Butal Vs. Imitrex, Which Is Better?

Question

Asked by LazarusStr

Butal Vs. Imitrex, Which Is Better?

My boyfriend and I both suffer from migraines. He has been getting them more often lately. I would say they're stress related, since they come on during the times he is working or after he has worked. He has gone to the doctor, who has prescribed him butal, and told him about imitrex. He found out Imitrex is very expensive, and I believe it is not covered by his insurance. I did research on both brands, but I feel getting the opinion from an actual person would be helpful also. What is your opinion on the two? Thank you in advance.

Answer

Lazarus,

Imitrex and butalbital are two very different types of medications. Imitrex is one of the triptan medications. They are abortive medications that actually work in the brain to stop the Migrainous process. Butalbital medications are pain medications. All they can do is mask the pain for a few hours. They cannot actually abort a Migraine.

Most doctors recommend that an abortive medication such as Imitrex be used as soon as you realize you have a Migraine, and that medications such as butalbital be help in reserve to be used as rescue medication in case the triptan fails.

Please take a few minutes to read our article Preventive, Abortive, and Rescue Medications - What's the Difference? for a better understanding of this.

As a Migraineur myself, I'd far rather take a triptan such as Imitrex because they usually completely stop my Migraines. But when I take a butalbital medication such as Fioricet, all it does is mask the pain for a few hours. It doesn't do anything for the nausea and other symptoms, and when it wears off, the pain is back, often worse.

Hope this helps,

Teri