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Imigran Review Article

 

Imigran (sumatriptan succinate) is a drug belonging to the group of serotonin agonists. This drug is available in a variety of forms: tablets, subcutaneous injection, and nasal spray. Composed of a sulphonamide group, it is prescribed for the treatment of migraine headaches, which is caused due to widening of certain blood vessels in the brain. This drug acts by bringing back these vessels to normal and hence reducing the headache. This drug is not effective to headaches which are not migraine. One major side affect of this drug is drowsiness as reported by some users.

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Description:
Imigran is a headache medicine. It is believed to work by causing vasoconstriction (narrowing) of arteries and veins that supply blood to the head. Sumatriptan is used to treat vascular headaches such as migraine and cluster headaches. Sumatriptan will not prevent migraines or cluster headaches or reduce the number of attacks. It will only treat a migraine or cluster headache that is already occurring. Sumatriptan may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Imigran is Prescribed for:
Imigran is used to relieve migraine and its associated nausea and light sensitivity.

Drug Mechanism:
Imigran contains the active ingredient sumatriptan, which is a type of medicine called a serotonin agonist. It works by stimulating serotonin receptors in the brain.

Serotonin is a natural substance in the brain that, among other things, causes blood vessels in the brain to narrow. Sumatriptan mimics this action of serotonin by directly stimulating the serotonin receptors in the brain. This causes the blood vessels to narrow.

Although the cause of migraine attacks is not fully understood, it is thought that the widening of blood vessels in the brain causes the pain associated with migraine attacks. As Imigran narrows these blood vessels, it relieves the pain of migraine headaches. The dose should be taken as early as possible after the onset of migraine headache, though it is also effective if taken at a later stage during the migraine attack. While it is very effective in relieving migraine, it does not prevent or reduce the number of attacks of migraine.

Dosage Form:
Tablets-- A single dose of 25 to 100 mg taken with fluid is generally effective. If the headache returns or there is only partial relief, additional single doses of up to 50 mg may be given at intervals of least 2 hours, but no more than 200 mg should be taken in a 24-hour period. Injection-- Initial dose: 6 mg injection. Additional doses: Another 6 mg injection separated by at least one hour. Nasal spray-- A single dose of 5, 10, or 20 mg into one nostril. A 10-mg dose may be achieved by administering a 5-mg dose in each nostril. If the headache returns or there is only partial relief, an additional single dose of up to 20 mg may be given at an interval of least 2 hours, but no more than 40 mg should be taken in a 24-hour period.

Drug Interactions:
Imigran is metabolized mainly by the liver and dosages may need to be reduced in patients with liver dysfunction. Imigran can cause elevation of blood pressure and spasm of the coronary arteries of the heart. Imigran should be avoided by patients with coronary artery disease (patients with angina pectoris and a history of heart attacks), and by patients with poorly controlled high blood pressure. It is administered with caution to patients with risk factors for coronary artery disease ( high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated blood cholesterol, obesity, cigarette smoking, and strong family history of heart attacks). In some patients, the first dose of sumatriptan can be given in the physician's office to monitor any adverse heart events.

Imigran should not be administered along with ergot type migraine medications, or with MAO inhibitors. Imigran and ergotamine together can cause prolonged spasm of the blood vessels. Therefore, the use of these two medications should be separated by at least 24 hours. Safe use in children has not been established. Rarely, seizures after sumatriptan administration have been reported in patients with epilepsy.

Imigran must not taken within 24 hours of taking ergotamine or its derivatives, eg dihydroergotamine or methysergide. Conversely, these medicines should not be taken within six hours of taking sumatriptan.

Imigran must not be taken at the same time as, or within two weeks of taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI),eg the antidepressants phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid or moclobemide, or the antibiotic linezolid.

Imigran should be used with caution in people taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs), such as citalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine or sertraline, as there have been rare reports of adverse reactions with this combination.

Undesirable effects may be more common in people taking this medicine with the herbal remedy St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum).

If the first dose of this medicine is ineffective at relieving your migraine it is OK to take a painkiller containing aspirin, paracetamol, or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen.

Pregnancy:
Safe use in pregnancy has not been established. Imigran should be used with caution during pregnancy, and only if the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risk to the foetus. Seek medical advice from your doctor.

Nursing Mothers:
Safe use in nursing mothers has not been established. Imigran may pass into breast milk and it should be used with caution by breastfeeding mothers. Exposure of the baby to the medicine can be minimised by not breastfeeding for 24 hours following a dose. Seek medical advice from your doctor.

Dietary and Alcohol Considerations:
Imigran can be taken with or without food. No special warnings, although alcohol may trigger or exacerbate migraine headaches.

Possible Side Effects:
For many migraine sufferers Imigran, appropriately used, has been a valuable and effective treatment in aborting attacks. Side effects are generally transient. Some common side effects include pain or tightness in the chest or throat, tingling, flushing, weakness, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, and sweating. Rarely, allergic reactions (even anaphylaxis) have been reported, usually in individuals who are highly allergic to multiple allergens.

Imigran tablets are not recommended for children or adolescents aged under 18 years, or adults aged over 65 years, as the safety and efficacy of the tablets have not been established in these age groups. Imigran nasal spray can be used in adolescents aged 12-17 years, on the recommendation of a specialist or doctor with particular experience in migraine. The nasal spray is not recommended for children aged under 12 years or adults aged over 65 years, as there is insufficient experience with the nasal spray in these age groups.

Storage:
Keep Imigran in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Imigran should be stored at room temperature (77F (25C)) and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.

Package Size and Type:
The medication can be administered orally or by injection. Tablets: (25mg, 50mg). Injection: (6mg).


Imigran notes:

Sumatriptan is a medicine used for treatment of headache and the nausea and light sensitivity that are associated with it, which is sold under the product brand name Imigran and Imitrex. It is important to keep in mind that Imigran does not help in preventing migraines or headaches of other forms. It also does not help in bringing down the number of attacks a patient has. Imitrex can help in reliving a patient from the pain of an already occurring headache.

A medicine that goes by the name of serotonin agonist is present as an active ingredient in Imigran in the form of sumatriptan. Serotonin, a natural substance present inside the brain, simulates the serotonin receptors present in it and helps in narrowing down the blood vessels. Generic sumatriptan performs this same action and helps in reliving headache by causing the arteries and the veins that supply blood to the head, to narrow down.

Imigran comes in the form of tablets of 25 to 100 mg dosages. It can be taken with any fluid and if the headache is revived or is not cured totally an additional 50 mg dosage can be taken after a gap of at least 2 hours from the first dosage. Imigran is also available in the form of an injection and Imitrex spay. While the injection comes in a 6mg dosage, the nasal spray is available in the dosages of 5, 10 and 20 mg.

Imigran should not be prescribed to patients suffering from coronary artery disease or patients whose blood pressure keeps on fluctuating. It should be prescribed in low dosages to patients suffering from liver dysfunction, high BP, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, overweight etc. The affect of sumatriptan succinate on pregnant women and nursing mothers is not known and hence such patients should take professional medical advice before taking the medicine.


keywords: sumatriptan, generic sumatriptan, and sumatriptan, sumatriptan succinate, immigran, imatrex, imitrex mg, imitrex spray.


 

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