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.
If you are using drugs for migraine attacks on 10 or more days each month, the drugs may actually make your headaches worse (medication overuse headache). Do not use medications more often or for longer than directed. Tell your doctor if you need to use this medication more often, or if the medication is not working as well, or if your headaches get worse.
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.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
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.
Sumatriptan can commonly cause chest/jaw/neck tightness, pain, or pressure that is usually not serious. However, these side effects are like symptoms of a heart attack, which may include chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, or unusual sweating. Get medical help right away if these or other serious side effects occur, including: fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, seizure, signs of a stroke (such as weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, sudden vision changes, confusion).
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.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
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.