What is Imitrex?
Imitrex is the most effective, most prescribed treatment for acute migraine attacks, whether or not you have the presence of an aura. Taken immediately, often in injectable form, Imitrex can help stop a migraine in its early stages before the most severe symptoms occur. Although Imitrex can stop migraines as they occur or shorten their duration, it, unfortunately, will not reduce the number of migraines you may have.
How do I take Imitrex?
Imitrex is taken in three ways: An injectable liquid, tablets, and a nasal spray. All of these medications can be taken immediately at the onset of a migraine headache or the aura which precedes the migraine. Taken at this time, Imitrex can effectively stop or lessen the effects of your migraine headache. Imitrex tablets should be taken with plenty of fluid and swallowed whole, do not chew them. Imitrex tablets are supplied in 25, 50, and 100 mg strengths. Generally, the lowest dose of 25 mg is to be taken with fluids as soon as possible after your migraine begins. Over time, your doctor may increase this dose to a maximum of 100 mg with the onset of your migraine. This dose may be repeated at intervals of at least two hours for a maximum of 200 mg per day of the tablets. If you have liver disease, take no more than 50 mg per dose and, of course, consult your doctor before beginning treatment with Imitrex.
Imitrex nasal spray is prescribed in single-dose bottles of either 5 or 25 mg of the drug. At the onset of a migraine, one single spray into one nostril is the standard dosage pattern. If you do not feel relief with your single dosage, you may repeat the dose once after approximately two hours. Your dosage should not exceed more than 40 mg per day as directed by your doctor. Your beginning dose should be approximately 5 mg, however, your doctor can increase this to the 20 mg single-dose bottle on an as needed basis.
The imitrex injection is an excellent way to receive the medication quickly. It is recommended that at the onset of your migraine or the aura preceding it, you inject 6 mg into the subcutaneous tissues of your leg, buttocks, or shoulder area. You should take care not to inject Imitrex directly into a muscle or a vein, but into the fatty layer approximately 1/4" below the surface of your skin. Your doctor should show you how to properly inject the medication and dispose of the empty syringes. If your symptoms are not relieved after your first injection, you may repeat the injection after one hour, but should not have more than two injections within a 24-hour period. If your headache returns after you have had your first injection, you may take a single Imitrex tablet approximately two hours after the injection. Again, a maximum of 200 mg a day is the recommended dose.
When will I see results?
Imitrex is formulated as a fast-acting migraine medication which actually stops the action of certain chemicals within the body that cause the migraine. Taken appropriately, the effects of Imitrex can be seen within minutes, helping you avoid the painful onset of headache, if taken during the aura period of visual or auditory disturbances.
Is Imitrex safe?
Yes. Imitrex is a safe and effective medication, but is not recommended for regular use. It is only recommended for acute attacks and, unfortunately, will not decrease the number of attacks you would experience at any given time, only the severity of those attacks. There are other medications that can decrease the frequency of migraines that are experienced within a given period of time. Please see your doctor to find out what migraine prevention medications might be right for you.
Side effects may include:
Burning sensation with dosage, dizziness or vertigo, feeling of flushing, mouth and tongue discomfort, nausea, breathing difficulties, nasal discomfort, sore throat, unusual taste, vomiting, or warm and cold sensations.
Less common side effects include anxiety, asthma, abdominal discomfort, acid reflux, bleeding problems, and a pins-and-needles sensation.
Special warnings and considerations for patients considering Imitrex:
Imitrex is not recommended for migraine which is associated with hemiplegic or basilar symptoms. Please consult your physician to see if these conditions describe your migraine patterns. Further, Imitrex should not be used by patients with certain types of heart or blood vessel disease, history of chest pain, strokes, or uncontrolled high blood pressure. Certain other medications also have significant dangerous side effects in conjunction with Imitrex use. Please consult a doctor for full details.
Please take care to take Imitrex exactly as directed to avoid the potential for overdose. Symptoms of overdosage may include discoloration and blue skin, convulsions, paralysis, lack of coordination, skin temperature changes, tremor, and dilated pupils.
Please consult a doctor for a complete list of drug precautions and side effects and complete our patient profile form and our doctors will help you decide if Imitrex is right for you.