"Most of us get headaches from time to time. Some are mild. Others cause throbbing pain. They can last for minutes or days. There are many different types of headaches. How you treat yours depends on which kind you have.
Myocardial Ischemia, Myocardial Infarction, and Prinzmetal's Angina
The use of IMITREX Injection is contraindicated in patients with ischemic or vasospastic CAD. There have been rare reports of serious cardiac adverse reactions, including acute myocardial infarction, occurring within a few hours following administration of IMITREX Injection. Some of these reactions occurred in patients without known CAD. 5-HT1 agonists, including IMITREX Injection, may cause coronary artery vasospasm (Prinzmetal's angina), even in patients without a history of CAD.
Perform a cardiovascular evaluation in triptan-naive patients who have multiple cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., increased age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, strong family history of CAD) prior to receiving IMITREX Injection. If there is evidence of CAD or coronary artery vasospasm, IMITREX Injection is contraindicated. For patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors who have a negative cardiovascular evaluation, consider administering the first dose of IMITREX Injection in a medically supervised setting and performing an electrocardiogram (ECG) immediately following IMITREX Injection. For such patients, consider periodic cardiovascular evaluation in intermittent long-term users of IMITREX Injection.
Evaluate patients with signs or symptoms suggestive of angina following IMITREX Injection for the presence of CAD or Prinzmetal's angina before receiving additional doses of IMITREX Injection.
Life-threatening disturbances of cardiac rhythm, including ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation leading to death, have been reported within a few hours following the administration of 5-HT1 agonists. Discontinue IMITREX Injection if these disturbances occur. IMITREX Injection is contraindicated in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome or arrhythmias associated with other cardiac accessory conduction pathway disorders
Chest, Throat, Neck, and/or Jaw Pain/Tightness/Pressure
As with other 5-HT1 agonists, sensations of tightness, pain, pressure, and heaviness in the precordium, throat, neck, and jaw commonly occur after treatment with IMITREX Injection and are usually non-cardiac in origin. However, perform a cardiac evaluation if these patients are at high cardiac risk. The use of IMITREX Injection is contraindicated in patients shown to have CAD and those with Prinzmetal's variant angina.
Cerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and stroke have occurred in patients treated with 5-HT1 agonists, and some have resulted in fatalities. In a number of cases, it appears possible that the cerebrovascular events were primary, the 5-HT1 agonist having been administered in the incorrect belief that the symptoms experienced were a consequence of migraine when they were not. Also, patients with migraine may be at increased risk of certain cerebrovascular events (e.g., stroke, hemorrhage, TIA). Discontinue IMITREX Injection if a cerebrovascular event occurs.
As with other acute migraine therapies, before treating headaches in patients not previously diagnosed as migraineurs, and in migraineurs who present with atypical symptoms, exclude other potentially serious neurological conditions. IMITREX Injection is contraindicated in patients with a history of stroke or TIA.
Other Vasospasm Reactions
5-HT1 agonists, including IMITREX Injection, may cause non-coronary vasospastic reactions, such as peripheral vascular ischemia, gastrointestinal vascular ischemia and infarction (presenting with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea), splenic infarction, and Raynaud's syndrome. Until further evaluation, IMITREX Injection is contraindicated in patients who experience symptoms or signs suggestive of non-coronary vasospasm reaction following the use of any 5-HT1 agonist.
Reports of transient and permanent blindness and significant partial vision loss have been reported with the use of 5-HT1 agonists. Since visual disorders may be part of a migraine attack, a causal relationship between these events and the use of 5-HT1 agonists have not been clearly established.
Medication Overuse Headache
Overuse of acute migraine drugs (e.g., ergotamine, triptans, opioids, combination of drugs for 10 or more days per month) may lead to exacerbation of headache (medication overuse headache). Medication overuse headache may present as migraine-like daily headaches, or as a marked increase in frequency of migraine attacks. Detoxification of patients, including withdrawal of the overused drugs, and treatment of withdrawal symptoms (which often includes a transient worsening of headache) may be necessary.
Serotonin syndrome may occur with triptans, including IMITREX Injection, particularly during coadministration with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and MAO inhibitors [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). The onset of symptoms usually occurs within minutes to hours of receiving a new or a greater dose of a serotonergic medication. Discontinue IMITREX Injection if serotonin syndrome is suspected.
Increase in Blood Pressure
Significant elevation in blood pressure, including hypertensive crisis with acute impairment of organ systems, has been reported on rare occasions in patients treated with 5-HT1 agonists, including patients without a history of hypertension. Monitor blood pressure in patients treated with IMITREX. IMITREX Injection is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.
Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving sumatriptan. Such reactions can be life threatening or fatal. In general, anaphylactic reactions to drugs are more likely to occur in individuals with a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens. IMITREX Injection is contraindicated in patients with prior serious anaphylactic reaction.
Seizures have been reported following administration of sumatriptan. Some have occurred in patients with either a history of seizures or concurrent conditions predisposing to seizures. There are also reports in patients where no such predisposing factors are apparent. IMITREX Injection should be used with caution in patients with a history of epilepsy or conditions associated with a lowered seizure threshold.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION and Instructions for Use).
Risk of Myocardial Ischemia and/or Infarction, Prinzmetal's Angina, Other Vasospasm-Related Events, Arrhythmias, and Cerebrovascular Events
Inform patients that IMITREX Injection may cause serious cardiovascular side effects such as myocardial infarction or stroke. Although serious cardiovascular events can occur without warning symptoms, patients should be alert for the signs and symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, significant rise in blood pressure, weakness, and slurring of speech and should ask for medical advice when observing any indicative sign or symptoms. Patients should be apprised of the importance of this follow-up [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Inform patients that anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving IMITREX Injection. Such reactions can be life threatening or fatal. In general, anaphylactic reactions to drugs are more likely to occur in individuals with a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Medication Overuse Headache
Inform patients that use of acute migraine drugs for 10 or more days per month may lead to an exacerbation of headache and encourage patients to record headache frequency and drug use (e.g., by keeping a headache diary) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Inform patients that IMITREX Injection should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus [see Use In Specific Populations].
Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider if they are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed [see Use In Specific Populations].
Ability To Perform Complex Tasks
Since migraines or treatment with IMITREX Injection may cause somnolence and dizziness, instruct patients to evaluate their ability to perform complex tasks during migraine attacks and after administration of IMITREX Injection.
Patients should be cautioned about the risk of serotonin syndrome with the use of IMITREX Injection or other triptans, particularly during combined use with SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, and MAO inhibitors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
How to Use IMITREX Injection
Provide patients instruction on the proper use of IMITREX Injection if they are able to self-administer IMITREX Injection in medically unsupervised situation.
Inform patients that the needle in the IMITREX STATdose Pen penetrates approximately 1/4 of an inch (5 to 6 mm). Inform patients that the injection is intended to be given subcutaneously and intramuscular or intravascular delivery should be avoided. Instruct patients to use injection sites with an adequate skin and subcutaneous thickness to accommodate the length of the needle.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
In carcinogenicity studies, rats and mice were given sumatriptan by oral gavage. Mice were dosed for 78 weeks and rats were dosed for 104 weeks. Average exposures achieved in mice receiving the highest dose were approximately 110 times the exposure attained in humans after the maximum recommended single dose of 6 mg. The highest dose to rats was approximately 260 times the maximum single dose of 6 mg on a mg/m² basis. There was no evidence of an increase in tumors in either species related to sumatriptan administration.
Sumatriptan was not mutagenic in the presence or absence of metabolic activation when tested in 2 gene mutation assays (the Ames test and the in vitro mammalian Chinese hamster V79/HGPRT assay). It was not clastogenic in 2 cytogenetics assays (the in vitro human lymphocyte assay and the in vivo rat micronucleus assay).
Impairment of Fertility
A fertility study (Segment I) by the subcutaneous route, during which male and female rats were dosed daily with sumatriptan prior to and throughout the mating period, has shown no evidence of impaired fertility at doses equivalent to approximately 100 times the maximum recommended single human dose of 6 mg on a mg/m² basis. However, following oral administration, a treatment-related decrease in fertility, secondary to a decrease in mating, was seen for rats treated with 50 and 500 mg/kg/day. The no-effect dose for this finding was approximately 8 times the maximum recommended single human dose of 6 mg on a mg/m² basis. It is not clear whether the problem is associated with the treatment of males or females or both.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled trials of IMITREX Injection in pregnant women. IMITREX Injection should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
When sumatriptan was administered intravenously to pregnant rabbits daily throughout the period of organogenesis, embryolethality was observed at doses at or close to those producing maternal toxicity. These doses were less than the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 12 mg/day on a mg/m² basis. Oral administration of sumatriptan to rabbits during organogenesis was associated with increased incidences of fetal vascular and skeletal abnormalities. The highest no-effect dose for these effects was 15 mg/kg/day. The intravenous administration of sumatriptan to pregnant rats throughout organogenesis at doses that are approximately 10 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis, did not produce evidence of embryolethality. The subcutaneous administration of sumatriptan to pregnant rats prior to and throughout pregnancy did not produce evidence of embryolethality or teratogenicity.
It is not known whether sumatriptan is excreted in human breast milk following subcutaneous administration. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from IMITREX, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Safety and effectiveness of IMITREX Injection in pediatric patients under 18 years of age have not been established; therefore, IMITREX Injection is not recommended for use in patients under 18 years of age.
Two controlled clinical trials evaluated IMITREX Nasal Spray (5 to 20 mg) in 1,248 adolescent migraineurs aged 12 to 17 years who treated a single attack. The trials did not establish the efficacy of IMITREX Nasal Spray compared with placebo in the treatment of migraine in adolescents. Adverse reactions observed in these clinical trials were similar in nature to those reported in clinical trials in adults.
Five controlled clinical trials (2 single-attack trials, 3 multiple-attack trials) evaluating oral IMITREX (25 to 100 mg) in pediatric subjects aged 12 to 17 years enrolled a total of 701 adolescent migraineurs. These trials did not establish the efficacy of oral IMITREX compared with placebo in the treatment of migraine in adolescents. Adverse reactions observed in these clinical trials were similar in nature to those reported in clinical trials in adults. The frequency of all adverse reactions in these subjects appeared to be both dose- and age-dependent, with younger subjects reporting reactions more commonly than older adolescents.
Postmarketing experience documents that serious adverse reactions have occurred in the pediatric population after use of subcutaneous, oral, and/or intranasal IMITREX. These reports include reactions similar in nature to those reported rarely in adults, including stroke, visual loss, and death. A myocardial infarction has been reported in a 14-year-old male following the use of oral IMITREX; clinical signs occurred within 1 day of drug administration. Since clinical data to determine the frequency of serious adverse reactions in pediatric patients who might receive subcutaneous, oral, or intranasal IMITREX are not presently available, the use of IMITREX in patients under 18 years of age is not recommended.
Clinical trials of IMITREX Injection did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
A cardiovascular evaluation is recommended for geriatric patients who have other cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, strong family history of CAD) prior to receiving IMITREX Injection [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/15/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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