Is Generic Imitrex a narcotic? Is it an NSAID?
No, Generic Imitrex isn't a narcotic or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Narcotics are strong, opioid-based pain relievers, such as morphine. NSAIDs are pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, that reduce inflammation (swelling). Generic Imitrex is a type of drug called a triptan. It narrows swollen blood vessels in the brain. Unlike narcotics and NSAIDs, it only relieves the pain associated with migraine or cluster headaches. It doesn't work for other types of pain.
Is Generic Imitrex a controlled substance?
No, Generic Imitrex isn't a controlled substance. Controlled substances are drugs that have a high potential for being misused. They also have a high risk for people becoming dependent on the drug. (This means your body needs the drug to feel normal.) Because of these risks, there are special rules around how controlled substances are prescribed and dispensed. Generic Imitrex doesn't have these risks or these regulations.
Can Generic Imitrex be addictive?
No. With addiction, you have cravings for a drug, typically because it produces a "rewarding" effect. This doesn't happen with Generic Imitrex. However, if you take Generic Imitrex too often, it can lead to medication overuse headache. This is also called a rebound headache. (See "Side effect details" to learn more.) . A medication overuse headache occurs when taking too much Generic Imitrex causes you to get migraine or cluster headaches every day, or more often than usual. It can lead to a cycle of taking extra Generic Imitrex to relieve these headaches, which in turn causes more headaches. However, this isn't the same as addiction. It's not known if it's safe to use Generic Imitrex to treat more than four headaches per month. Talk with your doctor if you find you need to take it more often than that. Your doctor can help you break the cycle of medication overuse. They may also recommend ways to help prevent migraine.
Does Generic Imitrex thin your blood?
No, Generic Imitrex doesn't thin your blood. It works by narrowing blood vessels in your brain. Some people may find that blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) help relieve their migraines. However, there aren't enough studies to support this usage. Blood thinners aren't FDA-approved to treat migraines. For more information on how Generic Imitrex works in your body, see the "How Generic Imitrex works" section.
Could Generic Imitrex make my migraine or cluster headache worse?
It's unlikely, if you take Generic Imitrex as prescribed by your doctor. However, taking too much Generic Imitrex or taking it too often could make your headaches worse. This can lead to medication overuse (rebound) headaches. When this occurs, you get migraine or cluster headaches every day, or more often than usual. (See "Side effect details" to learn more.) Talk with your doctor if you get frequent migraine or cluster headaches, or if you're concerned that Generic Imitrex is making your condition worse. In rare cases, taking Generic Imitrex can cause serious side effects that could seem like your migraine or cluster headache is getting worse. These serious side effects include bleeding in your brain and very high blood pressure. If your headache gets worse after taking a dose of Generic Imitrex, call your doctor right away.
Can I take Generic Imitrex before surgery?
You should check with your doctor about taking Generic Imitrex before surgery. Generic Imitrex works by narrowing your blood vessels, and it can sometimes cause changes to your blood pressure. This could be dangerous during surgery. Talk with your doctor if you have a surgery scheduled. They can tell you if you should stop taking Generic Imitrex in the days before the surgery.