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Generic Name: sumatriptan (injection) (SOO ma TRIP tan)
Brand Names: Alsuma, Imitrex, Imitrex Statdose, Imitrex Statdose Refill, Sumavel DosePro

What is Imitrex?

Imitrex (sumatriptan) is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Sumatriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms.

Imitrex is used to treat migraine headaches and cluster headaches in adults. Imitrex will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Imitrex should not be used to treat a common tension headache or a headache that causes loss of movement on one side of your body. Use this medicine only if your condition has been confirmed by a doctor as migraine headaches.

Important information

You should not use Imitrex if you have any history of heart disease or coronary artery disease, blood circulation problems, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe liver disease, circulation problems affecting your intestines, history of a stroke, or if your headache seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches.

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

Do not use Imitrex if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Do not use Imitrex within 24 hours before or after using any migraine headache medicine..

Before using this medicine

You should not use Imitrex if you are allergic to sumatriptan, or if you have:

  • coronary artery disease, angina (chest pain), blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart;

  • a heart disorder called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome;

  • a history of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke, including "mini-stroke";

  • untreated or or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • severe liver disease;

  • circulation problems affecting your intestines; or

  • a headache that seems different from your usual migraine headaches.

Do not use Imitrex if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

To make sure Imitrex is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • high blood pressure, a heart rhythm disorder; or

  • risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).

Imitrex can affect your pupils during cataract surgery. Tell your eye surgeon ahead of time that you are using this medicine.

It is not known whether Imitrex will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine. Your name may need to be listed on a sumatriptan pregnancy registry.

Sumatriptan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed within 12 hours after using a sumatriptan. If you use a breast pump during this time, throw out any milk you collect. Do not feed it to your baby.

This medicine should not be given to anyone under 18 or over 65 years of age.

How should I use Imitrex?

Use Imitrex exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Overuse of migraine headache medicine can actually make your headaches worse.

Use Imitrex as soon as you notice headache symptoms, or after an attack has already begun.

Your doctor may want to give your first dose of this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to see if you have any serious side effects.

Take one Imitrex tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not split the tablet.

After taking a tablet: If your headache does not completely go away, or goes away and comes back, take a second tablet two (2) hours after the first. Do not take more than 200 mg of sumatriptan oral tablets in 24 hours. If your symptoms have not improved, contact your doctor before taking any more tablets.

Imitrex nasal spray comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Blow your nose to clear your nasal passages before using the nasal spray. Try not to sneeze or blow your nose just after using the spray.

After using the Imitrex nasal spray: If your headache does not completely go away after using the spray, call your doctor before using a second spray. If your headache goes away and then comes back, you may use a second spray if it has been at least two hours since you used the first spray. Do not use more than 40 mg of sumatriptan nasal spray in 24 hours. If your symptoms do not improve, contact your doctor before using any more sprays.

Contact your doctor if you have more than four headaches in one month (30 days).

Store Imitrex at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include tremors, skin redness, scabs or scaly skin where you injected the medicine, weakness, lack of coordination, breathing problems, blue-colored lips or fingernails, vision problems, seizure (convulsions), or loss of movement in any part of your body.

What should I avoid while using Imitrex?

Do not use Imitrex within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine, including:

  • sumatriptan tablets or nasal spray, almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or zolmitriptan (Zomig); or

  • ergot medicine such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot, Migergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), or methylergonovine (Methergine).

Imitrex may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Imitrex side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Imitrex: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Imitrex and call your doctor if you have:

  • sudden and severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea;

  • numbness or tingling and a pale or blue-colored appearance in your fingers or toes;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • dangerously high blood pressure - severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, nosebleed, anxiety, confusion, severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats;

  • heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, tightness or pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance; or

  • (if you are also taking an antidepressant) - agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting.

Common Imitrex side effects may include:

  • numbness or burning sensation;

  • pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body;

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • feeling weak or tired;

  • neck pain or stiffness;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); or

  • pain, redness, bleeding, swelling, or bruising where you injected the medicine.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Imitrex?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Imitrex, especially:

  • imatinib, isoniazid, nefazodone;

  • an antibiotic - clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin;

  • an antidepressant - amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, imipramine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone;

  • antifungal medication - itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;

  • heart medication - nicardipine, quinidine; or

  • antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS - boceprevir, atazanavir, cobicistat (Stribild, Tybost), delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telaprevir.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with sumatriptan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Imitrex.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Imitrex only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2015 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2014-12-18, 7:38:18 AM.

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