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What is an Imitrex&Reg; Injection?

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  • Written By: K. K. Lowen
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Imitrex®, known as sumatriptan in its generic form, is a medication used to relieve headache pain. The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline markets sumatriptan as Imitrex®, but other manufacturers may use different names for the drug. Sumatriptan stops migraines by reducing inflammation in the brain’s blood vessels. An Imitrex® injection does not cure or prevent migraines, but it may provide relief for those who suffer from migraine headaches.

The use of liquid Imitrex® does not involve injecting the drug into a vein or muscle. Instead, people inject it under the skin. If desired, one can purchase the liquid form of Imitrex® by itself, but manufacturers also sell the medication in pre-prepared kits. Some kits include a single-use syringe and the appropriate dose of sumatriptan, while others offer pre-filled syringes.

There are a variety of side effects related to Imitrex® injections. The most frequently reported side effects pertain to feelings of general discomfort, but an Imitrex® injection may cause severe reactions in some people. The injections have been associated with heart problems, including irregular heart rate and cardiac arrest. In addition, some people have suffered from mild to extreme allergic reactions after receiving an Imitrex® injection.

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The injections are a relatively effective method for stopping migraines. Some people also use the drug to treat cluster headaches, a rare type of neurological ailment that causes tremendous pain. Although sumatriptan may lessen the symptoms, it is neither a cure nor the most effective treatment for cluster headaches. Those who suffer from cluster headaches sometimes use Imitrex® injections simply because they take effect more rapidly than many oral medications.

As with any type of injection, the user should take precautions. Make sure that no one has tampered with the liquid Imitrex® or the syringe. For reusable syringes, one must sterilize the needle properly. It is also wise to clean the skin before an Imitrex® injection to prevent any unwanted complications. Furthermore, reading the instructions provided with the product will help ensure a satisfactory experience.

After an Imitrex® injection, a person may feel tightness in his neck, chest, or jaws. If unusual or extreme symptoms occur, one should contact a medical professional. Migraine sufferers who use Imitrex® injections should read the labels on all of their current medications to prevent dangerous drug interactions. Similarly, one should confirm that sumatriptan will not aggravate pre-existing medical conditions.

Pills and nasal sprays are the most popular forms of sumatriptan, because injecting the drug is not usually necessary. The medication also is available in a patch. Some patients prefer the Imitrex® injection because it provides relief quicker than the other forms.

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