Imitrex Side Effects

Imitrex, as its imitative name suggests, goes by many monikers.  Its most basic compound is Sumatriptan (Wiki), a sulfa drug used for the treatment of migraine headaches.

The advertising of its parent companies (there are multiple manufacturers of Imitrex, which also is called Imigran and Imigran recovery) indicates that it works with especial efficacy on migraine headaches in women.   It is, however, not without some very dangerous side effects, particularly to pregnant women and newborn babies.

Imitrex side effects and their severity arise from the fact that they are members of the Triptan family, a group of tryptamine-based drugs, which are basically abortive in nature (the word does not refer to abortions; it means to interrupt pain, such as headache cessation).

As such, they are structurally similar to serotonin, and relieve pain by reducing vascular inflammations.   This action, while adept at obviating headaches, can also seriously damage vascular walls, particularly those of the heart.

Imitrex Side Effects Can Lead to Heart Attack?

Not surprisingly, therefore, Imitrex side effects have led to some serious, and occasionally fatal, cardiac incidents in patients who take the drug.

These events have included myocardial ischemia and infarction (heart attacks, in other words), as well as ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation (arrhythmic heart spasms).   Symptoms that have also been reported less frequently are paresthesia (numbing and tingling sensations), chest pain, vertigo and malaise. (see related articles on maxalt side effects here)

The FDA has noted a further concern in a study they conducted for pregnant women and newborns in August 2010.  The mothers-to-be were cautioned that the use of Imitrex might be detrimental to their unborn baby’s health, as are any number of medications that increase serotonin in the bloodstream.

The results were even more problematic for women nursing children.  The latter, according to FDA findings, is especially alarming in that the nursing infant can pick up traces of sumatriptan in the mother’s milk, if the baby is nursed less than 12 hours after Imitrex is ingested by the mother.

Health care professionals have given strict warnings as to the timing of the drug’s ingestion with feeding time for the child; some doctors advise foregoing the medication altogether.

If you have need more information about these studies, you can access the FDA results online at the first website listed below; if you desire further information about Imitrex or any other sumatriptan based medication, you may ask your medical professional.

If you are pregnant or nursing and have taken Imitrex, and you fear that you or your baby have suffered adverse effects, contact your health professional immediately, and, if you so desire, find a drug lawyer at the website for the American Bar Association,