Do you take a Migraine abortive medication? If so, which one? If you take Amerge, there may be good news for you. Amerge is now available in generic form, naratriptan. You can read more about the medication in our _ Amerge profile _.
The patent on Amerge expired this month, and generics were already tentatively approved, waiting in the wings for the patent expiration. The generic approvals became official on July 12, 2010, and generic naratriptan is available at some pharmacies now. It should be available in most pharmacies very soon.
One of the main reasons we watch for generic medications to become available is the higher prices of the brand name medications. With generic naratriptan so newly approved, it may be a bit early to get a fully accurate idea of pricing, but I checked the pricing from my Kroger pharmacy to give you an idea:
|Medication||# of tablets||total total||price per tablet|
Other generic triptans:Imitrex tablets and subcutaneous injections are now available in generic forms, sumatriptan tablets and injections. Additionally sumatriptan is now available as Sumavel DosePro, a needle-free injection. You can read more about it in _Needle-Free Sumatriptan Injection for Migraine and Cluster Headaches _.
Some insurance companies are using the availability of generic triptans as an opportunity to try to force us to change to these generics instead of the triptans our doctors have recommended for us. Insurance companies are businesses with the goal to make a profit. Unfortunately, some of them go to such lengths to protect that profit that we’re, in a way, penalized if these generic triptans don’t work for us. Some insurance companies will pay for the brand name triptans if we prove that we’ve tried those triptans now available in generic form and “failed” with them. Others simply will no longer pay for brand name triptans. I’m arguing with my own insurance company now over their changes on covering my triptan, Axert. I’ve been using it for several years now, but when I sent in my most recent prescription, it was denied, and I was told that it now requires prior authorization.
Summary and comments:
One would think that the availability of generic triptans would make things easier for us. In some ways, it has. However, for those of us who can’t use sumatriptan or naratriptan, and for those of us who find them ineffective, insurance companies are once again making life more difficult for us. This morning, following a “discussion” with my insurance company, I found myself hit with a tension-type headache. This headache, if not stopped quickly, would probably have triggered a Migraine. Great! Ironic! Just trying to get my medications literally made me ill today. Here’s hoping it’s easier for you!
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Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.