People who suffer the acute pain of migraine headaches may find relief with Imitrex.
In 1992 the FDA approved Imitrex the first drug in a class known as triptans. This class of drugs marked a huge sign of relief for headache sufferers. Unlike some previous drugs that dulled the perception of pain, triptans stop the pain by narrowing blood vessels in the brain and reducing inflammation.
The triptan class of drugs, that includes Imitrex as well as Amerege, Zomig and Maxalt, acts on specific serotonin receptors in the brain and relieves headache, nausea and light sensitivity soon after onset. To ensure they are not vomited, triptans can be found as nasal spray, injection and pills.
Migraines typically create throbbing pain on one side of the head that can last for hours or even days. They also are known as vascular headaches because they are associated with constriction of blood vessels outside the brain and in the face, neck, and scalp. Migraines usually stay with you all life long. The use of Imitrex helps relieve the pain and if taken right away can stop migraines cold.
Recent estimates of the number of Americans who have migraines vary widely from 11,000,000 to 23,000,000 individuals. They are much more prevalent in women, up to three times more so than in men.
About 70% of women who suffer from migraines report that they get them only in association with their menstrual periods or ovulation. Migraine headaches are common in children in equal numbers among boys and girls, up to the age of 14. They may be inherited; about half of migraine patients have a parent who had them.
Imitrex was the first drug produced to attach migraines. It is used by nearly 13 million people to treat about 300 million attacks; it is available in the U.S. in three forms: subcutaneous injection, nasal spray, and oral tablet.
Although Imitrex is effective in alleviating pain in a high proportion of patients, it is not a cure for migraines but only a relief agent. In addition, people with underlying heart disease should not take this drug because it may constrict coronary arteries. Its side effects include a mild, short-lived rise in blood pressure, fatigue, and drowsiness.
In two clinical trials held within the United States, more than 1,000 patients with acute migraine headaches were given a 6-milligram injection of Imitrex. It relieved the pain in 75 percent of the patients within one hour. Some of them actually had relief within 10 to 30 minutes, and 80 percent of the patients felt pain relief after two hours.
Most headaches can be successfully treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. Now one can even buy imitrex online without taking the headache of going to market. But you should seek professional help for headaches if they persist or get worse or if the headaches are keeping you from work and social activities. You should also see a doctor if you’ve never had headaches before and you start having them, if you get headaches upon exertion or if headaches are accompanied by a stiff neck, fever or neurological symptoms like dizziness or blurred vision. For more information, contact the National Headache Foundation at (888) 643-5552, www.headaches.org/ consumer/.