Imitrex Sumatriptan - Its mode of Action and Effects

Imitrex acts upon the blood vessels around the brain. As soon as it reaches the blood stream, it affects the amount of serotonin produced in the body. Serotonin dilates and constricts blood vessel in the body. This drug makes serotonin to block the pain pathways in the body. As well stopping the pain associated with migraine headaches, Imitrex also works to lessen some of the other problems related to migraines, such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.


Use of IMITREX tablets has caused serious cardiovascular events in some people. These events usually occur rare.

On clinical grounds, the longer the latency between the administration of IMITREX and the onset of the clinical event, the less likely the association is to be causative. Accordingly, interest has focused on events beginning within 1 hour of the administration of this medication.

The intake of this drug has also led to cardiac events within 1 hour of sumatriptan administration. These cardiac diseases are cardiac arrest, coronary artery vasospasm, transient ischemia, myocardial infarction, ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation, and death.

Some of these effects appeared in patients who had no findings of CAD and appear to signify consequences of coronary artery vasospasm. Yet, so far as domestic reports of serious cardiac events within 1 hour of sumatriptan use are concerned, almost all of the patients had risk factors predictive of CAD.

No adequate study has been made on the effects of Imitrex on patients having renal problem. But little clinical effect would be anticipated as sumatriptan is largely metabolized to an inactive substance.

Sumatriptan is mainly eliminated by the liver. As a result, it can’t be eliminated in patients with liver disease. Based on a small study of hepatically impaired patients (N = 8) matched for sex, age, and weight with healthy subjects, the hepatically impaired patients showed an approximately 70% increase in AUC and Cmax and a Tmax 40 minutes earlier than the healthy subjects.

Study shows that the effects of Imitrex sumatriptan in the elderly and in younger patients with migraine were similar. The similar result was found both in male and female for AUC, Cmax, Tmax, and half-life on gender basis.

In medical tests, the most frequent side effect of these tablets was abnormal skin sensations such as numbness, prickling and a burning sensation. These effects took place in almost half of the groups.

Other adverse reaction that were reported in more than 1% of patients receiving Imitrex Tablets and at least as often on placebo included hyposalivation, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting, migraine, headache, and drowsiness/sleepiness.

Sometimes Imitrex have led to stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and other cerebrovascular events in patients. It is unclear if these adverse events are caused by sumatriptan. In many cases, it appears possible that the cerebrovascular events were primary, sumatriptan having been administered in the false belief that the symptoms were an outcome of migraine when they were not.

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