My History with the Evolution of Imitrex (sumatriptan)

When you have been chronic for about a decade, you eventually run completely out of the usual different types of abortive medications to try because there are only so many out there. You eventually reach a point where you try a different application of a medication you have already attempted in the past. Trust me, I know the local thought process here is if this medication did not work in a pill, will it work in another form? Well you may find yourself very surprised and slightly amused at my progression through the abortive known as Imitrex or its generic name sumatriptan.

The old faithful Imitrex (sumatriptan) pill

This was not my first abortive pill. Although I can say this abortive left me seriously wondering what in the world… It was about as affective for me as taking an Excedrin tablet. So needless to say this was a very short lived attempt at a migraine abortive for me. For some individuals, the pill form of migraine abortive medications may not be the most effective form because of the amount of time it takes for the pill to digest and some individuals have extreme vomiting, which may cause the pill to not stay in their system long enough.

The Imitrex (sumatriptan) statdose injection kit

The first headache associated with this particular version of Imitrex was locating a pharmacy that had the starter kit. See the starter kit came with this carry case, an injector pen, and then a slot for two cartridges of medication. Once we went to the drug store and they called five other semi-local drug stores to locate a starter kit, we were game on with this new administration of the Imitrex medication. Much to my surprise, it actually was effective in assisting with reducing the migraine pain, which by all means was a win. My biggest complaint was that the injector pen never failed to properly reset when I had an extremely bad migraine and my poor husband was not home. So it would be one of those “hi honey, here FIX this” as soon as he walked through the door, especially if it had been long enough that I needed that second dose. This version stuck around for a long time. Despite its tendency for the pen to act up when you were semi brain dead, the medication did do its job and help!

The Imitrex (sumatriptan) pen injections

As medications do, the Statdose Injection Kit was phased out and these new epi-pen style injectors became what you were given when you refilled your prescription. These devices were not bad and have been pretty basic to use. You pretty much pull a cap off of one end of the pen, press it firmly against your thigh, and hit a trigger button on the other end. This releases the medication via a tiny needle which retracts back into the device. For safe disposal, you place the cap back on the pen and throw it away. Over the years, this particular injector has been acquired by several different manufacturers, although none of them implemented major changes to the design of the product itself.

Yet we evolved to the Imitrex Sumavel Dosepro

My question with this product is who seriously made their significant other this  mad at them that this version was invented?!? The selling point on the Imitrex Sumavel Dosepro was that it was needleless and was supposed to feel like being popped with a rubber band. Same concept as the previously mentioned injectors, minus the needle. I had no problems getting the prescription filled and as usual copay cards are a wonderful thing. Where things became interesting is when I used it for the first time, home alone with my over protective dog. So here I am sitting on the side of the bathtub with my bare thigh waiting and mentally wondering how this is going to feel.  So I pop the top and pinch my skin and initiate the self-inflicted torment that followed. Between the horrible noise the device itself made and the noise I made from the pain of this needleless injection, my furry companion grabbed the device out of my hand and ran off with it. This point, I no longer know if I want to cry from the pain or laugh at my dog but I do firmly believe whoever compared this injector to being flicked with a rubber band needs to be smacked! Needless to say I went back to the previously mentioned needle pen device.

Full circle with the new Onzetra Xsail

At my last Botox appointment, we had the discussion that again sometimes the abortive just is not enough to break a bad migraine. Her idea was to try a new nasal spray. Figuring what do we have to lose, she retrieves a sample and sends over the script while I check out and schedule my follow up. My husband is very intently investigating the sample box and pulling up website on his phone. Now let me not mislead you like we were misled at the doctor office; this is not a liquid nose spray but a powdered form of the Imitrex medication that you blow into your nose. While I have spoken to one woman who loves this version of the medication, I have been left very unimpressed. There is an element of me that understand it should work faster by ingesting the powder directly into your nose but the adult in me feels like I am doing something illegal. The results for me have not been better than the needle injector. Obviously you do not have the momentary sting of the tiny needle but the effect for me is not much better than the old fashion pill ever was for me. Although some individuals may find this option more comforting if they have a fear of needles.

Is this progress?

One cannot help but wonder where these drug manufactures acquire their ideas for the various evolutions of these medications. We have gone from a pill, to an injectable, to a needleless injectable, to snorting our migraine abortive. Is this really progress?

Have you tried any of these forms of the Imitrex abortive? What was your response and thoughts on them? Have you tried this latest nasal powder?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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