Generic Name: sumatriptan (SOO-ma-TRIP-tan)
Brand Name: Imitrex

Imitrex is used for:

The treatment of migraine headaches with or without aura (eg, flashing lights, wavy lines, dark spots). It is also used to treat cluster headaches.

Imitrex is a serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonist ("triptan"). It works by narrowing blood vessels in the brain, which helps to relieve migraine and cluster headaches.

Do NOT use Imitrex if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Imitrex
  • you have a history of ischemic heart disease (eg, angina, heart attack), coronary artery disease (CAD), other moderate to severe heart problems, brain blood vessel disease (eg, stroke, transient ischemic attack), or other blood vessel disease (eg, Raynaud syndrome, ischemic bowel disease)
  • you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or severe liver problems
  • you have certain types of migraines (eg, hemiplegic, basilar)
  • you have used certain other migraine medicines within the past 24 hours (eg, an ergot derivative [eg, dihydroergotamine, methysergide] or another serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonist [eg, eletriptan, rizatriptan])
  • you are taking sibutramine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Living with Your Migraines: Tips for Treatment and Prevention

Before using Imitrex:

Some medical conditions may interact with Imitrex. Tell your health care provider if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of liver or kidney problems, seizures (eg, epilepsy), or heart problems
  • if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, or a history of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, diabetes, or smoking
  • if you are a woman who is past menopause
  • if you are a man who is older than 40 years old
  • if you are very overweight
  • if a family member has had heart disease or a stroke

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Imitrex. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (eg, fluoxetine), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (eg, duloxetine), or sibutramine because the risk of a serious side effect called serotonin syndrome may be increased. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome may include mental or mood changes, hallucinations, fast heartbeat, fever, loss of coordination, muscle spasms, increased sweating, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine) because they may increase the risk of Imitrex's side effects
  • Ergot derivatives (eg, dihydroergotamine, methysergide) or other serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonists (eg, eletriptan, rizatriptan) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Imitrex

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Imitrex may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Imitrex:

Use Imitrex as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Imitrex. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • A health care provider will teach you how to use Imitrex. Be sure you understand how to use Imitrex. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Imitrex if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the device is cracked or damaged.
  • Inject Imitrex just under the skin. Do NOT inject Imitrex into a muscle or a blood vessel. Talk with your health care provider about suitable injection sites, how to prepare the device, and how to give an injection.
  • Imitrex will relieve migraine pain at any time during an attack. It is best to inject a dose of Imitrex as soon as you notice symptoms of a migraine attack.
  • If your migraine symptoms go away and then come back, you may use a second dose as directed by your doctor. Wait at least 1 hour between doses.
  • If your symptoms do not improve after the first injection, do not use a second dose for the same attack. Contact your doctor.
  • Do not use more than 2 doses in a 24-hour period or treat more than 4 headaches within 30 days without checking with your doctor.
  • If you are using an auto-injector, do not throw it away.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Imitrex and you still have a headache, follow your doctor's dosing instructions. Contact your doctor if you are unsure of what to do if you miss a dose. Do not use Imitrex more often than prescribed. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Imitrex.

Important safety information:

  • Imitrex may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Imitrex with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Overuse of Imitrex can cause your headache to become worse. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Rarely, serious heart problems (eg, heart attack, irregular heartbeat) have been reported within a few hours of using Imitrex. Contact your doctor at once if fast or irregular heartbeat; chest, jaw, or neck pain or numbness; numbness of an arm or leg; severe stomach pain, dizziness, or vomiting; fainting; or vision changes occur. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Serotonin syndrome is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by Imitrex. Your risk may be greater if you take Imitrex with certain other medicines (eg, SSRIs, SNRIs). Symptoms may include agitation; confusion; hallucinations; coma; fever; fast or irregular heartbeat; tremor; excessive sweating; and nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Imitrex should not be used to prevent or reduce the number of migraine headaches you have. If you have a headache that is different than your usual migraine headaches, check with your doctor before using Imitrex.
  • Lab tests, including heart function, may be performed while you use Imitrex. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Imitrex with caution in the ELDERLY; the risk of serious side effects (eg, heart problems, high blood pressure) may be increased.
  • Imitrex is not approved for use in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old. Talk with the doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Imitrex can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Imitrex while you are pregnant. Imitrex is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Imitrex, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Imitrex:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Anxiety; burning, numbness, or tingling of the skin; dizziness; drowsiness; feeling of heaviness, pressure, or tightness; feeling strange; mild, temporary flushing; muscle aches or cramps; nausea; neck stiffness; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; sick feeling; stomach upset; throat or sinus discomfort; tight feeling in the head; tingling; tiredness; vomiting; warm/hot sensation; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody diarrhea; chest pain; confusion; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; hallucinations; hearing problems or loss of hearing; numbness or tingling of an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; pain, tightness, or pressure in the jaw, neck, or chest; seizures; severe headache, dizziness, or vomiting; severe or prolonged flushing; severe stomach pain; shortness of breath; speech changes; trouble swallowing; very cold or blue fingers or toes; vision changes or loss of vision; wheezing.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Imitrex:

Store Imitrex at room temperature. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Imitrex in the packaging it comes in. If a case is provided, keep Imitrex in the case. Throw away expired medicine as directed by your doctor (the expiration date is printed on the packaging). Keep Imitrex out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Imitrex, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Imitrex is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Imitrex or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Imitrex. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Imitrex. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Imitrex.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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