Imitrex alternatives

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Posted by pinksharkmark ( on August 02, 2000 at 04:22:30:

In Reply to: Meds? posted by Shannon on August 01, 2000 at 21:02:22:

Imitrex was the first of the "triptan" family to be marketed: the generic name is sumatriptan, and it is made by Glaxo-Wellcome.

There are now three others that I know of:

Zomig (zolmitriptan) by Zeneca -- 2.5 mg tablet

Amerge (naratriptan) by Glaxo-Wellcome

Maxalt (rizatriptan) by Merck-Frosst - 5 or 10 mg tablet, or 10 mg sub-lingual wafer

The newer triptans are available only as tablets, no spray or injector yet.

I guess the maximum dose depends which country you live in, because if you buy them in Canada, the instructions for Zomig say not to exceed 10 mg in a 24 hour period. This works out to 4 doses. The instructions for Imitrex tablets say not to exceed 300 mg in a 24 hour period. This works out to 6 doses, if using the standard 50 mg tablets. The instructions for Maxalt say not to exceed 20 mg in a 24 hour period... again, 4 doses per day if using the 5 mg tablet.

I have never tried Amerge, so I can't tell you what the max daily dose is.

As for taking "way too much medication"... in my opinion since the amount you describe is within the manufacturer's guidelines for each med, what's the problem? Especially since none of the ingredients in Midrin interact with any of the triptans, at least according to the information supplied with them.

Of course, I am not a doctor, but from what I have read on this board, general practitioners disagree with each other on max doses, as do pharmacists, manufacturers, anesthesiologists, neurologists, researchers, etc.

The insurance companies limit your intake for purely financial reasons, so their opinion doesn't count.

I am a 46 year old male weighing anywhere from 150 to 170 pounds. I have taken as many as 400 mg of oral Imitrex daily, coupled with as many as 8 Fiorinal C capsules per day, for as much as twelve weeks at a time, with no immediate detrimental effects that I ever noticed. Your mileage may vary.

Don't forget that since Imitrex was developed as a migraine medication, and is still marketed as such (note that the information paper makes no mention of cluster headaches), the dosage levels are based on the typical migraine profile. The clinical trials used to establish these levels used migraineurs exclusively. Clusterheads are different.

Doc Greg, a neurologist and fellow clusterhead, once posted a message addressing maximum doses of Imitrex that is relevant to this discussion. You may want to print it out and take it with you.

Good luck!


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