imitrex(and pretend I dont know anything)

  1. hello..... lucky me had my first real migraine headache last night at work... I got so dizzy and nauseated, with some nasty photophobia, I eventually fell over at the nurses station... it was a bad night to begin with...

    The sent me to the ED, and gave me some phenergan(which is some good stuff... I was high-- somebody in there called my mom and told her I was stoned and in main ER getting worked up-- in the ED.... nice visual trails.... plus, no more puking)

    After ruling out sub arachnoid bleed to a reasonable degree(had head CT, I refused spinal tap until they tried alternatives) They tried some imitrex....

    OK.... now, 1) does that stuff usually burn like HELL during SC administration, or was I just so on edge that it just felt that bad?
    2) Does it usually take 2 doses to work?

    I got one dose, and nodded off, around 3 am, was woken up at 5 with a tremendous headache still... got more imitrex, and felt a bit
    better... was okay at about 6 or so for d/c... still with a headache, but mild.... nothing like before... as a matter of fact, that just went away...

    went home, and slept all day again...

    is this normal for a migraine? Its gonna sound strange, but right before I fell, I couldnt see anything but a massive bright white light that I closed my eyes and then when I opened them I was getting up off the floor, with about 2 people around me getting into a w/c...


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  3. by   sharann
    Hi Barbara,

    Sorry about the migraine, had em, know they suck.
    Yes, Imitrex absolutely stings and burns like the devil SubQ.
    It can also cause a feeeling of chest and neck tightness, which is temporary. Can make you sleepy later. Also, be cautious if you have hypertension, or heart disease, due to its sypathetic stimulant effects. I hated Imitrex , used the shots for some time, but it worked fast. Better thaqn spending 2 days hibernating in a dark cave.
  4. by   kids
    I found it doesn't burn quite as bad if it's given (to myself) swallow IM which involves pushing the self injector really hard into your thigh...doubt if it is a approved method. I have had to do 2-4 injections over a 16 hour period, I also don't know if this is OK.

    I have had "sick" headaches as long as I can remember, like since 5 or 6 years old and was followed by a Neuro from 16 years on. I finally had my first pre-migraine aura at around 27 ( during a period of having 3-4 per month that were 'cured' with a divorce) anyway the first time I had aura I thought I was having a stroke-face drooped, got numb/cold and was aphasic!

    Something that works for me is if I drink 2-3 cups of coffee (the real stuff) and take 800mg ibuprophen and 25mg benedryl I can prevent/reduce it. Keep in mind that the 'old' migraine drugs contained caffeine, and I have been given IV benedryl & inapsine in the ER (along with an NSAID).

    Sometimes I kinda miss the old DPT combo my now elderly former PCP used to give me...IM demerol/promethazine/ may not kill the pain but you really didn't care

    Good luck, I really hope you never have another one.

  5. by   Q.
    Hi Barbara:

    I am migraine sufferer myself. I have found that imitrex works VERY WELL for me - and yes, the injectable STUNG LIKE HELL. I don't like it.

    I take 50mg tablets and they usually work in 20 minutes - and I can function normally without feeling sedated. I also have imitrex nasal spray which I haven't used it - but may try it.

    The good thing about imitrex is it isn't supposed to make you feel groggy. If the injectable does that to you, try the tablets or the nasal spray.

    There are also different types of migraine medications similar to imitrex: Zomig, Maxalt, Amerge. One of these might be better for you.

    Also, to prevent migraines, I was on inderal (a beta-blocker). That seemed to help. Eventually I went off the inderal, and eventually the migraines decreased in frequency. Now I probably get one every 6 months. Sometimes they are situational, or diet-related.

    What also helps for headaches, even migraines sometimes, is 600mg ibuprofen and 650mg of tylenol taken together. One of our family practice residents suggested this when I was starting to feel a HA coming on and didn't have an imitrex handy. I must say it worked pretty well.

    What I would do is go see your doc, who may suggest you f/u with a neurologist who can play around with a regimine that will be best for you. There are different doses of imitrex, different routes, and different drugs all together. What works for others may not work for you.

    Good luck and see your doc.
    Last edit by Susy K on Dec 1, '01
  6. by   CashewLPN
    hey-- another question re: migraines.... do they tend to last for days and days?

    I've had this wierd headache-- mild, but persisting... And, I'm living on excedrine...

    and-- Does anyone use the nasal spray-- does it work?

  7. by   sharann
    Yes they CAN last for days and days. But I hope you go to your regular PCP to make sure of the Dx. It sounds migranous, but you must rule out other possibilities. With all the meds we have available today you should find some relief. There were some good suggestions above. I may try the tylenol/ibuprofen thing myself if needed.
  8. by   betts
  9. by   CashewLPN
    Nice article!

  10. by   nurseseashell
    yes, it stings like hell, i thought i was having a serious reaction or something- and my neck felt tight. It helped my headache. I have had serious migranes-- they make you feel like SH**.... I have also tried maxalt and it works also, so does excedrine migrand if you go to bed... good luck with your migranes-- they are awful