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Save Money on Sumatriptan (Imitrex/Imigran/Treximet)

I’ve been debating posting this for months. I hesitate because I doubt getting triptans without a prescription from another country by mail order is legal, even though the drug is available over-the-counter in that country. On the other hand,  knowing of a resource for inexpensive triptans and not sharing it seems unfair to readers who delay or avoid treating migraines because of the high cost of abortive drugs. I’m sharing this with the caveat that the legality is fuzzy, so you’ll have to make that ethical decision for yourself. Here’s the FDA’s stance on drug importation.

Imitrex (Imigran in the UK) and Treximet are expensive. Even though sumatriptan, the main ingredient in both, is available as a generic, it’s still tough to find it for less than $3 for a 50 mg pill. Prices for higher doses or injections skyrocket from there. If you’re looking to save on Imitrex or Treximet, check into pricing at Inhouse Pharmacy Europe, which has 50 mg tablets of sumatriptan for $1.10 each. Higher doses and injections are also available for less than in the US. Because sumatriptan is available over-the-counter in the UK, which is the jurisdiction this pharmacy operates under, you don’t need a prescription to order it.

I can’t vouch for the company directly because I don’t use sumatriptan and haven’t ordered from them myself, but this recommendation comes from a friend and longtime reader who has been ordering from the company for at least five years without a problem. She says the company is very reliable and medications are never close to their expiration date. In fact, the website tells you the expiration date of the meds they are currently shipping. Shipping is free to the US and they provide package tracking information.

If you use Imitrex, you can substitute these directly according to the strength you are usually prescribed. They are the same thing.

If you use Treximet, you can try taking sumatriptan with 500 mg of the OTC painkiller naproxen sodium (Aleve) to approximate the drug. Treximet contains 85 mg of sumatriptan, while sumatriptan only comes in 50 mg and 100 mg, so you’ll have to choose which you prefer. GSK’s marketing materials say that having the two drugs combined into one tablet is more effective than taking each one separately. But if you’re holding off on taking triptans because they’re too expensive, you may be more likely to take them early in an attack (when they’re most effective) if they don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Not needing a prescription is a double-edged sword, of course. You still need to take them judiciously and watch out for medication overuse headache. Be sure you tell your doctor how frequently you’re taking them, even though you can get them without a prescription.

If you place an order with Inhouse Pharmacy Europe, please leave a comment letting readers know what your experience is. I hope it turns out to be a helpful source for helping readers afford these pricy meds.

5 Responses to Save Money on Sumatriptan (Imitrex/Imigran/Treximet)

  1. Timothy Bauer says:

    Kerrie:

    Super kudos for doing this for your readers.

    As you know many chronic migraneurs get more than
    9 migraines a month. In fact I would personally love
    to get “only” 9 migraines. This number is key as
    some prescription plans allow a person only allow
    9 pills covered by insurance each month (my policy
    is that why). So what to do when get 15 migraines a
    month-you would run out of drugs and have to suffer
    with all kinds of problems the rest of the month.

    I believe Kerries option by far is the best. Let me present
    3 other options which can augment purchasing triptans
    from overseas pharmacies.

    1. Sometimes you may have a friend who gets far less
    migraines then you personally do and has a prescription
    to a triptan. Have them fill their prescription each
    month no matter what and give you a couple of
    extra pills that are left over. That would be a great
    friend.
    ____________________________

    2. Whenever visit your neurologist-ask for samples. I
    try to ask for samples every single time. The pharma
    companies come and visit the docs every month and
    drop off samples-now you probably cant get Treximet.

    But Relpax-Maxalt-and other triptans could be available
    from your friendly doctor.Be sure to profusely thank
    your doc for the samples. One key in mind-never mix
    triptans. If you take Relpax and must take a 2nd dosage
    that day-only take another Relpax. Not another triptan.
    __________________________

    3. Would use this last-but for some persons-if drug
    comes in a pill. You can cut the pill in half for the same
    result. For some persons 1/2 dosage is effective as
    full dosage. Worth trying a couple of times if cant
    extra drugs. But as said use this as a last result.

    Please do not wait to taking you triptan if possible.
    The earlier the better.

    Once again want to profusely thank Kerrie for posting this info.
    It is invaluable. Hang in there my fellow migraneurs.

    Timothy from Reno

  2. Thanks, Timothy. Another reader commented on Facebook that she pays even less for sumatriptan through HealthWarehouse, which is a legit U.S.-based pharmacy for which you’ll need a prescription. Your second and third suggestions are great and I’ve mentioned them in a follow-up post for tomorrow, though the first one — sharing prescription drugs with a friend — is definitely illegal.

    Kerrie

  3. Timothy Bauer says:

    Kerrie:

    There can be a big difference between illegal
    and immoral. In no way would it be unethical-
    if 2 close friends who both have Imitrex Imitrex prescriptions to share scripts.

    Say your best friend only gets 3 migraines a
    month while you get 15 migraines per month.
    So you dont have enough medication to
    last the month.

    Would any best friend not give some of their
    not needed prescription to aid their bud who
    is in severe pain. In fact would argue-you
    would not be much of a friend if didn’t. In
    no way are you doing anything wrong in the
    scenario given. Remember folks-what is
    ethical/unethical can be a lot different than
    what is legal/illegal. When you or a loved
    one have severe migraine pain-you aren’t
    going to care much about about the source of
    the drug.

    Take care,
    Timothy

  4. I just wanted to point out to readers that sharing prescription meds isn’t legal. Some people care about that fact, others don’t, but I wanted to be sure everyone had the information when making the decision on whether to share meds or not.

    I’m not chiding or judging you — I know that you, like all of us, have to do what it takes to get by.

    Kerrie

  5. Timothy Bauer says:

    Sorry if came on to strong Kerrie:
    As you know the headache situation-
    can be very challenging to all of us
    migraneurs. I just am trying to reduce
    the amount of suffering have to endure.

    Peace always,
    Timothy

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