Posted by pinksharkmark (188.8.131.52) on June 01, 2000 at 13:33:48:
In Reply to: Is Imitrex Safe? Scared to try it. posted by Bob Becker on June 01, 2000 at 03:25:17:
Imitrex was the first of the "triptans" to be developed --- sumatriptan. Its effects are fairly broad, meaning it does things to the body other than just stopping clusterheadaches and migraines.
The newer triptans (not sure how many there are at latest count, but there is Amerge, Maxalt and Zomig at least, may be more) are more narrowly targeted, and thus have several benefits over Imitrex.
1) There are fewer side-effects, and what side-effects remain are less severe
2) The dosage levels are significantly less (2.5 mg for oral Zomig vs 50 - 100 mg for oral Imitrex)
3) The oral versions of each work a bit quicker than oral Imitrex
4) The effects tend to last longer (At the peak of my cycles, I may get as many as 4 or sometimes 5 HA daily that I abort with 50 mg Imitrex, whereas if I use Zomig I will never get more than 3 in a 24 hour period)
5) They are slightly less expensive than Imitrex
6) It is possible to take more doses per 24 hour period than is recommended for Imitrex
With all these advantages, why use Imitrex? Well... as far as I know, Imitrex is still the only triptan that is available as a spray or as an injection, although I suspect this will change once the marketing departments of the various triptan companies realize the extra money to be made by packaging their drug in other ways.
Imitrex pills can actually end up being the LEAST expensive of all the triptans IF you can get by on a 50 mg dose. Don't buy the 50 mg pills, since the price for a 6 pack of 50 mg is virtually the same as the price for a 6 pack of 100 mg. Buy the 100 mg and cut them in half.
My personal experience with Imitrex is that for most of my cycle, a 50 mg oral dose will do the trick IF I TAKE IT THE VERY FIRST SECOND that I get warning of an attack. I am lucky that I get typical warning signs (shadows) about ten minutes or so before the pain really gets bad. If I follow the above method, the pain rarely gets beyond a 5 or 6 on the KIP scale, and even then it is only for fifteen or twenty minutes before the Imitrex knocks it down to nothing.
If I wake up with a headache that is already well-established, then I will take a Zomig, or, if I have no Zomig handy, a 100 mg Imitrex. In this scenario, I will have to endure the beast for about 45 minutes with Zomig, and sometimes an hour or more with Imitrex.
I have never tried the injectable Imitrex... too expensive for me, since I have no medical insurance and must pay full price for all my meds. I have tried the nasal spray, but I found that for me it was much less effective than the pills, as well as being more expensive.
On the other hand, I seem to be in the minority: there are many who find the spray is faster-acting than the oral. And, of course, the injection is the fastest-acting of all... anywhere from 2 to 8 minutes for full relief. Maybe for my birthday I will treat myself to an injection.
I hope this info is of use to you. My advice to you is TRY IT!!!! I kiss the feet of the researchers who developed Imitrex.
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