Imitrex Special Warnings

Frequent Imitrex Use and Overuse Headaches

Using Imitrex two or more days a week for more than 3 months can cause medication-overuse headache, a dull or migraine-like headache that is present at least 15 days per month. You can prevent medication-overuse headache by not using Imitrex as often (per attack, per week and per month) and starting preventive treatment when necessary.

By keeping a migraine journal of what doses you are taking when you experience a migraine, you can be prepared to discuss if you might be experiencing overuse headaches.

Imitrex and High Blood Pressure

Imitrex has been reported to raise blood pressure on rare occasions in patients with and without high blood pressure.

What is your blood pressure? Keeping a blood pressure log if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure is a very good way to be prepared to speak with your physician and be aware of any changes in your condition.

Imitrex and Heart Disease Special Warning

Although extremely rare, serious heart problems, including some that have been fatal, have occurred after taking Imitrex tablets or an Imitrex injection. These problems have occurred most often in patients with risk factors for heart disease. Problems included:

  • Coronary artery vasospasm (blood vessels constricting in the heart)
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heart rate


It is strongly recommended that Imitrex not be taken by patients with heart disease risk factors including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoker
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Strong family history of heart disease
  • Menopause
  • Male over 40 years of age

If you have any of these risk factors, have your doctor evaluate your heart and physical condition to determine if you are reasonably free of heart disease and risk of stroke, before taking Imitrex.

If you do have risk factors and your doctor decides you can take Imitrex, it is strongly recommended that you take your first dose of Imitrex in your doctor’s office or a similar setting with medical staff present unless you have previously taken Imitrex.

Because stroke can occur your doctor may choose to do an electrocardiogram (ECG) immediately following a dose of Imitrex in patients with heart disease risk factors.

What should you do if you experience possible cardiac symptoms while taking Imitrex?

If you feel shortness of breath, heart throbbing, persistent pain, tightness or pressure in the chest or throat shortly after taking Imitrex, call your doctor right away.

Written & reviewed by: Lisa Erwin R.Ph. CGP | Last review date: Dec 2010. Click the References Link below for a complete list of references.

Written & reviewed by: Lisa Erwin R.Ph. CGP | Last review date: Dec 2010.
View References