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Imitrex Doesn't Work-- Could it be not migraines?

Hi everyone thanks for your great site and your help!

I have had for about three years, maybe longer, headaches lasting two-three days after consuming EVEN A SIP of alcohol, and recently I have concluded it is migraines. It's in the back of my head on one side, always the same place, and always after alcohol and sometimes after fast food, like mexican or chinese, so I assume it's MSG. I get a pain in the same place at other times. NSAIDs don't work.

Anyway, my doctor gave me Imitrex and it did not work. I took 50 then 100, and I felt my feet go numb but the headache remained. So I had a trigger, derr.. some vodka (literally one, I know this is not a hangover) and when I got home I took another 50 mg imitrex. I woke up feeling like I weighed 500 lbs, but maybe headache had left? By the time I knew what was going on, I saw that yeah, the headache had remained. I felt tired and had trouble speaking as usual.

So if triptans didn't work, could it be something other than migraine? The main seems to be in my neck and behind my eye on one side-- I haven't had an injury there but could it be?

My doc gave me Zyprexa to try but I'm not excited nor optimistic about it. Does imitrex not work for other people?


  1. Unfortunately, triptans don't work for everyone. However, there are several triptans you can try if Imitrex doesn't work. It was the first one ever developed and it doesn't stay in the body very long. Some of the newer ones stay longer. Imitrex no longer works for me as I get long-lasting attacks (24+ hours). So now I use Amerge or Frova which stay in the body for that long. Theses triptans stop the attack and then keep it from coming back until it's run its course.

    Different types of acute treatment
    List of triptans

    Also, it could be that you don't actually have migraine. The pattern of your pain is also suggestive of a few other types of headache disorders. You will need to see a headache specialist in order to get an accurate diagnosis. The treatments for each headache disorder are different so it's important to find out what you are dealing with before you start treatment.

    Hope this helps you and your doctor decide what to do next. Write back and let me know how it all turns out.

    1. I switched from Imitrex to Maxalt about 2 years ago. It is so much better. No side effects and it almost always gets rid of the migraine within an hour as long as you take it shortly after the migraine starts. It has been a lifesaver to me.

      The only problem is the amount of pills you are allowed a month depending on your insurance. First I was allowed 9, then 4, now 12. So I'm always worrying about running out, although now with the 12 it hasn't been much of a problem.

      1. Imitrex does not work for me. I have tried it once in my life and will never even get near it again. My first migraine was 25 years ago and they gave me Imitrex in the ER. Within about 60 seconds, my pain level had gone from a 25 out of 10 to about 125 out of 10 and they were pumping morphine straight into my veins to get rid of the pain. Imitrex works in reverse for me -- not every medication works for every body chemistry.

        1. As of now it looks like I have hemicrania continua, one reason why imitrex and rizatriptan didn't help much,

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