store at room temperature, away from light and heat. Do not take tablets out of the packaging until you are ready to take them. Do not store the tablets in any other container.

    Keep the injection in the carrying case that comes with it.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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