Generic Name: Imitrex Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Imitrex® (sumatriptan) used for?

Imitrex® is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Sumatriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms.

Imitrex® is used to treat migraine headaches. Imitrex® will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Imitrex® should not be used to treat a common tension headache or a headache that causes loss of movement on one side of your body. Use this medicine only if your condition has been confirmed by a doctor as migraine headaches.

How should I take Imitrex® (sumatriptan)?

Use Imitrex® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may want to give your first dose of this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to quickly treat any serious side effects that occur.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Use Imitrex®as soon as you notice headache symptoms.

Take one Imitrex® tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not split the tablet.

After taking a tablet: If your headache does not completely go away, or goes away and comes back, take a second tablet 2 hours after the first. Do not take more than 200 mg of Imitrex® oral tablets in 24 hours. If your symptoms have not improved, contact your doctor before taking any more tablets.

After using the nasal spray: If your headache does not completely go away, call your doctor before using a second spray of Imitrex®. If your headache goes away and then comes back, you may use a second spray if it has been at least 2 hours since you used the first spray. Do not use more than 40 mg of Imitrex® nasal spray in 24 hours. If your symptoms do not improve, contact your doctor before using any more sprays.

Do not take the nasal capsule by mouth. It is for use only in the disposable nosepiece and special inhaler device that comes with this medicine.

After using one nasal capsule in each nostril: If your headache does not completely go away, or goes away and comes back, you may use a second dose (1 capsule per nostril) if it has been at least two hours since you used the first capsules. Do not use more than two doses (4 nosepieces) in 24 hours. If your symptoms do not improve, contact your doctor before using any more Imitrex® nasal capsules.

Call your doctor if your headache does not go away at all after using the first dose.

Never use more than your recommended dose. Overuse of migraine headache medicine can make headaches worse.

Contact your doctor if you have more than four headaches in one month (30 days). Tell your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your migraine attacks.

How do I store Imitrex® (sumatriptan)?

Imitrex® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Imitrex® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Imitrex® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Imitrex® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Imitrex® (sumatriptan)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Imitrex® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use Imitrex® if you have:

  • Coronary artery disease, angina (chest pain), blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart
  • A heart disorder called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
  • A history of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke, including “mini-stroke”
  • Untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Severe liver disease
  • Circulation problems affecting your intestines
  • A headache that seems different from your usual migraine headaches

Do not use Imitrex® if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Do not use Imitrex® within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine, including:

  • Sumatriptan injection, almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT), or zolmitriptan (Zomig)
  • Ergot medicine – dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, ergonovine, methylergonovine

Imitrex® may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Imitrex® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Imitrex®. Imitrex® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Imitrex® (sumatriptan)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Imitrex® and call your doctor if you have:

  • Sudden and severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea
  • Severe headache, pounding in your neck or ears, severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats
  • A seizure (convulsions)
  • Blood circulation problems – cramps in your hips or legs, tight or heavy feeling in your legs, numbness or tingling in your legs, muscle weakness, burning pain in your feet, pale or blue-colored appearance in your toes
  • Heart attack symptoms – chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating
  • Signs of a stroke – sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance
  • High levels of serotonin in the body – agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting

Common side effects may include:

  • Pain or tight feeling in your chest, throat, or jaw
  • Pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body
  • Numbness or tingling, feeling hot or cold
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, weakness
  • Unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth after using the nasal medicine
  • Burning, numbness, pain or other irritation in your nose or throat after using the nasal medicine
  • Runny or stuffy nose after using the nasal medicine

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Imitrex® (sumatriptan)?

Imitrex® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Medicine to treat depression
  • Medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder
  • A narcotic (opioid) medication
  • Medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting

Does food or alcohol interact with Imitrex® (sumatriptan)?

Imitrex® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Imitrex® (sumatriptan)?

Imitrex® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • High blood pressure, a heart rhythm disorder
  • Risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy)


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Imitrex® (sumatriptan).

What is the dose of Imitrex® (sumatriptan) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Migraine:

Use only after a clear diagnosis of migraine has been established.


  • Initial dose: 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg orally, once.
  • If some response to first dose occurs, a second dose may be administered at least 2 hours after first dose if needed.
  • Oral doses of 50 and 100 mg may provide greater relief than 25 mg; however, a 100 mg dose may not provide greater effect than a 50 mg dose.
  • Maximum dose: 200 mg per 24 hours.


  • Nasal spray: Initial dose: 5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg into one nostril, once.
  • Administer the 5 and 20 mg doses as a single spray in 1 nostril; the 10 mg dose may be administered as 5 mg into each nostril.
  • If some response to first dose occurs, a second dose may be administered at least 2 hours after first dose if needed.
  • Maximum dose: 40 mg per 24 hours.

Nasal capsule/powder:

  • Initial dose: 11 mg into each nostril via Xsail (R) breath-powered delivery device once.
  • If symptoms have not resolved in 2 hours, or return after transient improvement a second dose may be administered at least 2 hours after the first dose.
  • Maximum dose: 2 doses (44 mg/4 nosepieces) per 24 hours.

What is the dose of Imitrex® (sumatriptan) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Imitrex® (sumatriptan) available?

Imitrex® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet, film coated: sumatriptan succinate 25mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Imitrex®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 1, 2017 | Last Modified: September 2, 2017

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