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What is Imitrex?

Imitrex, also known by its generic name sumatriptan, is a medication used to treat migraines. Imitrex relieves pain, headache, and other symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as triptans. Triptans affect your serotonin levels and narrows the blood vessels in the brain. This may also relieve pain by affecting certain nerves in the brain. Imitrex tablets come in 50 and 100mg doses.

How long does Imitrex take to work?

Take Imitrex as soon as you feel a migraine coming on. If your headache does not go away, use a second dose if it has been at least 2 hours since your first dose.

Is there an Imitrex injection?

There are sumatriptan injections that can be injected by a doctor to treat cluster headaches (severe headaches usually on one side of the head or around the eye).

Along with the tablet form, there is also an intranasal version of Imitrex. The doses are administered in a single spray in one nostril. The maximum dose per day is 40 mg in 24 hours.

  • Take an Imitrex tablet as soon as you notice headache symptoms
  • Take a tablet with a full glass of water
  • Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light
  • Do not store in the refrigerator
  • Do not freeze


You should not use Imitrex if you have the following conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • History of heart attack, stroke, or circulation problems

Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor (monoamine oxidase), which is commonly found in antidepressants. Do not use Imitrex if you’ve taken an MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days. Consult your doctor if you are taking antidepressants before starting this medication.

Do not use Imitrex within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine.

Side Effects

Common Imitrex side effects may include:

  • Pain or tight feeling in your chest, throat, or jaw
  • Runny or stuffy nose after using the nasal medicine
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, weakness
  • Pressure or heavy feeling in any part of the body
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth after using the nasal medicine

Stop using Imitrex if more severe side effects occur, such as:

  • Severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea
  • Severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats
  • Seizures
  • High levels of serotonin in the body (agitation, hallucination, shivering, fast heart rate)
  • Signs of a stroke (sudden numbness or weakness, sudden severe headache)


Can I use Imitrex for regular headaches?

Imitrex should not be used to treat common tension headaches. Only use this medication if your migraine condition has been confirmed by a doctor.

How often can I take Imitrex?

Imitrex only helps with headaches that are already occurring. It will not help prevent future headaches. If you have more than 4 headaches in a month, consult your doctor.

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