Tablet and injection versions of generic Imitrex (sumatriptan) are available in the US. Doses are 25mg, 50 mg, and 100mg tablets and 4mg and 6mg injections (kits or pre-filled syringes). Patients have reported prices between $35 and $200! Imitrex’s patent doesn’t actually expire until February; a reader suggested it might be less expensive then.
The generic hasn’t been as effective as the brand name drug for some patients. In Generic Imitrex (Sumatriptan) — Is it as Effective as Brand Name Imitrex, blogger Doc Shazam writes:
…I have taken 2 of “Dr. Reddy’s” generic sumatriptan tablets with almost no relief of headache symptoms, but a plethora of side effects, including aching muscles, nausea, “light headed” feeling and general dis-ease.
Read about other patients’ experiences in their comments on earlier posts on The Daily Headache:
79 thoughts on “Generic Imitrex (Sumatriptan) Tablets & Injections Available in US”
I also have been using brand name Imetrix for years for chronic migraines. My new insurance required that I use the generics in July so I did. For the past several months I have been in hell. My migraines have been horrible. I ended up I the ER once. I never put it together until recently that the generic was the culprit. I often had to take two or three doses and still felt terrible. I now hope my insurance will approve my request for the name brand. And no I do not work for the company. I am just a suffering patient. Take the generic off the market!
Can you please help me find a cheaper version of my sumatriptan injection 6mg/0.5ml? I currently pay $608 for 12 autoinjectors (2 per package) 6 packages.
I have tried both the name brand and generic and I can’t tell the difference. They both work…..
Imitrex has always been a miracle drug for me and I had been using it for 18 years (injections only – pills and nasal spray never worked for me which is true for about 5% of patients). We were forced into new insurance courtesy of ACA and our insurance rates doubled and are now going up another 25%. My insurance only covers the generic and guess what – like so many others, it doesn’t work for me. How is this OK? I now have no relief unless in addition to the crazy rates we are paying for insurance I want to pay $146 per shot.
Lee, you might want to try the generic made by a different manufacturer. Sometimes one brand’s generic doesn’t work, but another’s does. If your pharmacy doesn’t have any from a different manufacturer in stock, you can ask them to order it for you.
I was thrilled and relieved when I discovered Imitrex. The end of my migraine headache nightmare. Then the Generic came out. The first time it was slow to work. The next time it gave me severe hiccups and my headache did NOT go away. I followed up with another pill which was something I NEVER had to do with the brand name and then I felt like I was going to have a stroke. My chest tightened and I felt extremely ill for hours. My headache remained.
I had to go pay cash for the brand name Imitrex even though my insurance policy already costs me a premium of $740 a month and it seems ridiculous that I have to fight for the very few things I need when they come up. There are great generics which are for sure equivalent to the brand, but Sumatriptan is not one of them. I’m glad they work for some, but for the rest of us we have to suffer or pay the price.
Heather, have you tried generic Imitrex from different manufacturers? I know of many people who find that one brand’s generic doesn’t work, but another’s does. Here’s a list of all the manufacturers making sumatriptan: http://www.drugs.com/availability/generic-imitrex.html. Also, your insurance company would probably cover other generic triptans, which are in the same class as Imitrex, but aren’t identical. Amerge (naratriptan) and Maxalt (rizatriptan) both have generics available. There’s no guarantee one would work as well as Imitrex, but there’s a chance it could work better. I know you may not want to mess with a good (though expensive) thing, but I wanted you to know there are other options.
I am turning 65 in 1 month and I need to find a drug plan under medicare that will cover the imitrex injections (generic works for me). Does anyone know where/how I can find out what company would cover this? When I called UPMC & Health Assurance they told me they couldn’t tell me unless I was in their program!
I live outside the US, so have never used Imitrex. I’m not sure if it is exactly the same as the Glaxo brand name version of sumatriptan, Imigran, available in Europe.
I switched about a year ago to generic sumatriptan (50mg) from Asia and have found it works FASTER and with FEWER side effects than the brand name version I’d used for years.
One other note about the muscle weakness/dizziness/nausea side effect of sumatriptan: I found this very acute with the injectable form of the drug and siffer to some extent with the capsules too, but discovered that if I just lie completely still for 45 mins-1 hour after taking them, I’m fine.
When I first started using Imigran long ago, no-one warned me about the dizziness and I got up as soon as my migraine went – and 5 minutes later had collapsed with my head in the toilet bowl!
Thanks Beverly. I did what you did and my pharmacist order the Mylan. What a difference! I feel so much bettter.
It is so great to see that readers are able to help each other out. I’m glad you’ve found a solution, Mel.
I took 50mg Imitrex for years, but when the generic came out my insurance no longer paid for it. The TEVA generic has never worked well for me, so this week I finally decided to ask the pharmacist to order a different generic. WOW, the Mylan generic actually worked better/faster than Imitrex. I don’t know if others will have the same result, but for me Mylan is it.
Well I find this very interesting………..because when i had blue shield I had to pay 900.00 per mo. and a 10,000 deductible because i was taking Imitrex. Now I am on Medicare and just received a letter from Aetna my supplement insurance to Medicare telling me that they would not pay for the generic sumatriptan (Dr. Reddy) anymore. I would have to have my doctor write a letter and tell them I have tried all the other medicines for headaches, they would then review it and let me know it they will cover it.
I personally, don’t think President Obama has anything to do with this…..however, I do think the drug lobbyists do have something to do with it. They are paid by the drug companies to persuade congressmen and woman of both parties to keep the drug companies making the big bucks. It is neither democrats or republicans it is both. So we all should write to our congressmen and woman and complain about the outrageous price of the generic imitrex and also ask them why Medicare and Aetna will not cover the price. It is ridiculous. I finally ordered some imitrex the generic from Getcanadiandrugs.com and they assured me they were Dr. Reddy. When they arrived they were a random brand that wasn’t FDA approved. What a hassle we all have to go through to cure our terrible headaches.
I know for sure that since taking Dr. Reddy that I now wake up around 4 a.m. with the most god awful headaches. It takes 2 doses of l00 mg of Dr. Reddy to help at all………they I feel like I can’t swallow, so yes it is affecting my chest and stomach, I feel I am getting ulcers.
Everyone, please call your doctors, and congressmen and woman and complain.
I was recently diagnosed with Sleep Apena. Recent studies have found a that alot of suffers of Cluster Headaches may actually have this condition. Since I have had my sleep study and subsequently received my CPAP machine. No more headaches, snoring and I wake up feeling well rested. Get a Sleep Study. This may be the anwser your looking for. My Dr. Now believes I have had Sleep Apena for the past 20 years but until recently they just never suspected the connection between the two. Do a little research on the subject you may be surprised what you discover.
I have carefirst blue cross blue shield insurance and they have covered for brand name imitrex with a co pay of $15.00 for 28 pills for a month which is fine great really. Then my co pay went from $15.00 to $400.00 for name brand Imitrex so had no choice but to switch to generic and it is ok have to take 100 mg pill to see any results whereas took only 25 mg of name brand. And now generic i got this month gave me side effect of having burning and flushing in the face and chest for over an hour, and is not helping the full migraine. This migraine had linger for a week now. REALLY MISS NAME BRAND IMITREX!!!!!
It is outrageous for the cost of Imitrex generic at this time ie Nov 6, 2010. Glaxo Smth Kline has their wholly owned subsidiary in the UK and China making the drug (they are the only ones) and costs $780 for for boxes of 8 injections. Incredible. While he brand is about $7l5. I understand from the pharmacists that lobbyist have made similar deals for their pharmaceutical companies and now generics are astoundingly high as well as the brand. Who did this. This is all under the watch of the Obama administration and the drug companies are getting away with highway robber. I have suffered from migraines on pretty much daily basis for 45 years. What am I supposed to do now as this is the only drug that works and the migraines cause intenesive all day vomiting causing me to have foam and even get blood shot eyes This is a human disgrace and green on the part of Glaxo Smith Klein and other drug contries. What are we supposed to do? Glaxo does not give a damn and is driven by green! It is disgusting!! Thanks Obama man – another result of poor leadership hurting Amerians, but hey he doesn’t care he has his ideology to shove down our throat and after all he is rich so he feels not effect of any of his screwy health care “Obama Care ” to destroy the middle class!
Holly #56. Would you identify the on line source from which you ordered both the Imigran and the Suminat?
After two years of hell, I just figured out that I must take twice the dosage of the generic to get the same relief as I got from Imitrex.
Couple of corrections, sorry:
“If you don’t have something nice to say….”
“my sister, younger by a year….”
Meg (#54), if you don’t any something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. You had better start making sure your words are sweet because you just might have to turn around and eat them some day. We are just a bunch of people trying to get answers and help for a very serious problem, so GTFO and stop trolling to cause problems.
Anyways, I have recently started suffering from migraines in the past year. I’ve gone through blood tests and have not found the trigger yet with my doctor. He prescribed me Sumatriptan 100 mg. My mom has chronic migraines, and sister (by a year) also gets them but not too frequently. My insurance will only cover 18 tablets a year. I’ve used my last one and don’t have any more refills until March.
I’m not comfortable with buying medicine outside of the country, but I absolutely need my migraine medicine. I’m planning on visiting my doctor again to discuss a different prescription or maybe a preventative medicine rather than one to react to the headache. Any suggestions?
As a side note of the effectiveness of Sumatriptan, I find that one tablet usually works rather quickly, but I have had to take two at times, which is what my doctor suggested. I have noticed that after a few hours, I get a dull headache that follows it. My doctor recommended that I don’t take over the counter pain relievers as they can cause left-over headaches as a side effect.
Sorry Meg (post #54) but I am not a moron. The generic by Teva does not work nearly as well as Imitrex. I was so happy when the generic came out because it was less expensive, but it just didn’t work as well. I get the same side effects but the migraine just doesn’t go away until a second or third dose. I have had doctors and pharmacists tell me the same thing. They get feedback from patients all the time. Some generic drugs work and some don’t. Maybe it’s the manufacturer and the quality of ingredients they use — I don’t know — but these are not the same.
just fyi: person #54 meg – above, who says we are morons for complaining about generics, is very lucky she hasn’t had to suffer with migraines and then additionally deal with inferior medication; the components in the medication may be the same in the generic; however, the quality, freshness, whatever, is probably inferior
i have been a long-time migraine sufferer; i used imitrex injections for years, then was switched to the generic by insurance; the generic (sumatriptan) is definitely not as effective; the migraine usually returns in less than three hours; no question about it
I am a long time migraine sufferer although mine are not the kind that make me throw up – thankfully. When we signed up with Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, they put a permanent rider on our policy that they will never cover any drugs or treatments for my headaches so I have always had to pay out of my own pocket for everything. The last time I bought name brand Imitrex – maybe 6-7 years ago, it cost me almost $300 for (9) 50mg. pills. Then I had the Dr. order 100 mg. and I cut them in half to try and make them go further. I just couldn’t afford that kind of money every month.
One day I was browsing on the internet looking for whether generic Imitrex was available in the U.S. and I came across a headache forum. Someone on there was talking about buying their migraine meds off of the internet from India and England. I decided to try it and have been buying it that way ever since. I believe it comes from India – I get Suminat 50 – generic 50 mg. Sumatriptan Succinate rapid release tablets.(they are manufactured by Sun Pharmaceutical) They cost me $330 for 60 pills which I am then able to break in half & have double the amount. The 25 mg. dose taken with two Advil Liquid gels works in about an hour for me and my two sons.
I have also tried Imigran thru the same online out of the country ordering method. Imigran is real Imitrex but in England it is called Imigran and does not require a prescription to order. It is over the counter there. It was still a little too expensive for me and the triangle shaped pills could not very easily be cut in half.
I am VERY happy I found Suminat 50 from India and can order it without a prescription. I just can’t afford to get rid of my headaches any other way since I have to pay for everything myself with no insurance help.
OF COURSE they tell you the generics are the same exact ingredients—-let’s say for legal purposes that they are the same. MY INPUT is that I believe the INGREDIENTS used in generics are LESS SUPERIOR than those used in Imitrex.
Let’s have some experts go to the labs where the generics are made, and look at the ingredients used to make these generics I’ll bet substandard chemicals are used, as well as outdated!
I have a hard time believing most of this. Generic drugs arent the same as generic pizza sauce or generic laundry detergent. Generic drugs are the EXACT SAME CHEMICAL COMPOSITION as the original. If a bad reaction occurs that does NOT occur with the original brand name drug, this is due to DYES or FILLERS, and is EXTREMELY RARE. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you the same thing. You people are morons.
We MUST file a complaint w/ the FDA and perhaps organize a petition. Would everyone here be willing to do some type of digital signature? The Dr. Reddys generic Imitrex is utter crap and the generic subcutaneous injection pens hurt pretty badly too. I’m young, athletic/fit, and have taught skin and the bruising And bleeding I get is ridiculous. I’m in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology field myself and being on both ends of this (as migraine sufferer and working in the industry ), something seriously needs to be done with the outpouring of complaints /comments /suggestions /difficulties.
Feel free to email me at: kickbxrr@ aol.com and let’s see if we can make some headway as a group!
I have been using TEVA Sumatriptan 100mg tablets for 2 years and they work just as well as when I was taking Imitrek.
I also have friends and family who take the generic version of Imitrek and I have not heard any of them talk of it not working.
I have had horrible migraines, bad enough to dehydrate from vomiting and end up in emergency on IV’s. I have an average of 9/month! I use about 18 pills per month. I became immune to imitrex after fairly good success for a few years. This may be a problem for some as to why it doesn’t work. I currently take Zomig 5mg tablets at a hefty cost of $37.50 PER PILL. I often need 2 tablets. I too am becoming immune to these and end up getting 3-4 injections at urgent care on top of these tablets for pain and nausea. I have a $75 co-pay for only 12 tablets a month, an inadequate supply. I have tried numerous drugs, Relpax, Maxalt, whygrain, midrin, elevail, inderal, enacard, all which have failed to help! I have been given vicodin and compazine as my “rescue” for when all else fails too…and guess what? It’s like being drunk with still a migraine!I am looking for a cheaper solution so if anyone has anything please share. I have been to the University of Michigan headache clinic, to a neurologist, had MRI’s and CT’s but have suffered over 20 years! keep in mind that in addition to the $75 copay I pay $30 for each urgent care plus 20% above my copay for all services, an average of $120 per visit. I also have a pain pill prescription plus a medication to control vomiting. So this cost an average of $200 a month! I have puked enough to break blood vessels having to see an ophthalmologist to determine if I damaged my optic nerve from being sick, another big bill! I spent the last 5 out of 7 days with a headache!
I am a long-term migraine sufferer. My insurance wouldn’t cover Imitrex, so I had to drop it to afford the pills. They’re now so outrageously priced that I can rarely afford them. My sister-in-law takes the generics and they work fine for her, but they offer no relief for me and make me sick on top of the migraine. I have trouble working because of these and really need an affordable generic that actually works.
The generic simply DOES NOT WORK. I’ve tried it for months. Imitrex always worked. This generic takes much longer to work, and sometimes does not work at all.
No, I’m not an employee of Imitrex. I just want to share this because I can’t afford to pay $250 for non-generic. There is a real problem here and I wish it would be investigated.
I appreciate reading about others’ experiences. I’m going to bite the bullet and pay the much higher co pay for the brand. The brand kicks in for me (pain relieved) within an hour or two–at most, and I’m able to work and drive–the side effects are managable. But the generic? It takes 6 hours before I feel minimal relief, it makes me extremely drousy, and nauseous, and I need to take off work! Kind of ticks me off that drug companies aren’t required to demonstrate that the drug acts/releases the same way in the system in order to claim that the generic is equivalent to the brand.
Complain like crazy to the FDA about the problems with the generic. Be sure to include the supplier (??? Dr. Reddy). Also make a complaint to the supplier (Dr. Reddy??).
for insurance, have your doctor specify that it has to be the brand name, Imitrex, and insurance usually will pay for it.
In May of this year my Walgreen drugstore began using Mylan generic for Imitrex. Immediately I noticed the effectiveness of this generic was not what I had experienced with either the name brand or the Dr. Reddy brand generic. With the Mylan brand it takes longer to get relief, and the migraine if relieved often comes back later the same day – or again the next. Today I learned that the sinus problems I’ve suffered since my pharmacy began using this brand is a known side effect of this particular generic. The Mylan brand cost $10.50 per tablet – Imitrex comes in at $32.25, but when it takes 2-3 times as much of the generic to get rid of a migraine and sinusitis as a bonus the brand name starts to look like a bargain. What really bothers me is why after nearly twenty years on the American market, and even with the introduction of generic versions the cost of Imitrex continues to escalate rapidly.
I was shocked when this January, I went to refill my imitrex (the generic) and was told, “That will be $159.99 please.”
After two months of going back and forth with my doctor, Walgreens and the insurance company, I was told that even though the drug is listed in my 2010 Formulary, that it is no longer covered. The insurance company won’t give me a reason and the price alone shocked me. The brand name was $170.00!
I have several painful diseases (crappy DNA I guess) and was diagnosed with Cluster Headaches (aka Suicide Headaches). Some days I’ll have 3 or 4 headaches and they’ll last between 30 minutes to several hours. I use the injections when I go to the theater or out with friends. I had to leave “Phantom of the Opera” and sit in the car because one of the headaches hit and I didn’t have the medication.
I told the insurance company that this is a one of a kind drug and there is nothing on the market like it. Has anyone else had this problem with it no longer being covered under their insurance?
My migraines began when I was a teenager and now I am 64 and still suffer from them. The reason I got to this site was that I recently received a refill of Sumatriptan 100mg tablets that were from the supplier Dr. Reddy. Two observations on them. First the characteristic and unpleasant taste of sumatriptan was not evident and my response was nil.
As a physician I have years of experience with the treatment of migraine, and my own personal use of various triptans. I will say that I am suspicious of the product from the supplier Dr. Reddy given my two observations. In the past I could expect relief within an hour using oral sumatriptan so long as my stomach was empty when I took it. Not so with the Dr. Reddy product. I will say though that the prior generic product with packaging virtually identical to that of the Imitrex brand worked just as well. My guess is that the product of Imitrex and the first generic I used are from the same manufacturer, and the Dr. Reddy is not.
I found the same thing with the generic from Mylan, the round pill. The Dr.Reddy brand generic, 100mg worked just fine. I could even cut the pill in half sometimes and find relief. The new generic barely cuts it. I find I have to take 2 doses and sometimes experience the vomitting. I thought it was jut me and I was developing a tolerance to the medicine. It looks like the generic is just a flop. What can be done to get the Dr. Reddy brand back on the shelves???
You all realize that the generic that supposedly doesn’t work is manufactured by GSK who also makes Immitrex. I have noticed no difference between the two. I’m sure it’s expensive for some, but for those who have good insurance have you looked into Sumavel, it’s also made by GSK. It’s a nitrous powered air injection, NO NEEDLES. Even though the medicine is the same, it’s distinct from the immitrex injections cause it’s needle-free. It sounds like a Star Trek device when you use it.
My advice if you are finding you have to ignore the 2x day rule then you may be causing a syndrome known as rebound headaches. It’s happened to me and that is what my doctor told me.
It took me 20 years to find my Cluster remedy so I thought I might share it in case people are still looking for fresh options. My Remedy for clusters is a strong steroid/prednisone dose for a week as well as a continued use of deapkote and verapamil until I get through the cluster. This will usually get me headache free within a month sometimes sooner. The dose of verapamil and Depakote for me are quite high, but that’s what works. If you haven’t tried this combo talk to your doctor, try varying doses and hopefully you’ll see the success I finally did after 20 years of almost daily misery.
Sometimes I have to take the steroid twice, once at the beginning of my cluster treatment and once towards the end after I’ve taken the Verapamil and Deapkote for a while.
Mary – how did you find out about the Dr Reddy made by GKS being discontinued? I cannot find anything on the internet about it. I recently filled my prescription & the packaging changed & no longer has Penn Labs/GKS on the box anywhere. They are now being manufactured in India. My pharmacist called Dr. Reddy’s corp office, and they tried to tell her it was the exact same thing. The pill is twice the size and a different shape and has a bitter taste. It is not the same formulation. I’m really frustrated that now generics are available, my insurance will not cover the brand name.
Has anyone found Treximet to be covered by your insurance? I agree with the recent post about how pharmacists and physicians all say that same thing… A generic is just the same as the actual brand med…. blah, blah… Doctor’s, who are suppose to be giving me a med that will help me the most, automatically gives me a generic med and doesn’t listen me when I say no, it’s not the same. I don’t mind a generic for the other meds i take, but not migraines, they hurt and I’m in pain. I just want what works.
I am so relieved to hear that I am not the only one not getting relief from the generic Imitrex. I took 6 50 mgs yesterday to get relief. Normally one or two 50 mgs knock it out. Thanks for verifying these generics do not always work for everyone. I’m making a call to my insurance company….
I have been using the generic Imitrex, bought online from the S. Pacific, for my migraine headaches for 3 years. Could not afford Imitrex with my Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. These 50mg tablets work perfectly and as expected if I take them as soon as I feel a headache coming on, which for me is often in the middle of the night. MSG is what triggers mine. Any Hydrolized protein or Monosodium Glutimate in body lotion, foods, seasonings, broths, salad dressings, seasoned chips, canned soups, canned frostings, gravies, frozen battered items, box mixes, etc. Read labels faithfully. Order carefully when eating out. Look up more information online. Good luck folks.
I find that some generic tablets work as fine as regular Immitrex for me, but that other generic ones hardly make a dent. (A friend who is a pharmacist as well as a migraine sufferer says the same…) The generic “Dr. Reddy” (50 mg) worked as well as GKS Immitrex 50 mg tabs — but I learned last night that they are being discontinued. ):
The other, cheaper generic (green/white box, from India) I’ve been getting from Costco and Walgreen’s has been TERRIBLE! Like someone says above: It’s like half the strength as usual — feels like a rip off because I have to use twice as much.
I am one of the 2-3% that get dizzy from Imitrex. It took me about 4 months to get my body used to it, so now the world doesn’t spin when I take it. I kept on because when the spinning stopped, the migraine stopped. Now my insurance is charging me a higher co pay trying to get me to use the generic. After hearing these stories, I am not willing to start all over again. I’ll pay the price — and enjoy life.
The generic does not work for me either. I too have to take twice as much for twice as long, with half of the results. I find it impossible that the generic could have been proven as effective as Imitrex. Wines and cheeses have the same ingredients but have different qualities. Generics are not the same unless the qualitiy of ingredients (active and inert), processing, packaging, and distribution are the same. The scary thing is that if you ask any doctor or pharmicist under 30 it seems like they have all been brainwashed into thinking that all generics are the same as the original product. Go to CVS and they will give you the same “book” response. Even more scary is that pharmacists are suppose to have a legal obligation to tell you if they are giving a generic instead of a name brand. But they DO NOT when it comes to Imitrex. I have even called in advance to make sure a pharmacy has Imitrex and was told yes, only to arrive and have them try to give me the generic without telling me. I have been paying out of pocket for the brand name Imitrex because my insurance only covers the generic. It is $230 for eight pills. When I have a migrane I would pay anything to make it go away! It is definitely worth it but it should be covered by my insurance. I just do not understand how the insurance companies could possibly claim that the generics work as well as Imitrex. It so obviously doesn’t. Why doen’t the Imitrex manufacturer challenge the claim that the generics work as well? I am certainly not the only one who notices a dramatic difference. Imitrex relieves the symtoms. The generic DOES NOT relieve the symptoms, even after taking more.
I have had migraines since I was 3, coming at regular intervals of every 3-4 days. From 2002-2009, no OTC worked at all, so I used hot showers and ice packs on my neck to battle them. In April 2009, I mentioned them to the doctor and was given the generic, sumatriptan, 100 mg. I started taking them 1/2 at a time as needed, but quickly discovered that 1 whole tablet would do the trick in about 20-30 minutes. I still try to battle with a hot shower and ice first, but am more willing to give in quicker to the pills.
I have not tried the generic yet but I’m sure I will in the future. I have tried Treximet and it is a wonderful drug. It is 85 mg. of sumatriptan and 500 mg of naproxen (Aleve). It works for me in about 30 minutes but does leave me drowsy. That is a Godsend anyway. Anything to make the pain go away. I don’t have prescription so I have to depend on a friend that gets me doctor’s samples. So far so good.
I was one of the first to ever use Initrix by injection. I have suffered from migraines since i was 14. I am now 65. In 1995 I believe it was. I was in a hospital with a migraine in Connecticut. A nuerologist visited me and he had imitrix put into my vein in the hand through a tube. It was a miracle. He told me to come by his office the next day and his nurse would teach me how to give the shot to myself. At that time you had to build this whole little space ship type of injector…. a couple of years before the auto injector. Skip forward to 1999. I was living in Florida, and my doctor there just happened to be a migraine sufferer, too…and male, very unusual. He gave me a lot of samples of sumatiptans, and I found Zomig worked as good as the shot ever did. It took longer, sometimes up to an hour, but in the long run just as effective. And of course, cheaper….skip forward to 2010, my insurance company will now only pay for 4 5mg tabs (equivalent to 100mg sumatriptan)a month… so far, I have tried the sumatiptam twice, and it has worked OK…As I normally use 12-16 a month, I will have to pay for the rest of them, and…the generic imitrix is so so so much cheaper than let say CVS.
I’ve suffered extreme migraines my entire life, now 20 years old. My insurance company (BluCross Federal), yes FEDERAL insurance refuses to pay for imitrex. The only way I could get it was to hit catastrophic limit for the year and get script after script so I would have a decent supply, my insurance company had no choice but to pay the $1000 some odd dollars for 20 pills. Needless to say, I’ve been waiting years for GSK’s patent to run out. Now that the generics are here, after hearing what everyone is saying about the generics I’m quite hesitant to. The whole thing sounds like a sham by GSK to get Imitrex back on the market. Let me tell you all something, pharmaceutical companies run America and can do whatever they want, they’re in bed with the FDA so good luck getting a response from them. For relief, I’d suggest morphine w/ ibuprofen. Myself I take 150mg morphine sulfate and about 1600mg ibu by mouth for migraines.
If you use Imitrex injections you don’t have to use the pens or kits. It is available in 0.5 ml single dose vials from GSK. They come 5 per box. The recommended dosage is 0.5 ml however, when using an insulin syringe you can control how much you take. I’ve had chronic cluster headaches for 19 years and use it quite often. With trial and error I have learned that 0.2 ml will give me complete relief as quickly as the entire 0.5 ml dose. The benefit is that I can get 3 1/2 doses from each vial thus saving tons of money and of course experiencing less side effects. I have no idea if the vials are available in a generic version but you will save so much money that it really doesn’t matter. If anyone has any questions about it feel free to email me at email@example.com. Good luck and God bless.
Imitrex always worked very well for me – the Dr. Reddy generic is OK, but now I have the Teva, which is significantly worse. I’ve upped my dosage to 100mg, and sometimes still need two doses. My neurologist told me that it is well known that the generics don’t work very well.
I was using brand Imitrex for about 6 years and it worked pretty well. I started using the generic Imitrex caplets (100mg) a few months ago. I’ve found that, for me, they are totally unacceptable. Each time I’ve tried to use it for a breakthrough, I’ve maxed out and ended up vomiting all day. Luckily, I had a few brand-name at work, so I could rid myself of the migraine the next day. My insurance company has shifted the cost to the high-cost category for the brand name Imitrex, so I’ll have to switch to something else.
I have had migraine headaches for a little over a year now. For the first few months I suffered through with over the counter meds that didn’t work … and I really suffered. I was finally able to get in with a doctor who recognized that I was having cluster migraines that went on for 3 to 4 days. My doctor prescribed Imitrex and it was like a wonderful gift. I only had to take a half of 50mil tablet and it would stop the pain in about 15 minutes. My insurance only covered half of the $225.00 cost, but it was worth it for me to pay my share. When the generic hit the market, my insurance would no longer pay for the Imitrex and would only allow a benefit for the generic brand. And to make matters worse, my pharmacy quit carrying the Imitrex and only carried the generic. So I didn’t have a choice and had to buy the generic when I filled my last prescription. I had my first chance to try the generic on Christmas Eve 2009 … and I am sorry to say it was a nightmare. My headache was very severe … more painful than usual so I decided to take a whole table (50 Mil). I waited for an hour but got absolutely no relief. So I then took another table (50 mil) … and waited again for an extremely painful hour and still no relief. I became very weak and unable to walk by myself. I fell into a door and would have ended up in my bedroom floor if it had not been for my husband. In fact I would have probably ended up spending the night in my own vomit on my bedroom floor if I hadn’t had help. In my opinion, the generic is ineffective and the side effects (muscle weakness and dizziness) can prove dangerous for anyone who might be living alone.
I saw someone’s comment on this board that suggested that the people here who didn’t have good things to say about the generic were only people who were “fake” and were Imitrex employees. That’s about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I intend to contact the FDA and express my concerns and tell them about my experience.
In the last few months, I have used the generic sumitriptan succinate in pill form from two different manufactuers, Dr. Reddy and Teva. The generic from Dr. Reddy was reasonally effective in relieving my migraines but the generic from Teva was barely effective at twice the 50 mg dose. Quality control must be really bad at the generic manufacturers. I have suffered migraine headaches for 60 years.
My prescription service recently went from supplying me with Imitrex to the generic. I have tried the generic on a number of occasions and it is not as effective and does not get rid of the migraine the way Imitrex does – not even close.
At first I was thrilled to see Imitrex finally available as a generic in hopes that I could drop my expensive monthly pharmacy plan to a generic only plan that would save me alot of money, but now I am beginning to wonder. Since switching to the generic products, pills, nasal sprays and injections, none of them are working for me nearly as well as the original Imitrex products. I am especially disappointed by the injections which use to knock out my migraine headaches within minutes. Now, the generic formula can help a little or not a all. Within the last month I have had one of the worst series of headaches I have had in years because the generic products gave me little or no relief. I am afraid I am going to have to keep my expensive drug coverage and go back to the original formula.
I’m just curious, where do any of you live that are paying less than $100 for the injection refill. I live on Long Island, and just found out that the price went up again, and is now $185 per box. I’ve checked, that’s the cheapest!
I decided to try the generic sumatriptan and have found it to be less effective as the Imitrex. Headaches return sooner and with more intensity. I’ve noticed a significant increase in dizziness which actually did not exist with Imitrex. While the cost is higher I’m going back to name brand. As for the Imitrex injections, ouch! I don’t even use the kit, I pull the syringes out and administer the does myself.
I wonder how many of these posts are fake by Imitrex employees to scare people away from the Generics. I haven’t tried the generic yet myself, but I find it hard to believe they don’t work at all like so many are claiming.
I have been getting migranes is back in the day when they gave your caffergot, which did not work, but suffice it to say, a long time. I was given Imitrex about two years ago and it worked. I could not beleive that something besides a shot in the emergency room got rid of these horrible headaches. Recently, I like many was given the Sumatriptan (without any say in the matter) and it was just like the old days for me. I spent two days with a horrible headache, throwing up and so on, you know the routine. It took me another entrie day to get my pharmacy and my doctor to work together to get a Imitrex percription.
I might save a few dollars on the generic, but when I am in the middle of a migrane, I could care less about $10 or so dollars. I want something that is going to get rid of the headache. What happened to the good old days when you doctor wrote you out a percription and the pharmacy filled it out…the way the doctor wrote it and not the way the pharmacy would finacially benefit the most. I was told that the only way to get the percription that your doctor orded was to make the doctor note that it must dispensed as percribed on the ‘cript’.
Good luck to all who suffer,
Robin R. in Minnesota
Four more days along in a cluster that is going on two weeks. My insurance has only so far covered 5 doses of generic sumatriptan. It appears to work as well as my imitrex injector kits that expired in ’06.
Most disturbing is that the headaches seem to be coming fast and furious now, approx every 6-8 hours. I find myself having to ignore the 2x/day max and use when necessary.
I’ve also been informed by my PCP that my insurance will require an Rx from a neurologist if I am to receive enough generic to last a month @ 2x/d. I’m just lucky that I still have some of the old imitrex left over for now.
I have had migraines for about 20 years and when I discovered Imitrex I thought it was a miracle drug. It still works for me. Have tried the generic and do not get the same results. I took one tablet, no relief, took a second one within the hour (a no no) and promptly threw up. Four hours later I took a real Imitrex & it ended the headache within an hour.
Just to clarify the above: I was hoping that my four year hiatus from regular clusters was caused by my move to the desert.
I’m experiencing my first cluster headaches since 2005. I was hoping that moving from NYC to the desert was the cause, as I had been having severe bouts, several times per year previously, the longest bout actually lasting over two months.
I started using ‘stale-dated’ Imitrex injections that I had left over, some having expired in ’02, the rest in ’06. So far the results have been fine, no issues, perhaps less side effects.
Today I received 5 single dose vials of the generic; the inept pharmacist didn’t even know that I would need syringes to administer it. I had to go online (to YouTube) to learn how do draw from the vial and how to give a subcutaneous injection. I’ve not tried it yet, and am not thrilled at the prospect of having to use a real needle (yeah I’m a wimp), I never really liked the Imitrex auto injector pen either for that matter.
Anyway, I’ll report back here in a few days once I’ve tried the generic and let y’all know how it works for me…
Buy insulin syringes because they have tiny needles.
I didn’t notice any difference between the needles of generic and Imitrex. I can’t imagine that generic is purposly made below standards because they wouldn’t get repeat customers. I do wonder why the heck this stuff is so expensive.
I have trouble getting Imitrex prescriptions filled. Mostly I’m charged double because there are two prefilled injections per box. Some people might not know to question this.
Walmart’s mail order service fills three months supply at once but they keep sending 12 boxes with 12 injection pens, ignoring my notes pens.
I got a prescription yesterday. I had stapled a note on the insurance form and also on the prescription. Ok, they read the note this time, but this is what they sent … three boxes, each had five little jar things of Imitrex liquid. I don’t have any syringes to use with thse and need to call my doctor or a pharmacy. This prescription cost $1,484, I pay 1/4 and my insurance pays the rest. Yikes, I am about ready for Medicare and I don’t think they cover these jections.
When I get the prefilled injections, I use a screwer stick as a plunger. I have no bleeding, bruising, or pain this way.
Generic doesn’t seem to work as well.
I have been taken Imitrex for 3 years and have been very pleased with the results. My pharmacist gave me the generic this time and I have used it twice this month….My regular dose was not enough. I ended up taken twice as much just to get the headache to go away and then it came back much harder. I have had this happen two times, now. The generic just doesn’t work for me. I don’t know why because I thought that it was supposed to be the same as Imitrex. I just spent one of the worse nights of my life. I am going back to the Imitrex.
I spent two days using the generic sumatriptan injections – did not take my headache away. I found one last real imtrex in the closet and it took the headache away immediately. The above comment on the ‘possibiltiy of scaling the bioequivalence…” makes sense, the generic seemed weaker and less effective. Also makes sense for their corporate profits. Once again, profit trump healthcare.
Generic for Imitrex needles are jagged. The needles in the original Imitrex were painful, but the generic are horrible. Feels like a square needle. I contacted my doc and FDC to register the complaint. I’m experiencing more sever brusing and bleeding from the injections. Anyone else going through this, please contact their docs and register complaints with the FDC.
I wondered if anyone knows if the generic sumatriptan injections will fit in the Imitrex pens? It seems like there is a shortage of sumatriptan kits from the manufacturer. I have a couple of Imitrex pens and my insurance will only pay for the generic medication, but it’s all useless without a pen. Please help and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been using generic sumatriptan since 1999, primarily from Indian sources — I use the 100 mg. tablets (they work fine for me), I currently use a generic form of 100 mg. sumatriptan capsules (work really great because they digest faster) and I’ve also tried the ampules they used to sell (can’t seem to find them any longer) that you snap off, then use a diabetic syringe for the injection. The very slim needles that diabetics use are really painless, as opposed to those ghastly injection pens (difficult to use too) from GSK.
I also pull out the little syringe from the refill kit from GSK and use a bobby pin to do the injection, but the needle they use is unnecessarily a heavier gauge than a diabetic needle, which is one reason the GSK injection pen is so uncomfortable. Also, if you check the FDA web site for standards of generics vs. the equivalent name brand, the generics must be within a tolerance of 80% to 125% of equivalent patent drug’s dosage efficacy. That’s a possible spread of 45%. I can’t find the specific guidelines from the FDA site right now, but here’s the quote from an FDA letter sent to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy:
This approach allows the possibility of scaling the bioequivalence ‘goalposts’ (e.g., the boundary of 80 – 125%) based on variability of the reference listed (innovator) drug.
If I had more time I’d look for the FDA guidelines for generics, but this will come as a shock to many people. Generics are not necessarily bioequivalent to their name brands! I use generics but some people may not respond as well. No wonder some people don’t feel the same effects with generics — in spite of what doctors and popular advertising tell you, they are not necessarily exactly the same because of the variant efficacy that’s tolerated by the FDA.
And one final note, the gold standard for treating migraines is still 100 mg. of sumatriptan, not 25 mg., not 50 mg. That’s the dosage that is used as a comparison for the other triptan trials. So keep that in mind. I’ve had migraines since I was 8 years old, so I’m an expert, unfortunately. Hope this helps someone out there!
I just found out I have ulcers and despite my family doc and g.i. doc’s silence on this issue I am guessing that these are as a result of years of Imitrex. Anyone else in this boat? Suggestions?
I have tried the generic sumatriptan for 2 migraines and it didn’t work well for either using 50mg My dr suggested doubling up to 100, which I tried today. It made the headache ease off, but not go away completely and the tightness in the chest and throat sure seemed worse! I think I will ask for “no substitution” scrip. It’s not worth it to take twice as much with half as much relief! I also submitted a complaint on the FDA website.
I haven’t tried the generic injection yet, but have used the generic tablets and they seem as effective as the regular tablets for me. I did get the achy chest, etc, but I often get that with the name brand as well. Not every time. In fact, my reactions to the same medication from one time to another vary so much that I almost think I’d have to wait until I had finished several packages of the generic to compare.
I’m not sure if there’s a generic 2.5ml vial, but there used to be one that GSK marketed. Presumably, the target market was hospitals.
Personally, I pull out the little syringes from the cartridge such that I can use only half its contents. It’s not always as effective, but it greatly reduces side effects and, of course, cost.
I’ve also noticed that if I take the time to warm up the syringe up to body temperature, there’s no pain during injection, whereas, otherwise, it’s a coin toss.
I, too, would prefer to buy syring/needle and drug separately, even for a modest or nonexistent discount.
Same as Diana. I had reported that a 2 injection kit is costing me about $65 for the generic as opposed to $73 for the brand.
Has anyone ever heard of injectable in a regular syringe? I detest the auto-injector. An email to GSK was fruitless on that topic.
Generic tablets are actually more expensive at the moment
I have use the generic 25 mg for two months and I’m very disappointed. It most definitely is not as effective as Imitrex for me. I know in theory it should be the same formula but it hardly works at all. I had to take twice as many with half the results. I checked online and fnd that other people felt the same way. Anyone have any guesses as to why?
I’ve been using the generic injections for a few weeks now, and they seem to work as well as the name brand for me.