Imitrex is the brand name for sumatriptan which a drug used for the treatment of migraines. This drug can be administered orally, in the nose or using an injection.
Each Imitrex tablet contains sumatriptan succinate salt as the active ingredient. Other ingredients include magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous, sodium bicarbonate, triacetin, croscarmellose sodium, titanium dioxide, and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose.
Imitrex belongs to a category of medications referred to as triptans. This medicine works by affecting serotonin, a natural substance that is responsible for narrowing brain blood vessels. It also relieves pain by affecting certain brain nerves. Imitrex also lowers the concentration of inflammatory substances in the body that cause nausea, head pain, sensitivity to sound and light among other migraine manifestations. This medicine is more effective when taken immediately migraine symptoms are felt.
Sumatriptan is primarily used for treating migraines. It also helps to lower headache, pain and other symptoms caused by migraines. When taken in good time, it reduces the need to administer other pain medications.
Mode of Indication, Dosage, and Treatment Duration
Imitrex tablets are administered in strengths of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. You can swallow the tablets with water or any other liquid. A doctor should determine the best dosage based on the individual evaluation of a patient. However, the maximum dosage you can take in a day should be no more than 200 mg. Medication can be repeated after 2 hours if the migraine reoccurs or doesn’t go away completely. For an injection, Imitrex is given as 6 mg standard dosage, but lesser dosages of 1 mg – 5mg could be used. This drug generally offers relief within 2 hours of use. Note that Sumatriptan can only treat migraines but cannot prevent them from occurring.
Imitrex Side Effects
Like any other medication, Imitrex is associated with a number of side effects and they include:
- General body weakness;
- Mild headache;
- Chest pain or tightness;
- Feeling hot or cold;
- Warmth, redness or tingling feeling under the skin;
- Spinning sensation;
- Nose irritation, numbness or pain after using the nasal spray.
Rare symptoms of Imitrex include:
- Nerve pain;
- Persistent stomach pain and discomfort;
- Extreme numbness on one side of the body;
- Skin redness especially around the face and neck;
- Vomiting blood;
- Trouble swallowing or speaking;
- Unusual bleeding.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, discontinue the medication immediately and visit a doctor at once.
Before commencing Imitrex medication, be sure to consult with your doctor so that precautions are taken to keep you safe. Since this drug causes drowsiness, dizziness, and weakness, it’s not advisable to drive or operate machinery. Let your doctor know if you have a history of any of the following conditions:
- Allergic to Sumatriptan succinate;
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol;
- Heart disease such as coronary heart disease;
- Heart attack or stroke;
- Hemiplegic or basilar migraine;
- Kidney complications;
- Hepatic liver impairment;
- Circulatory complications;
- Pregnant or plan to become pregnant;
- Men aged over 40 years or women who have gone through menopause;
- Have used other triptans or ergot medication 24 hours before a migraine;
- You are a smoker;
- Used MAO-A inhibitor within 14 days before your migraine;
- Taken anti-depressant drugs i.e. SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), or SNRIs (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors).
- Drug Interaction
Before you buy Imitrex, be cautious about different drug interactions as they affect the effectiveness of this medication. Some of the interactions with Sumatriptan include:
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan);
- Fluoxetine (Prozac);
- Sertraline (Zoloft);
- Sibutramine (Meridia);
- Venlafaxine (Effexor);
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta);
- Ergot-containing medications such as ergotamine (Methergine) and dihydroergotamine (Migranal).