Why is Imitrex bad for you?
Imitrex can cause heart problems, including a heart attack, to occur. If you already have heart problems, Imitrex may make your condition worse. Talk with your doctor to see if Imitrex is a safe treatment for you.
This medicine may increase your risk of having abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack, angina, or stroke. This is more likely to occur if you or a family member already has heart disease, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or if you smoke.
Note: Imitrex isn't meant to be taken every day. You should only take it if you get a migraine or cluster headache. It's not known if it's safe to use Imitrex to treat more than four headaches per month (30 days).
It's not the number of consecutive days that medications are taken that is important, but how many days in a week acute medications are taken. Most experts agree that the total number of days per week that ALL acute medications combined be taken is no more than two or three.
Since Imitrex comes in packages of 9, you are allowed 9 per month.
People with hemiplegic migraine have been advised to avoid Imitrex and other triptans because of the increased risks of heart attack and stroke for people with these rare forms of migraine. However, recent studies suggest that triptans may be safer than experts first believed for people with these conditions.
Taking sumatriptan too often can lead to medication overuse headache. This is a headache that happens when the effect of sumatriptan wears off. Medication overuse headache can happen if you take pain relievers, including sumatriptan, to treat migraine for 10 or more days per month.
Sumatriptan (applies to Imitrex) liver disease
Major Potential Hazard, High plausibility. The manufacturer considers the use of sumatriptan to be contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment.
There is a reason behind the limit on pills. Headache doctors know that taking triptans more than 10 times a month can actually make migraines more frequent or more severe in some people. Rebound headache, or medication overuse headache, is a pretty common migraine trigger.
How long side effects from Imitrex last can vary. Some may be temporary, lasting from a few days to a few weeks. For example, injection-site reactions typically are gone within a day or two. But more serious side effects, such as heart problems and stroke, may cause long-term complications.
When should you not take Imitrex?
You should not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as phenelzine (Nardil®) or tranylcypromine (Parnate®) within the past 2 weeks. Do not use this medicine if you have taken other triptan migraine medicines or ergot-type medicines within the past 24 hours.
Medication overuse headache is a common problem when using too much of certain drugs used to treat migraine, such as triptans. (Imitrex is a type of triptan.) However, this kind of headache usually occurs if you take these medications 10 or more days per month.