There's a difference between imitrex and oxycontin.

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Posted by pinksharkmark ( on February 08, 2002 at 14:08:52:

In Reply to: Have to agree with Margi with this one posted by sailpappy on February 08, 2002 at 12:52:05:

Imitrex is not harmed by stomach acid. This can be proven with a simple experiment. Take a pill, cut it in half, eat it and see how long it takes to start working. Then note how long it takes for the next headache to show. Next time, swallow a whole pill, see how long it takes to start working, and note how long it takes for the next headache to show up. I have done this many times, and I assure you that the only difference is that if you cut the pill in half, you get relief ten or fifteen minutes faster. I believe the main reason people complain that the pills aren't effective for them is because they are taking them in one piece. The pills were designed for migraineurs, after all, not clusterheads. Perhaps for migraineurs rapid absorption is not as important an issue.

Others will confirm my observations. And, as I pointed out, my neuro recommends this procedure for his clusterhead patients. I presume he has a good reason for doing so.

Other triptans, such as Maxalt and Zomig, have no coating at all.

The coating on Imitrex is not designed to protect against stomach acid. This can be proven by dropping an entire pill in a glass of water. The coating will dissolve completely in about ten minutes or so. Pills will stay in your stomach a lot longer than ten minutes. If they put a coating on an imitrex pill that lasted long enough for the pill to make it into the intestines, as much as an hour might pass before the active ingredient was exposed, making it useless for clusterheads.

I have no idea why Glaxo chose to put a coating on the Imitrex pills... perhaps just to hold the stuff together in one piece: it is awfully crumbly.

As for Oxycontin, Verapamil SR, and even time-release multivitamins, there is more involved than a simple coating. The entire binding compound is formulated to break down over a period of hours, releasing the active ingredients bit by bit.

Feel free to take them in whichever manner you feel is best. I am merely passing on my experience. I have taken hundreds (probably over a thousand) Imitrex pills in the manner I describe. No bad side-effects, no decrease in efficiency -- quite the reverse, in fact.


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