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Sumatriptan (Imitrex)

Sumatriptan is a medicine used to treat headaches and migraine headaches in adults. It reduces the substance in your body that can cause migraine symptoms like headache, pain, and nausea. Also, the drug narrows the blood vessels around the brain. Imitrex is a brand name for the generic drug Sumatriptan. It comes in tablets, a nasal spray, and an injection. It can only treat a headache and will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks that you can have. Doctors often prescribe Sumatriptan for tension headaches or headaches that cause one-sided paralysis. Imitrex is a prescription medicine, and use it only if a doctor confirms your condition as a migraine headache.

Uses of Sumatriptan

  • Migraine Headache

Sumatriptan(Imitrex) can relieve the pain of recurring migraines. Migraines are headaches with throbbing pain on one side of the head. It can help with symptoms of migraines, like feeling sick, throwing up, and sensitivity to light.

How does Sumatriptan (Imitrex) work?

Sumatriptan is a generic name for Imitrex. It belongs to a group of drugs known as selective serotonin receptor agonists. It helps to treat acute migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are generally meant to happen when blood vessels in the head swell up. To treat such conditions, Sumatriptan helps by narrowing blood vessels in the head. It stops the pain signals to the brain and blocks chemicals that lead to migraine symptoms. Thus, Imitrex helps to relieve the migraine attack.

How to take Sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan has different forms, such as oral tablets, nasal sprays, and injections. It is essential to follow the dose and duration directed by your doctor for the use of this drug. While taking an oral tablet of Sumatriptan, you can consume it with or without food. Take the pill with a glass of water, and do not chew or break it during intake. Ensure that you take the prescribed strength as long as suggested for you. Do not skip any dose and finish the entire course of treatment.

Missed Dose

Since Sumatriptan is used when needed, it does not usually have a daily dosing schedule. But if a doctor advises for its everyday use, take it at fixed intervals and do not miss any dose. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible; otherwise, skip it and take the next dose at its time.


Taking an overdose of Imitrex can be unsafe and lead to overdosing effects on your body. It may cause symptoms like tremors, loss of coordination, vision problems, seizures, and breathing problems. If you accidentally consume an overdose, immediately call a doctor or seek medical help as soon as possible.

What are Side effects of Sumatriptan (Imitrex)?

These are some major & minor side effects that Sumatriptan may contain. Not every person who takes this medicine faces these side effects. In some cases, they rarely appear in mild form, but if any of them turn serious, please consult a doctor.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching
  • Drowsiness
  • The feeling of warmth or heat
  • Unusual tiredness and weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting and Nausea

Drug Interaction for Sumatriptan

If you take Imitrex with certain other drugs, it can cause a dangerous condition known as "serotonin syndrome." It happens when there are too high levels of serotonin in your body, and it can be fatal. You must inform your doctor if you are also taking

  • Medicines used to treat depression or a psychiatric disorder
  • Parkinson's disease medication
  • Stimulant drugs
  • Treatments used for severe infections
  • Herbal products
  • Medicines used to prevent vomiting and nausea
  • Opioid drugs

Disease Interaction for Sumatriptan

Taking Sumatriptan under the following conditions can be unsafe. Inform your doctor before you take this medicine if you are suffering from any of them. Certain conditions that can interact with Imitrex are-

  • Heart problems or a stroke
  • Allergy to Sumatriptan
  • A heart disorder known as Wolff-Parkinson-white syndrome
  • Coronary artery disease, angina(chest pain)
  • Blood circulation problems that may also affect your arms, legs, stomach, intestine, or kidneys
  • Severe liver or kidney disease
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Having a headache that seems different from usual migraine headaches
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • Heart rhythm disorders

Precautions and Safety advice

Consuming alcohol while taking Imitrex can lead to excessive drowsiness. So, make sure that you do not drink alcohol while taking this medicine.

Sumatriptan can decrease your alertness, make you feel dizzy or sleepy, and cause blurry vision. If you suspect these effects after taking this medicine, do not drive unless you start to feel better.

If you have a liver or kidney disease, then you must be cautious while taking Sumatriptan. Take it only when a doctor prescribes it is safe; also, they may change the dosage depending on your medical condition.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding a baby, then you must inform your doctor before you take Sumatriptan. Know the potential risks before you take any drug during such a situation.

Use of Sumatriptan may cause an increase in blood pressure. So, you may need to Monitor your blood pressure regularly while taking this drug.

Frequently asked questions

Does Sumatriptan(Imitrex) is a habit-forming medicine?

No, Sumatriptan does not cause any habit-forming tendency.

How long does Imitrex take to show its effect?

Imitrex, also known as Sumatriptan, usually takes effect within 30-60 minutes after taking it.

Is Imitrex(Sumatriptan) the best for migraines?

Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is effective for many individuals in alleviating migraine symptoms. It narrows the blood vessels in the head and blocking pain signals. This drug is not a preventive but may help in relieving the symptoms of acute migraine headaches. However, the "best" treatment varies among individuals.

Can I take Sumatriptan daily?

Sumatriptan is not a habit-forming drug, but taking it too often can cause rebound headaches. Such headaches can occur frequently or daily if you start to take this drug too often. So, to prevent such risks, follow your doctor's advice, and better if you only take it 10 days per month.

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