Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is used to treat migraines. It helps to relieve headache, pain, and other migraine symptoms (including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light/sound). Prompt treatment helps you return to your normal routine and may decrease your need for other pain medications. Sumatriptan belongs to a class of drugs known as triptans. It affects a certain natural substance (serotonin) that causes the narrowing of blood vessels in the brain. It may also relieve pain by affecting certain nerves in the brain.
Sumatriptan does not prevent future migraines or lessen how often you get migraine attacks.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, at the first sign of a migraine. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If there is no improvement in your symptoms, do not take more doses of this medication before talking to your doctor. If your symptoms are only partly relieved, or if your headache comes back, you may take another dose at least two hours after the first dose. Do not take more than 200 milligrams in a 24-hour period.
This medication may also be used as a backup for sumatriptan injection. If your symptoms are only partly relieved or your headache comes back, you may take a dose of sumatriptan by mouth at least two hours after the injection, up to a maximum of 100 milligrams in a 24-hour period.
If you have a higher risk of heart problems, your doctor may perform a heart exam before you start taking sumatriptan. He/she may also direct you to take your first dose of this medication in the office/clinic to monitor for serious side effects (such as chest pain). Talk to your doctor about the details.
If you are using drugs for migraine attacks on 10 or more days each month, the drugs may actually make your headaches worse (medication overuse headache). Do not use medications more often or for longer than directed. Tell your doctor if you need to use this medication more often, or if the medication is not working as well, or if your headaches get worse.
Before using sumatriptan, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood circulation problems (for example, in your legs, arms/hands, or stomach), certain types of headaches (hemiplegic or basilar migraine), heart problems (such as chest pain, irregular heartbeat, previous heart attack), liver disease, seizure, stroke or "mini-stroke" (transient ischemic attack).
Flushing, feelings of tingling/numbness/prickling/heat, tiredness, weakness, drowsiness, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
Sumatriptan can commonly cause chest/jaw/neck tightness, pain, or pressure that is usually not serious. However, these side effects are like symptoms of a heart attack, which may include chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, or unusual sweating. Get medical help right away if these or other serious side effects occur, including:
-Severe stomach/abdominal pain,
-Signs of a stroke (such as weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, sudden vision changes, confusion).
How quickly does Imitrex work?
The oral form is slower and usually reaches its maximum effect within two hours. The nasal spray is somewhere between the other two in the amount of time it takes to begin working.
Imitrex can interact with a variety of other drugs, including:
• Drugs containing ergots, such as Migranal (dihydroergotamine mesylate) and Cafergot (ergotamine and caffeine)
• Monoamine Oxidase-A inhibitors, such as Nardil (phenelzine), or Marplan (isocarboxazid)
• Other triptan drugs.
• Does Imitrex make you tired?
• Use sumatriptan as soon as the migraine headache or cluster headache develops. It can make you feel tired or sleepy. If this happens, do not drive and do not use tools or machines. Your chest may feel tight or 'heavy' after taking sumatriptan.