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Friday, June 24, 2011 t2000kw, Community Member, asks

Q: When should I take Imitrex (sumatriptan) tablets?

When should I take Imitrex (sumatriptan) tablets? When I get the aura, or when I begin to feel the pain? Also, can the 100 mg caplets be split in two or does it affect the delivery of the medicine into the body? I've been taking it when I get the aura, but I can get the aura with or without pain. (I don't take this for other types of headaches, which I don't get often anyway; I only take it when the pain is definitely one-sided, and usually follows the aura.) Thanks!!!

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Answers (2)
Teri Robert, Health Guide
6/28/11 11:11am

t2000kw

 

-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-•*Welcome to MyMigraineConnection!*•-:¦:-•:*'""*:•.-:¦:-

 

Studies have shown that medications such as Imitrex work best when taken as early in the Migraine attack as possible, so the best time to take it is when you recognize that you have a Migraine. For some people, taking it during the aura can stop the Migraine before it progresses to the headache phase.

 

Imitrex tablets should not be split because it does affect the delivery.

 

Welcome again,

Teri

 

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t2000kw, Community Member
6/28/11 10:35pm

Thanks. I had an aura this evening while I was at the dentist for a routine teeth cleaning and took a 100 mg tablet as soon as I saw the aura begin. The aura progressed for the usual 20 minutes or so but fortunately no pain.

 

My concern was that I usually have silent migraines, aura with no pain afterward, but sometimes I get some moderate pain. Fortunately, I haven't got the "headbanger" type headaches.

 

I only had a couple of these about 12 years ago, maybe a year apart. Early this year, I had one aura, no pain following, then another a couple of weeks later, with moderate pain afterward. Now, it seems I get an aura about one weekly. I take the Imitrex when I see the aura. Only once did I need to take a second dose. I did split the 100 mg tablet that day but took the second half within a couple of hours since there was the beginnings of some pain (not severe, fortunately). A pharmacist told me that it's OK to split the tablet but that it will deteriorate from exposure to air after breaking the seal. Since I used the other half with hours, it didn't seem to be a problem. It stopped the pain. I think if I split a tablet that it might fall apart after a week or so due to moisture. But the delivery system of the medicine is immediate, not time released, so that may be why the pharmacist said it's OK to split the tablet.

 

Now that I've tried the 100 mg doseage (not splitting the tablet) and found that it doesn't have any serious side effects, I will probalby just start to use the 100's without splitting the tablets.

 

Is there any advantage of using Amerge instead of Imitrex? I've read that it's slower acting but works longer. I don't have a long track record with these auras and migraines so I don't know if it's better to have a faster acting medicine or a longer acting one.

 

Donald

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Teri Robert, Health Guide
6/28/11 11:19pm

Donald,

 

Amerge is slower to act and does have a longer half-life than Imitrex. Sometimes, that's an advantage. Both Imitrex and Amerge are available in generic form now too. That said, the medications in this class (triptans) each bind to different combinations of serotonin receptors, so you may respond differently to them. Amerge may work as well for you as Imitrex, or it may not work as well. The only way to know is to try it.

 

Teri

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t2000kw, Community Member
6/29/11 4:10pm

Thanks. For now, I'll stick with Imitrex. I had a conversation with my doctor today and he's satisfied that so far, Imitrex has either stopped pain in its tracks or prevented it. (I only take it after experiencing the aura, so I'm only using it for migraines.)

 

He suggested taking the entire 100 mg tablet and that this is what doctors are recommending now, even for patients taking it for first time--to prescribe the 100's for everyone.

 

Donald

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Teri Robert, Health Guide
6/29/11 4:15pm

You're quite welcome, Donald. Hope the Imitrex continues to work well for you.

 

Teri

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Chickasaw Grandma, Community Member
11/17/11 5:11am

It's 4 a.m. and I needed info NOW as I generally take 25mg. sumatriptan; however, when I opened my new prescription I found it was 100 mg.   I see no need to "risk" taking 4 times as much sumatriptan since 25mg. has worked for me for the past 10+ years.    And, I am now taking Lexapro and there is a warning about taking sumatriptan if also taking Lexapro.    So, THANK YOU for this forum and the helpful post as it has helped me reach a decision since I've seen this headache coming on for several hours and I've decided "it's time to do get it stopped BEFORE it's a full blown, I can't think migrain."  

 

I will cut off 1/4 of the 100mg. tablet as I consider this the least amount of risk from info gathered on forum.  THANK YOU for your helpful post and for this forum!

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By t2000kw, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/17/11, First Published: 06/24/11