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Drugs & Medications

Imitrex

GENERIC NAME(S): sumatriptan succinate

Uses

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 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.

How to use Imitrex

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking sumatriptan and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

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 for heart problems (see Precautions), 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 for details.

Overuse of drugs to treat sudden migraine attacks can sometimes lead to worsening of headache (medication overuse headache) or rebound headache. Therefore, do not use this medication more often or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you need to use this medication more often, if the medication is not working as well, or if you have more frequent or worse headaches. Your doctor may need to change your medication and/or add another medication to help prevent headaches.

Side Effects

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.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: blue fingers/toes/nails, cold hands/feet, hearing changes, mental/mood changes.

Chest/jaw/neck tightness can commonly occur soon after using sumatriptan. Only rarely are these signs of a serious condition. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a serious reaction due to a lack of blood flow to the heart, brain, or other parts of the body. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, jaw/left arm pain, fainting, fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat, vision changes, weakness on one side of the body, confusion, slurred speech, sudden or severe stomach/abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, change in the amount of urine.

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

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. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

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).

Certain conditions can increase your risk for heart problems. Tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions, including: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, family history of heart disease, overweight, smoker, postmenopausal (women), age more than 40 years (men).

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

The risk of heart disease, liver disease, and high blood pressure increases with age. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially increased blood pressure and heart problems.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This drug passes into breast milk in small amounts. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Do not take any MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.

The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine), among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.

If you also take any ergotamine medication (such as dihydroergotamine or methysergide) or other "triptan" drugs (such as zolmitriptan, rizatriptan), you will need to separate your sumatriptan dose from your dose of these other medications to lessen the chance of serious side effects. Ask your doctor how long you should wait between your doses of these drugs.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Certain foods, beverages, or food additives (such as red wine, cheese, chocolate, monosodium glutamate) as well as lifestyle patterns such as irregular eating/sleeping habits or stress may bring on a migraine headache. Avoiding these "triggers" may help lessen migraine attacks. Consult your doctor for more details.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Missed Dose

Not applicable. (See How to Use section.)

Storage

Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Information last revised October 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

Images

IMITREX 25 MG TABLET
IMITREX 25 MG TABLET
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IMITREX 50 MG TABLET
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IMITREX 100 MG TABLET
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IMITREX 25 MG TABLET
IMITREX 25 MG TABLET

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color
white
shape
triangular
imprint
I, 25
This medicine is a white, triangular, film-coated tablet imprinted with "I" and "25".
IMITREX 50 MG TABLET
IMITREX 50 MG TABLET

Identification

color
white
shape
triangular
imprint
IMITREX 50, logo
This medicine is a white, triangular, film-coated tablet imprinted with "IMITREX 50" and "logo".
IMITREX 100 MG TABLET
IMITREX 100 MG TABLET

Identification

color
pink
shape
triangular
imprint
IMITREX 100, logo
This medicine is a pink, triangular, film-coated tablet imprinted with "IMITREX 100" and "logo".

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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