Headache Home > Imitrex

When and How to Take Imitrex

Some general considerations for when and how to take the medication include:
  • Imitrex comes in tablets, a nasal spray, and an injection.
  • It should be taken as soon as possible once a migraine starts.
  • Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water or other fluids.
  • The nasal spray and injection both come with pamphlets that describe exactly how to use them.
  • If your headache comes back or does not go away, you may take a second dose after waiting at least two hours from the time you took the first dose of Imitrex tablets or Imitrex Nasal Spray (or one hour after the first dose of Imitrex Injection). Let your healthcare provider know if the medication does not work completely after one dose.
  • For the medicine to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.


The dosage your healthcare provider recommends will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
  • How you respond to Imitrex
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medications you may be currently taking.
As always, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Imitrex Dosage for more information about this topic.)

Side Effects of Imitrex

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects. However, not everyone who takes Imitrex will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it well. When side effects occur, in most cases they are minor and either require no treatment of can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
The most common side effects of this drug include:
  • Tingling
  • Dizziness
  • Warm or cold sensations
  • Feelings of heaviness, pressure, or tightness
  • Flushing (redness of the skin, especially of the face)
  • Chest discomfort.
For Imitrex Injection, reactions at the injection site (including redness, pain, or swelling) are also common. For Imitrex Nasal Spray, nasal discomfort and a bad taste in the mouth are also common side effects.
(Click Imitrex Side Effects to learn about the specific side effects of the drug, including serious side effects to look out for. You can also read about other possible side effects by going to Imitrex and Heart Problems.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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