Generic Imitrex (Sumatriptan) – Is it as Effective as Brand Name Imitrex?

Some of you may know that Doc Shazam suffers from an occasional migraine, worse at a certain time of the month, and exacerbated by lack of sleep and irregular work schedules…something not uncommon to ER docs.

I have used Imitrex with great success since my 2nd year of medical school.  Typically a 50 mg tablet relieves my headache with nearly 100% effectiveness within about 45 minutes to an hour with no significant side effects.  The first few times I took it, my muscles felt a little bit “wierd”, but otherwise no real problems.

Yesterday I obtained a refill for my Imitrex and was told that it was available in generic form, with a co-pay that was $15 instead of $35.  I was pretty excited as the outrageous cost of imitrex (over $200 for 9 tablets!) is prohibitive for a lot of people, myself included.

Since then 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.

My conclusion is that they don’t work as well as brand name Imitrex for me.  Does anybody know if I can return the unused pills? I hate to have my insurance charged for medicine that isn’t going to get used.

Guess I’ll have to make some phone calls tomorrow.

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105 Responses to “Generic Imitrex (Sumatriptan) – Is it as Effective as Brand Name Imitrex?”

  1. When you said they were available in generic I almost jumped for joy, yelling “YAHOO!”—-until you said they don’t work. DANG!

  2. [...] Generic Imitrex (Sumatriptan) – Is it as Effective as Brand Name Imitrex? [...]

  3. Bo, well, they MAY work for you, but they did not work for me. Who knows, ,maybe they were just really bad migraines…but I was not willing to keep taking a medication that was doing weird things to my brain and not taking the migraine pain away.

    I took an Imitrex on the 3rd day of that migraine and it finally went away.

  4. Doc Shazam. You are a scam! Probably work for the drug company and don’t want to see your business go down. In your post you claim that you are a ER doctor. If this was so, you would have known about the generic release of Imitrex. Not only that, you asked if you could return the “unused” pills. Any doctor would know that you can not return any pills! Also, if you are truly an ER doctor, you would not have waited 3 days with a migraine. Stop playing games. We have waited long enough for the generic to come out. Get over it!

  5. Haha, John, you’re comments are pretty amusing. Feel free to read the previous 4 1/2 years of blog postings if you don’t believe I’m an ER doc. And if you find any post that suggests I might work for a pharm company, than I’ll chew my left arm off for you.

    Anyone who uses Imitrex and has suffered insurance companies that will only pay for 6 tablets per month knows that the pharacist takes a pair of scissors and cuts apart the card that the pills come packaged in…having only used 2 of the 9 (yep, now I get the whole pack of 9), there’s no reason the others can’t be used…heck they are impossible to get out anyway.

    As far as waiting 3 days with a migraine…I wonder what your training in medicine is or why you care how long I walk around with a headache? Any ER doctor with a liscense knows that the DIFFERENTIAL for a migraine includes possible life threatening causes like a subarachnoid hemmorhage. Yep, THAT should constitute an ER visit…first or worst headache of your life, thunderclap onset, etc….

    But for a typical migraine, same as every other migraine that I’ve had in my life, the only harm in waiting until day 3 to treat it (with a medicine taht works…brand name imitrex), is a loss in my personal productivity. On the other hand, continuing to take a vasoconstrictive medication over and over that is ineffective (Dr. Reddy’s) would be pretty foolish.

    John, I’ve looked forward to generic Imitrex since my 2nd year of medical school, when I was diagnosed with Migraines…and I truley wished they worked for me. But alas, they don’t. I’d rather pay $20 headache a few times a month than take a drug cocktail made overseas that’s ineffective.

    Last thing…the Generic package of Dr. Reddy’s still had a Glaxo Smith Kline logo on it…they still very much have their hands in this pot of gold.

  6. I tried Dr. Reddy’s for the first time last night (had to take 2 pills to get rid of the migraine whereas with Imitrex I only needed 1) and am having more side effects than Imitrex. One of the main side effects is dizziness – it has progressively gotten worse through the day.

  7. I ordered a supply for Dr. Reddy’s generic last fall from UK (100′s which I split) and it works fine for me. I will say that it seems to hit my system harder and faster and doesn’t seem to stay in my system as long. So a few times I have had to take two (halves) over 8 hour period to stamp out the headache. At first, the side effects were more pronounced (like they were when I first started on Imitrex) but now I don’t notice them as much. Cost worked out to about $2.25 for each 100mg pill. At that price I’m more apt to take it as soon as I even think I’m getting a headache, where at $25 for Imitrex, I waited until it was full-on. Early action does seem eliminate it more quickly and thoroughly.

  8. I have to totally agree with the Doc. l was so excited last week when the pharmacist handed me the generic (and cheaper!) version of this miraculous medication. I, also, suffer miserably with migraines during a certain time of month, and usually one Imitrex a day helps me get though with very little pain. NOT THIS MONTH!!! I took three of the generic ones in one day with no releif, just extreme heaviness in my arms and legs and dreadful nausea. I thought generic drugs were supposed to be exactly like the name brand. Apparently not!!!

  9. I took a Dr. Reddy’s generic Imitrex for the first time on Saturday and had, I think, a bad reaction in the form of violent nausea and finally vomiting the likes I’ve never seen. I’ve never had such side effects with the name brand other than some mild nausea and sleepiness. This time the sleepiness was more than usual. At first I thought I might have had a stomach virus or a case of food poisoning but have ruled them out because no one else in the family has been sick or showed the same symptoms. A friend who works in the pharmaceutical business said the make-up of the generic pills can be very different(isomers)from the brand-name. I hope my neurologist will rewrite the script for no substitutions and that my insurance will still cover the brand name. I’ll be investigating that tomorrow!

  10. The generic version of Imitrex – both pills and injections did not work for me. I called my doctor and requested a “no substitutions” prescription for the name brand Imitrex. The difference is $12.50 co-pay for the generic and $25 for the real stuff.

    10 minutes after injecting the real Imitrex, my headache began to subside. 20 minutes later, it was gone.

    These thieves at Glaxo should be hung out to dry for attempting to dupe migraine sufferers by licensing a bogus generic drug that is not identical to real Imitrex.
    Another case of a drug company protecting a 1.2 billion dollar golden goose as long as they can get away with it.

    Where’s the FDA in all this? Shouldn’t generic drugs be the same as the name brand drugs? If not, what’s the point in producing generics?

    Where are the Insurance companies? They’re paying for a drug that doesn’t work.

    Once again, the consumer gets reamed, the drug companies get rich and the Insurance companies benefit.

  11. I too was excited to see that there was a generic version available. However, it did not work as well as the Imitrex & when I looked at the actual price of the drug, there was only a $10 difference. Imitrex costs $196 for 9 pills & the generic version is $186. My company just went to a high deductible medical plan, so I am responsible for the first $1,500. Since I have to pay full price anyway, it doesn’t make sense for me to get the generic when it doesn’t work as well.

  12. Dear Doc Shazam,

    I am sorry you feel the Dr. Reddy’s generic imitrex has not worked for you but I feel compelled to share with you that Dr Reddy’s imitrex is the exact same medication as GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) imitrex. It is manufactured by GSK and packaged with Dr. Reddy’s logo. Dr. Reddy has the authorized generic of imitrex and the following link explains how authorized generics are really just brand name drugs with a different label.

    http://www.gphaonline.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=1932&TEMPLATE=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm

    A brief history will prove this to you.

    The official patent for imitrex will not expire until February 9, 2009. This information can be found here at the FDA:

    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/docs/patexclnew.cfm?Appl_No=020132&Product_No=001&table1=OB_Rx

    As part of a settlement GSK allowed Dr. Reddy to sell generic imitrex several months ahead of the official end of the imitrex patent. However, for a generic drug to be sold in the United States it has to prove it is bioequivalent with the standard brand name drug by filing an Abbreviated New Drug Application(ANDA) with the FDA. There are only two companies that have submitted ANDA for imitrex tablets to the FDA, Cobalt and Mylan. That information can be found here:

    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/index.cfm?fuseaction=Search.Overview&DrugName=SUMATRIPTAN

    Since Dr. Reddy has not submitted an ANDA it can not be manufacturing a generic Imitrex to sell in the United States. The generic imitrex currently on the market must be manufactured under the current New Drug Application that GSK submitted to the FDA for imitrex. Therefore Dr. Reddy’s generic is the exact same as GSK’s brand imitrex.

    The other conclusion is that Dr. Reddy is illegally selling generic imitrex that has not been approved by the FDA, which is the more unlikely of the two.

    When Feb 9th, 2009 comes, then true generics can come to market if other companies choose to do so. However a new generic may get 180 days of exclusivity so prices probably won’t start to drop greatly until sometime this summer.

  13. Brian,

    Thank you for that excellent information about the Dr. Reddy’s product. I feel simultaneously educated and mislead. All I can say is that I took 2 of the Dr. Reddy tablets with no improvement of my migraine and a plethora of side effects. After taking 1 brand name imitrex, that headache vanished.

    Some critics may say that had I taken a 3rd Dr. Reddy’s the headache would have gone, however I am disinclined to believe that as I have never had that headache pattern before. Since then, I have also had another migraine which responded in its usual fashion to a brand name Imitrex.

    If the tablets were coming out of the same manufacturing machine and simply going to a different packaging, I would believe that it is in deed the exact same medicine. However if they are being manufactured at different facilities, it becomes extremely hard to guarantee or even verify that the medications are identical. The starting chemicals, standards of cleaning and calibrating equipment, etc, etc are wildly different in other countries.

    I know this because a relative of mine was in charge of the production of a specific brand name medication in both Spain and Italy. He pulled his hair out daily trying to ensure that the product was properly made according to US standards.

    So unless I can go to the facility, see two pills come out and see one go in an Imitrex package and one go into a Dr. Reddy’s package, then I have no reason to believe that they are the same. Similar maybe. But the same, definately not.

  14. Interesting… I have switched to “Co-sumatriptan”, a generic made by Cobalt Pharm. (I’m in Canada). Have to get the 100mg ones and cut them in half because the 50mg ones are more expensive, dose for dose, and we have to pay full price for our drugs. I find they work just as well as Imitrex. I’m usually OK for 12 hours or so with 50mg, but of course there’s the occasional failure, as there is with Imitrex. The only difference is that the tablets are bigger, and the pink coating is thicker and quite hard to cut without shattering the thing. Are those Dr. Reddy ones exactly the same size as Imitrex?

  15. Brian…
    I concur with Doc Shazam. The currently available generic version simply did not work for me. If the pending applications to the FDA do, in fact prove that they can manufacture a “bioequivalent” drug then we will all benefit.

    However, the variables are huge when producing a drug in multiple locations around the world.

    I feel that Glazo has hoodwinked the public by this “pre-release” of Dr. Reedy’s generic. If it is the same formulation, produced under the same controls that Glaxo uses to manufacture the original Imitrex — then it would work.

    We’re at least six months away from seeing generics that actually work. And in that six months, Glaxo will have earned over half a billion dollars with their claim on Imitrex.

    As a side note, I have reported my experience with generic Imitrex to the FDA. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time a drug company had “adjusted” a formulation, ignored controls or revised test results to protect a monster profit before their patent expired.

    If everyone with a similar negative experience contacted the FDA, maybe – just maybe, some lacky in DC might give this a second look.

  16. Dr. Reddy’s does not work for me either. Most of the time, (90%) I need to take two tablets and even then, the migraine persists. With Imitrex I could take one and the headache would be completely gone very quickly. There was also a feeling at the back of my neck which indicated that he Imitrex was kicking in.

    Don’t tell me they are the same. I bet everything I have that if you set me up in a blind test, I could tell you which was which — each and every time.
    I was excited about the cheaper generic, it’s not all in my head.

    Since my insurance will no longer cover name brand Imitrex, I am stuck with this stuff.

  17. How do these thieves get away with this?

    As pointed out by Brian in his reference to gphaonline.com’s document:

    “Authorized generics are considered brand products by FDA, so the authorized generic does not have to go through the rigorous, abbreviated approval process required by a true generic. GPhA is encouraging FDA to reevaluate its treatment of authorized generics, and several generic companies have undertaken court challenges on this issue.”

    Sooo…
    Authorized generics DO NOT have to go through the same approval process??? Hmmmm. Makes me think something here smells funny.

  18. Seems to me that the Dr. Reddy ones are probably made in India – any comment I made on that would be politically incorrect… the Co-sumatriptan I take is made in Canada. Couldn’t you guys try that instead of the Dr. Reddy? As Brian says, Cobalt’s listed on the US FDA site, so presumably it would be available in the US.

  19. I happen to have the packaging from my actual imitrex and from the dr. reddy version. The imitrex says Made in Canada, and the dr. reddy version says Made in Singapore. I’m on my and what will be my last package of the dr. reddy version. I’ve taken Imitrex for over 10 years and have definitely noticed a difference. If it’s the same product, than maybe the has to do with where it was manufactured, I think you’re on to something there.

  20. Folks, words cannot express my relief upon finding that so many of you share my experience with the seriously sub-par Dr. Reddy’s. I received my prescription on 12/11 and have since had several migraines ALL of which I had to treat with at least 2 tablets – I have never, ever had to take 2 Imitrexes in my life. Also the side-effects are much worse: persistent and long-lasting dizziness, drowsiness, lethargy and an overall heavy feeling. I have contacted my pharmacy twice asking 2 separate pharmacists if there was any difference between the generic and the real deal. Both times I was sold the same schpeel about all the active ingredients being exactly the same, etc, etc. Especially since the generic is manufactured by the same company! What is going on??? I am angry, frustrated, and saddened. I feel cheated, lied to, and small. I am a health nut and avoid taking any meds unless they are totally necessary; now I don’t even know what I am putting into my body. The medical/pharmaceutical industry MUST be fully transparent, honest and profit-less if people are to receive the attention and medicine they need. So, so, so disheartening.

  21. From info I have heard and read (one such source: The Peoples Pharmacy on NPR and in various newspapers as well as online) states that generics have to be made of at least 80% of the active ingredient. After that is met, even at minimum, any of the additives can be different. The FDA tests for that 80% level but with over 3000 generics currently available and they are only able to test roughly 10% of that per year. We, the consumers are the ones who are taking a big risk.

    I have found a variety of differences between brand and generic in everything from pain medications to plavix which as most know the generic has had some trouble and I thought was being pulled off the market.
    Some insurance companies will not pay for the generic of certain medications if they are found to be less effective than the brand.

    I, too, suffer from debilitating migraines and the effectiveness of a medication can mean a trip to the ER for me. I don’t like to take those chances and go for brand most of the time and until better controls are offered I will stick to this pattern.

  22. The generic, Dr. Reddy’s, did NOT work for me either. No pain relief but also causing a ‘jaw clenching’ reaction. My insurance is usually $15 generic, $35 brandname but because a generic is available I must pay a ‘difference’ which is currently $51 instead of the $35. I don’t want the new Imitrex + Naproxene but if that is a way for me to get brand name w/o generic ‘cost difference’ I may look into this. My physician spouse was not surprised by the generic not working and sees this more than 60% of the time with all generics.

  23. I had a discussion earlier todat with my niece, regarding generic thyroid medication and that they do not contain consistent dosages.

    Then I realized that I just got the generic version of Imitrex, and I have been taking Imitrex for many years and they always work for me. I am definately taking these generics back and the pharmacist said I could.

    But I read before that these 100mg Imitrx tablets should not be broken, but taken whole.

    Any advise on this? Maybe I have to check with the pharmacy or my physician.

  24. Hello Dr. Reddy,
    I feel that the generic imitrex is not effective. I took it yesterday for the first time. 50 Mg of imitrex would usually take away my migrane; however, I took 4, 50 mg of the generic and did not get any releif. This was over a peroid of 6 hours.

  25. Y’know, given that it is manufactured by GSK, who make brand-name imitrex and know the rules of the game *very* well, I wouldn’t put it past them to do something like…

    Well, you know they only need to put 80% of the actual med into a generic, so you’d be getting a lower dose.

    They don’t have to use the same carrier…. so what have they used? Jaw clenching? That sounds preeeeetty suspicious…. check those labels folks.

    I suspect they are likely trying to play about with people’s perception of generic, so when the *real* generics come out, you’ll avoid them like the plague.

    What, me, paranoid? (looks over shoulder)

  26. [...] 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 [...]

  27. Bettina – I always get the 100mg tabs. (of genuine Imitrex or generic) and cut them in half, because they’e much cheaper, dose for dose, than the 50 mg ones. I know it says you mustn’t split them, but I don’t know why ; to me it doesn’t seem to make any difference – no dreadful side-effects, gastric irritation or whatnot.

  28. This has got nothing to do with Imitrex, but I don’t know where else to post it.. Where ARE you, Doc Shazam? I just posted the above comment, at 10.05 a.m. here in Vancouver, B.C., and it’s come up as 6.05 p.m. I had assumed you were in the U.S.A.

  29. I have taken the generic 25 mg over the last two months and doesn’t work very well. I ended up supplementing with Tylenol! I thought I might be the only one but from reading other comments I see that I’m not. I ended up taking twice as much and getting half the results if any at all. Definitely not as effective as Imitrex! I wish the FDA would test samples of the generic.

  30. Bettrina, in response to your question about cutting the Imitrex in half, I go to a Migraine clinic and my Dr. there said I could cut them into but to wrap the one I did not take up tightly because they lose their potency quickly. When I half them I wrap the half I do mot take in a piece of aluminum foil and keep until the next time.

  31. I love reading all these comments. I too was given Dr. Reddy’s and actually took one a little while ago. I’m very drousy, dizzy – more than normal with a triptan. Also, I got generic imitrex injections that don’t seem to be conpatible with the Imitrex Auto Injector pen. Has anyone else had this issue? The imitrex version has syringe cartigages. But the generic only has viles of medicine w/no needle attached. So, there is no way in inject the meds. I bet these won’t work as well either.

  32. I´ve been taking Imitrex forever, it seems. Over the years I´ve had to increase my dose and I´m up to 100mg now. I always thought, too bad they don´t have a 75– but I digress. Elaine, I tried the Trimetrix (I think that´s the name) of Imitrex and Naproxene when I received a free sample from my doc. The problem I had was that it didn´t quite work. Left me in a surreal world of Alice in Wonderland — maybe 10 years ago, I wouldn´t have minded that feeling as much, but with kids, driving, work and life in general, I thought the side effects were too much. Plus, my head was killing me again in a few hours and I couldn´t take another for at least 8 more hours. Unlike Imitrex where if you really need to in a couple of hours you can take that second (as I had to do with lower doses).

    I haven´t tried the generic yet, I´m supposed to pick some up soon, but I can say I am very disappointed that so many are unhappy with it and if I have to get the generic because of insurance, maybe I´ll switch to the one my mother takes.

    Recently, due to a dispute with the insurance company, I´ve been without a stash of Imitrex (scary I know). I´ve had three migraines (yep, mine are monthly too) and had to resort to taking my mother´s Maxalt 10mg. It´s not as great as Imitrex, but it has relieved my headache relatively quickly without any side effects. I´ve had to take 3 in 3 days for the migraine. With Imitrex it might have been 1 or 2 in those 3 days instead of 3, but that´s ok. From what I hear, I´m a bit worried about the generic and don´t even want to go there.

  33. Sorry to hear that the generic of Imitrex is not what we had all hoped for. I too was very excited about trying it. I ordered the generic but because of an insurance issue I was not able to get them. Just as well it sounds like. Something I have tried and it DOES work just as well as Imitrex is on the website ——www.assetchemist.co.uk/ Look under SUMATRIPTAN.
    I have ordered twice from them and have NOT needed a prescription, I can order as many as I want with no limits and have been very happy with the results. Price is reasonable and would suggest it to anyone as an alternative to Imitrex or the bad generic.

  34. Sue, I just went to the website you suggested. I checked under Sumatriptan and found a few products come up. Only 1 does not require a prescription – it’s Imigran Recovery Tablets 50mg. Is this what you are talking about?

  35. As a fellow sufferer of migraines for many decades, I thought I should contribute my experience to these exchanges. I have been thrilled at the effectiveness of Imitrex since I started using it about 20 yrs. ago. The injections are the most effective and quickest, but my reaction to them is violent – it is similar to the symptoms described of a heart attack. I switched to pills several yrs go, and got very effective relief.

    When the generic came out in Dec., I too was very happy at the reduced cost. I was strongly prejudiced in favor of the new pills from Dr. Reddy – I wanted them to work. But when they failed to deliver an effective dose of sumatriptan, I became concerned. I have given it a 2 month trial. It was completely ineffective when the headaches were at their worst, and even on the final days of the headache, when it is diminishing in strength, the generic can’t control the pain. And that is using more than 50% more pills than I would with Imitrex.

    So yesterday I asked my Doc to write a script for “no substitution” for Imitrex. This may well be a scam by Glaxo to get people to pay more for the original instead of the generic. I don’t know. But I am convinced that the Dr. Reddy is not an exact duplicate of Imitrex. It sounds like many of you have reached the same conclusion.

  36. I too was excited at the prospect of a generic form (finally!) but was quickly let down at the results. I can usually take a half of Imitrex (100 mg) or one and have the headache subside with little side effects. I took two and a half of Dr. Reddy’s and still had a headache along with feeling sick to my stomach, dizzy, and overall awful. I’ll suffer with a migraine before I take any more of those things.

  37. I assume you are aware that even the original Imitrex has come down in price quite a bit. I found that out when I refilled the script in Nov., just before they had their subsidiary issue the generic. So the original Imitrx isn’t quite so painful $$ as it was.

    It’s worth the extra copay amount to get something that works, when the pain is so intense and you need relief. Going back to Imitrex might involve a hassle with the insur. co., but it is worth it.

  38. Thank you so much for all the comments – you’ve just saved me grief and pain. I’m about to go in for a refill. I’ll stick with the Imitrex with an Aleve combo that’s been working. I’ll gladly pay more for what is obviously a higher quality.

  39. I too have been taking the Dr. Reddy’s product since December, and while I get some relief it is not nearly as effective as Imitrex brand product.

    The good news is FDA approved two other generics in tablet form from other companies, Ranbaxy and Teva, on Feburary 9, 2009. Maybe one or either of them will work better. Ask your pharmacist if they can order in one of the others for you to try.

  40. I must admit I was leery of taking a medicine packaged by Dr. Reddy; (Dr. Reddy, really?)however, I can tell you that the generic 100mg tablets of Imitrex works like a charm.

    My headaches are fairly predictable. I have one headache a day for three days running, skip two weeks and the cycle begins again. So far I have gone through two cycles of headaches, and the generic form works just as well as the name brand.

    I had an added bonus last night. I have an ear infection and my ear was killing me. I took 400mg of Ibuprofen(sp) but all it did was take the edge off. The ear pain brought on a migraine. After taking Dr. Reddy’s miracle pill, both the headache and earache were gone!

  41. I am also a migraine sufferer. They started in my early 30′s after the birth of my first child. When the headache is starting to come on I take one Imitrex and then I typically feel better within an hour. Three years of this and no complaints. Well, about a 7 weeks ago I got the “generic” from my pharmacist and what a joke….! I took one dose and waited two hours. NO relief. Took a second dose and was violently ill for hours afterwards. I thought maybe it was a touch of a bug or something. A few weeks goes by and I repeated my remedy of the generic drug and the same thing happened. Needless to say that after my third experience…I called the dr. to get the real stuff perscribed again. Funny how it worked just like before..I am 100% sure the generic is NOT the same. Too many people with the same reactions.

  42. Hi all, My pharmacy recently subsitituted generic Imitrex for my migraines. I, too, found it did not seem to help my headache much, if at all. I’ve tried 2 pills on different days for different headaches. Fortunately, they were did not advance to the commode-hugging, pulling my hair, 24-hr types. I was able to go home and sleep. I know generic are supposed to be the same, but now I’m not so sure. I have had migraines all of my remembered life, and I would willingly pay more for medicine that works!

  43. I heard all your reviews and was prepared for the worst. I prayed to God that this generic 100mg tablets would work for me. I thank God the generic worked just great!! I do know that sumatriptan effects a few people differently. I am thankful to God that I am one of those few. This website is not such a good place to go if you are looking for any positive information on the new Generic form. Thank you God for all that you do.

  44. I think what these comments support is the conclusion that there are many different triggers and types of migraines out there. Some are handled adequately by the generic, and some are not.

    There are a couple of things to remember in making a decision. 1st, the difference between Imitrex and its generic form is not simply psychological. The FDA requires the bioequivalence of the generic product to be between 80% and 125% of that of the innovator product. Bioequivalence, however, does not mean that generic drugs must be exactly the same as their innovator product counterparts, as chemical differences may exist. This is often expressed by Doctors as meaning that a generic is only required to contain 90% of the original’s active ingredient – they can vary the other 10%. Moreover, in addition to varying the active ingredient content within the parameters mentioned, a generic can have different filler material than the original (i.e. non active ingredient), which can cause a different reaction to some users. That may contribute to the nausea with several people to the generic on this web site.

    I am certainly not against generic medicines – I use them for other purposes. And I think it was important for me to try this sumatriptan generic. But like a lot of the people on this site, I found it to be woefully inadequate for my headaches. My neurologist did not hesitate at all in switching my prescription back to Imitrex.

  45. As a follow-up, I went to the FDA website and posted a complaint about generic Imitrex. I also spoke to my doctor and what he said concurs with what Dan said above, however, he said it should work. He said he would be glad to write a no-substitution, but he also suggested I try 2 at a time of the 50′s I have left and wrote me a scrip for 100′s. Tried the 2 -50′s today. The headache has eased off, but not gone away. Now, I’m thinking I should just ask my dr for the no-substitution anyhow.

  46. I found this site by a key word search for sumatriptan potency issues. After 15 years of Imitrex effectively aborting my migraines, I found that triple and even 5x’s the dose of Dr. Reddy didn’t even touch my migraine. I gave it two attempts.. .that is two different migraines. So I was suspicious and went “googling.”

    That is enough suffering for me. I will never, ever take Dr. Reddy again. Furthermore, I am so angry at Glaxo that I will try all the other competing products as a substitute. How dare they play with people’s quality of life. Can you say, “class action lawsuit?”

  47. I have suffered from migraines for years. I have gotten one every month for the past 15 years. Imitrex was my saving grace . . . until I got the generic brand. Like everyone else I was excited to save a little money ($7) on the generic. I just called the pharmacy and asked for a new prescription for the real thing. The generic brand doesn’t seem to take the headache away completely and it comes back much sooner. I have used double the tablets trying to get rid of this headache. I couldn’t figure out why this headache wouldn’t go away, because after all the pharmacist told me the two drugs were exactly the same. So, thank you for this blog letting all of us know we are not alone in thinking this new generic brand is not all we wished it were.

  48. You are not the only one who discovered the new generic version does not work. I’m on the 100 mg and usually get relief within 15-20 minutes on Imitrex but the new generic version does absolutely nothing for me. My headache remains & I end up feeling even worse, which is not a good thing since Migraines can incapacitate me and once started can be difficult to control.

  49. [...] Generic Imitrex (Sumatriptan) – Is it as Effective as Brand Name Imitrex? (docshazam.com) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Migraine Headaches: Prozac’s Unfortunate Side EffectThat Common Neurological SymptomNew Clues on What Causes Migraines [...]

  50. I was so excited when I found out the generic was available in India where we are living now since I can’t get the real Imitrex here.

    Oh, God the 50mg Sumapitran has almost been the death of me. Do not take the generic, it is poison.

  51. This is very interesting – has anybody tried the Teva version yet?

  52. I have only used Imitrex injectable since the pills did not work for me. This morning I used the generic syringe for the first time. I do NOT think it works as well as the ‘real’ thing. It took almost an hour to feel better, although w/Imitrex I can feel it working right away, waiting a max of 20 minutes for full relief. Sure, it’s nice to save a bit of cash, but when it comes to migraine relief, minutes count. I think I’ll go back to Glaxo next time or wait for scientific research to settle the score.

  53. I DO work in the pharma industry, and in light of the problems that Ranbaxy has had, I can make the conjecture that we will see another problem with Asian manufacturers of food and drugs. I am grateful that the API for my products are made right here in the USA and western Europe!

    For now, I will wait until the authorized generic falls to the regular generic companies like my own and I can trust who is manufacturin my drugs.

  54. I take the injectable form, due to vomiting with my migrane episodes. I found that the generic works IDENTICAL to the brand name.
    I pay a 20% co pay for my meds. The brand is $73 for the 2 dose stat pack, generic is $65.88. Not really a big savings.
    The packaging is IDENTICAL, right down to the manufacture’s name (GSK).
    Has anyone ever seen either generic or brand in a bottle for injection with regular syringes (Like insulin?) I despise the auto-injector. I pray I can find it through alternative channels (Canada, a hospital)

  55. I took Teva generic for the first time this weekend. 2 50 mg tops is all I have ever needed. The pain would decrease but after a few hours increase again. I went thru 6 this weekend. Usualy 9 lasts me 2 or 3 months.

  56. I’ve spent almost an hour reading the posts here. I’ve suffered with migraines for almost 40 years, although they were only diagnoses as such 20 years ago. After a nightmarish existence with ergotamines, I was given imitrex by the staff at Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago. What a blessing! Have been using the 100′s and the injectibles for the past 15 years with excellent results, until now. Enter Dr. Reddy! Don’t get me wrong….it still works, but much slower and sometimes necessitating an extra pill.
    I’d actually started getting imitrex from India some 8 years ago at a fraction of the cost….$1.75 per tablet versus up to $12per for “regular”. I’ve found those tablets to be more successful even than the Dr. Reddy variant. Go figure. And, in fact, I’m in Hyderabad right now on business and plan on stocking up before coming home. Dr. Reddy, be gone! There is hope for all of us, but Reddy is not the answer as of yet. Til then, I’ll either use “Imitrex” or the brand I get from India.

  57. Bob C., are you sure you aren’t already taking Dr. Reddy’s sumatriptan? The corporate HQ is right there in Hyderabad if you want to zip on over and express your dissatisfaction with their product ;-)

  58. After taking the Dr. Reddy crap for a few months and being pretty sure it didn’t work as well – I googled a bit and found this site. Glad I’m not crazy – My CVS started selling a generic table from somebody called RANBAXY – and I _think_ it may work better than the gsk dr. reddy crap. Man I am fed up with that company – first they gouge us forever on the drug, then they sell a sub-par generic for the same damn price anyway. Hopefully it can continue to get cheaper. Does anyone know – how expensive is it to produce sumatriptan anyway – is it an obscenely complex chemical process or something – it seems the volume is surely high enough to allow economy of scale to set in…

  59. I’ve been a diagnosed migraineur for 50 years — yes, you read right, 50 years. Imitrex was truly a godsend when it arrived. I’ve been using generic sumatriptan tablets (various manufacturers) from India since 1999, all of the doses I’ve used have been 100 mg., which is the gold standard for sumatriptan. Check the studies — all of the triptans are evaluated against 100 mg. sumatriptan, still the drug of choice for aborting a severe migraine attack. I currently use generic capsules, 100 mg. sumatriptan, from an overseas pharmacy. They work quickly and I’ve never had a problem with their shipments. Look online for SuperSaverMeds. They have tablets and capsules of varying doses, and I have also called their U.S. based toll free customer service number. They provide reasonable prices and very good service. (I’m not associated with them in any way but as a long time customer.)

  60. I tried Dr. Reddy’s and it worked okay at 100 mg. But my pharmacy just switched to TEVA and nothing. I’ve taken them for four days with no result at all. The pharmacy is taking them back and getting me another.

  61. Used Imitrex fairly successfully for years, generally 100 mg tablets. It gave me a big chunk of my life back. First use of Dr. Reddy’s on 3/30/09 resulted in cardio spasm – not heart attack but sent me to ER and an overnight stay. Now I’ve been warned off use of triptans, or at least to back off on dosage. I do know heart-related warnings were always in Imitrex fine print, so can’t exactly finger-point. Maybe should switch back to name brand so I have the psychological comfort of some potential relief for the bad attacks. At least I’m post-menopausal and migraines are decreasing gradually.

  62. Linda, thank you for that comment. I took the Dr Reddy’s crap for the first time yesterday and had major heart problems on top of severe neck pain. I have been taking Imitrex for years without complications, so 9 hours of chest tightness to the point I couldn’t stay still was horrible. I spent the entire night shifting and moving. I ended up with diarrhea this morning and vomiting. I am so angry!
    My migraine had only just started, so that pain was taken care of. I am going to call my Doctor today and tell them this.
    Thank you again for letting me know I am not alone
    Dawn G

  63. I’ve suffered from migraines for over 7 years and got Imitrex about 3 years ago, which helped me get my life back. Then just over a month ago I got the generic version. They don’t work and give me heart palpitations. Normally one Imitrex works to take my migraine away, sometimes two, but even two generics don’t even dent my migraines now. I’ve used my entire prescription(18 tablets) in a 7 day time span and I still have my migraine. I feel like I’m back to square one 7 years ago! I need to call my doctor and have him write me a new script with “no substitutes” and pray my insurance company will pay.

  64. I ‘m near finishing my second and last-ever pack of Dr. Reddy’s. They’re slow to work for me, they make me more nauseous, they don’t take the headache completely away, and the pain comes back later in the day or the next day, getting me into some awful rebound loop. I thought, hey, maybe I’m just imagining it, or it’s psychosomatic or whatever, or I’m having a bad month, since they’re supposed to be the same. But I took one 50 mg Reddy for a migraine last night and woke up this morning with worse pain (something that never happened to me with Imitrex). Can’t be all that psychosomatic if I’m unconscious, right? I took one more Reddy and three hours later was more in pain and more nauseous, so I called-in a brand-name refill (thank goodness I was eligible), climbed in the car, and went out to get the real thing. The insurance company tripled my co-pay, but I signed the charge slip, came home, took my Imitrex, and half an hour later got the reassuring whoosh-feeling that takes 50% of the pain right away for me all at once, and now I’m nearly well. My migraines aren’t insanely bad like lots of people’s, but I don’t have any interest in messing around with them. It’s Imitrex-brand for me from here on out.

  65. For the past decade, I have benefited immensely from using Imitrex for migraines that impact my ability to work, function and tolerate painful headaches. In recent years, I have been fortunate to average less than 10 50 mg. Imitrex tablets per month to tolerate my painful migraines, typically responding well to 50 – 100 mg Imitrex tablets per migraine.

    Recently, I went to refill my Rx for Imitrex and received its generic substitute, Sumatriptan 50 Mg. I took it earlier this past week for a migraine, anticipate similar results for my headache relief. How wrong was I ~ it was a nightmare.

    I had the horrific experience of a three day migraine last week that prevented me from working or caring for my children, during which time I took 500 mg. Sumaptriptan– yes 10 tablets of 50 mg Rx over three days – until the migraine eased and the side effects were manageable. (4x 50 mgs on Wednesday, 4x 50 mg on Thursday and 2 x50 mgs on Friday). It is one of the worst experiences of my life. All while taking Sumatriptan for relief. I do not want to repeat this experience!

    Bottom line: THE GENERIC DOES NOT WORK.

  66. I have been using Imitrex for the past 10 years with great relief. My last prescription, insurance company substituted Sumatriptan, with no authorization to do so–big mistake. My headaches recur after a few hours and must take additional pill. Last night I awoke and was having breathing problem. One of side effects, so I read, is shortness of breath. I intend to call the FDA.

  67. Imitrex user since it first came out. It continued to be a wonder drug for me until I was given the Generic version-first manf.by Dr.Reddy, then Teva. Have tried 2 or 3 boxes of Reddy, and half into my 1st box of Teva. Neither works as the Imitex!!! I am 63 and not looking to take more of this than necessary but that is what is happening with generic sumatriptan. Migr. takes forever to respond, comes back, and sometimes never responds. I never had this experience all the years I have used imitrex, both injections and pills. My experience has been very negative and I will be seeing my Dr. regarding a “no generic substiution allowed” prescription.

  68. I’m glad someone else had the same proble the DRs ready did nothing for me. I was told to kept taking them you may need to adjust to them. No luck. I was so happy execited when the brand Imitrex work so well and so fast for me. I say thank you doctor we finally find the right rx. I was told over and over tot trying kept trying them.

  69. GlaxoSmithKline
    uscrcweb@gsk.com

    I suggest bombard GSK with email feedback about the ineffectiveness of Dr. Reddy’s sumatriptan.

    I concur with the majority of previous feedbacks — Dr. Reddy’s generic sumpatriptan does not work any where near as well as brand Imitrex. I think GSK needs to know this. Forget calling them. I tried 3 times, chose the “Consumer Complaint” choice from the many choices, and each time, I got a recording saying we must have a poor connection, please call back another time, good-bye. On the 4th call, I chose “agent” instead, and was given the above email address. If you go to GSK website, you will not find an address, therefore, email is better than nothing.

  70. I just looked this up to see if anyone else had the same experience as I have of the generic not working. And I have to say that I am relieved to hear that I’m not alone. I have tried 3 times to use the generic with almost NO results, not even side effects. The real Imitrex does make me feel a little like someone injected warm jelly into my veins, but it WORKS!!! I am really disappointed that the generic doesn’t do the job since my copay for it is $10 instead of $35, but I’m willing to pay the extra for results.

    As far as those who claim that generics work just the same as name brands, I have to say that even though the active ingredient has to be the same, I have found that they seldom work the same. For me, for OTC meds, I have found that the generics actually usually work better. I have always chalked this up to different inactive ingredients that might disolve at a different rate. That being said, I’m not a Dr. or chemist, just someone with A LOT of migraines.

    Anyway, thank you to all of those who have commented on this so that I know the failure of the generic Imitrex to work for me is not something wrong with me.

  71. I’m a neurologist, for whatever that’s worth.

    Bottom line is that it will work for some, not others.

    FDA requires geneics to be within 15% bioavailability of the original. So in a generic 100mg Sumatriptan tablet you could be getting anywhere from 85mg to 115mg of the active ingredient.

    In addition to this, pharmacy supplier contracts vary from month to month. So the brand of generic Sumatriptan you get this month may not be the one you get next month.

    This has been a more serious issue with my epilepsy patients. 5 epilepsy drugs have gone off-patent in the last 8 months. So the insurances require patients to fail a generic before they will pay for the brand. And they define failure as a seizure- with potential for injury, death, temporary loss of a driver’s license, etc.

    Such BS.

  72. i agree, the generic did not work at all for me, i’ve had a headache for three days, and have taken three of the dr.reddy’s, usually one imitrex is all i need. also the side effects are way worse i’m dizzy, sluggish and have muscle aches, plus diarrhea. never had diarrhea with imitrex!

  73. Generic does not work like the real Imitrex. End of story. I agree with all comments. The Dr. Ruddy’s was the same shape as Imitrex and better than the oval Ranbaxy though both inferior at best. A hoax is a good way to think of it.

  74. [...] Generic Imitrex Sumatriptan Is it as Effective as Brand Name Posted by root 8 minutes ago (http://www.docshazam.com) I just posted the above comment at 10 05 a m here in vancouver b c and it come up as 6 05 p m i had at least i 39 m post menopausal and migraines are decreasing gradually they don 39 t work and give me heart palpitations mr hassle long underpants is proud Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Generic Imitrex Sumatriptan Is it as Effective as Brand Name [...]

  75. I have read every posting on this website re: generic Imitrex. My husband has migraines and since he no longer has health insurance, I have considered ordering Imitrex through a Canadian mail-order pharmacy (don’t have to deal with the 9 tablets per month maximum). At first I had every intention of getting him the generic version.due to its lower cost…until I read everyone’s postings. I knew he had received 1 or 2 packs of generic (Dr. Reddy’s) while he still had insurance, so I asked him if he noticed a difference. Sure enough, he has had to take at least two when he would otherwise need only one “real” Imitrex. He said the second day he felt like he had a migraine “hangover” which was why he took a second tablet. It’s simple economics for me – no sense in buying a less-expensive version if it’s also less-effective. We’ll be getting the real stuff. Thanks to all for their comments on this blog.

  76. There may be an additional reason why there is a difference between GSK name brand imitrex and the generic.

    If you’ve used imitrex for a number of years, you will remember that the packaging changed a few years back. This was when the introduced the “reformulated” imitrex.

    The generic may be for the non-reformulated variant.

    I get the 100′s and cut them in two. The Dr Reddy’s seem as effective and fast at relieving the migraine pain. I have had more problems with one side effect, drowsiness/fuzziness, after taking them. However, I cannot remember if this happened before or after the switch to the generic.

    I wonder if the coating could be part of the issue. It might not dissolve as readily? If that is the case, then that may be why I don’t see a difference as split tables dissolve more readily than whole, coated tablets.

  77. I used the generic form of Imitrex and it works for me!! My doctor prescribed 100 mg and I also cut it in half (to get more bang for my buck! ) and it stops my headache within 1 hour. My question — Do you think these drugs are safe? I kind of worry when I read HOW it works…..

  78. I was also very “afraid” of the generic version of Imitrex after reading all of these negative posts, however since my insurance would no longer cover the name brand, I went ahead and tried Dr. Reddy’s in the 100mg pill form. (I also take a 600 mg Ibuprofen at the same time.)

    I just wanted to report, that after 3 pills, I haven’t noticed any difference between the generic and brand name. – I’m not discounting anyone else’s findings, but just wanted to give a little bit of hope to anyone else considering the generic version. It’s worth a try…..

  79. Whew! Thanks to each of you. Seriously. My pharmacy (CVS) recently switched me from Imitrex to something manufactured by Ranbaxy(?) and then Medco sent a three months supply of Dr. Reddy’s. I’ve been getting multiple rebound headaches with more severe nausea but couldn’t figure out why. I’m going through these tablets at an alarming rate without significant relief. I just now decided to check on the Internet to see if anyone else was having issues with the generic versions (Although I honestly thought it was my imagination.) and lo and behold… These generic products do help — but they are not nearly as effective. I am truly exhausted with the recurring headaches. Imitrex @ 100mg. simply does the trick. One tablet. End of migraine. And I rarely have a rebound headache. But now I’m going through these generic tablets at a ridiculous rate and am still incapable of comfortably functioning. Imitrex, in tablet form, was approved and released in Canada before the FDA allowed it to be sold in the U.S. That must have been in the early 90′s. I lived in the Toronto area at the time and have been thrilled with the difference this medicine has made regarding my quality of life. For me as well as my family. Again, thanks for taking the time to post this information. I too will ask my doctor to request no substitutions.

  80. Like most everyone on this post, I too have found the generics do not work for me. I have used brand name Imitrex (100 mg tabs) for over a year and it was like a miracle drug for me. Within half hour to one hour–total relief, little to no side effects. I usually split the tabs and only took the rest if needed. More often than not, 1/2 pill did the trick. I could even take Imitrex in the middle of a bad migraine and have good results. I’m realizing now, looking back, that when switched to the Dr. Reddy’s, I started having to take the whole pill more often than not. And now, since taking the Teva generic, I’ve had terrible nausea, diarrhea, and little to no relief of my migraines. I kept thinking that it was my migraine that was giving me the terrible nausea and attributed the lack of relief to worse than usual migraines. I also thought that maybe I had grown “tolerant” to Imitrex and that I would have to switch to another medication altogether. I’m so grateful for finding this site, because now I’m having my Dr. do a new prescription for brand name Imitrex and I’m betting that it will give me great results as in the past!

  81. Another vote against Dr. Reddy’s generic Sumatriptan. Imitrex had been working for my migraines for the past year. but now I tried the Dr. Reddy generic, with NO RELIEF. I did not have any side -affects, just no relief. I had no idea of this website or discussion group when I switched, I just assumed that the generic would work as well; and it fails miserably. Paul

  82. Wow! After reading the above posts, I was astonished to find out that there are quite a few people like myself who do NOT find Dr. Reddy’s Sumatriptan Succinate tablets to have the same therapeutic effect as the brand name IMITREX. When I feel a migraine headache coming on, it is generally behind my right eye and will progressively worsen over a matter of hours if I do not take a treatment. I started IMITREX in the year 2000 – that’s over 9 years ago. When I started taking it, 1/2 of a 100mg IMITREX tablet worked fine for me and usually stopped my headache within 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour. I started getting the generic Dr. Reddy’s Sumatriptan Succinate in Dec 08. At that time I discovered that it was not as effective as IMITREX in stopping my migraine headaches. I took 1/2 or 50 mg of Dr. Reddy’s stuff at first followed by a second 50mg and subsequently a third. The headache did not get worse but was not stopped and lingered for the rest of the day. I went back to IMITREX until I ran out. I started on Dr. Reddy’s again in May 09 with the same results. I had to take two or more 50mg doses of Dr. Reddy’s stuff to stop my headache. Yesterday Aug 4, 09 I went to a new doctor, a neurologist. He said that since I am also on coumadin for atrial fibrualtion, I am lucky that I can take either IMITREX or Dr. Reddy’s stuff. I could not take either of these meds for migraines if I had coronary artery disease or high blood pressure. Fortunately my cholesterol is low and I do not have high blood pressure. I am going to print these posts (above) and use the experiences of other above (who like myself) have found Dr. Reddy’s stuff to be a poor substitute for brand name IMITREX. By the way, Dr. Reddy’s is an a company based out of India – that may also be where his stuff in made.

  83. Wow…I’m really surprised at how many people are not receiving relief from the generic Imitrex. I was thrilled when a generic Imitrex came out mostly because I have no insurance and it’s cheaper. I have found that the generic works as well as Imitrex. However, neither of them really entirely get rid of the side effects of my migraines. I still have to go straight to bed with ear plugs and a mask to block out the sun and noise. Towards the end of my migraines, all of my muscles hurt, especially my leg muscles. It feels like I’ve been working out for about 2 hours. They are achy and sore. Has anyone else had these symptoms before?

  84. I had terrible side effects with the generic Imitrex and didn’t really realize what was causing them until I went back to the “real” Imitrex. It didn’t help with the migraines…I think it actually made them worse, dizziness, severe nausea and throwing up, and really scary is the fact that my eyesight was becoming very blurry. Not only is my eyesight back to normal, but I am having fewer migraines when using the Imitrex again.

  85. Cluster Headaches are my problem and imitrex has been effective for me since being diagnosed about 15 years ago. These headaches are killers and i luckily only typically get them seasonally. This is the first year i have used generics and, while they seem to effectively stop the progression of the headache, they also seem to have bad side effects. The major ones are tightness inthe neck and arm, and lack of awareness, dizziness, etc. that are mentioned above. The most disturbing one i have now is “lazy eye” on the side of the head where i have the clusters. this year they have all been right sided and i am worried my right eye lid is permanently stuck in this condition.

  86. I have had migraines for fifteen years and started taking Imitrex ten years ago with great success. Although I was reluctant to try the generic because Imitrex works so well, I finally decided to try it because my insurance deductible for drugs is now very high. The difference in cost for me is $17 versus $150 for the same nine pills. And what do you know! Dr. Reddy’s worked just as well and as fast, too. The pharmacist where I got my pills said he hasn’t had any complaints about the generic but I know from researching around the net that a lot of people aren’t happy with the generics. Maybe I am just lucky that my migraines respond to the cheaper version but I say for anyone who is on the fence to at least give it a try.

  87. Suck it Up America…

    I did not write this. But I should have…

    Sunday Forum: Suck it up, America
    We have become a nation of whining hypochondriacs, and the only way to fix a broken health-care system is for all of us to get a grip, says DR. THOMAS A. DOYLE
    Sunday, October …

  88. Another vote against the TEVA generic…My migraines always went away with one half of a 100mg Imitrex and as soon as Kaiser switched to the generic, I now have to take at least 2 half pills and my migraine still doesn’t fully resolve. Of course, my doctor says that generics are the same and blah, blah, blah…time to switch doctors…!!
    However the pharmacist said to come back and we can go through all the generics until we find one that works…Seems like she’s had other complaints..so that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow..trying a different generic…good luck to all fellow sufferers..8 ))

  89. I have been dealing with migraines for 20 years and imitrex has always been my life saver, allowing me to lead a normal life. When the generics first came out I felt they were working, but they keep changing brands every month. This past month I was given Ranbaxy. I keep feeling like my migraines are so much worst this past month. I see my doctor on Monday so did a google search tonight to see if the difference is the generic I am now taking. After reading the other notes, I am going to ask my doctor to put no substitutes and just go back to the imitrex. I was suspicious that it may be the new generic and now I’m convinced. If the pharmacies keep switching, it sounds like I won’t have a choice on which generic I receive, so I want the imitrex that has always worked.

  90. I have been taking Imitrex since about 1993 with great results. I now take the generic version, and I have to say that I do not get the great results as I previously did with the Imitrex. Within the past 2 months, I have suffered from 2 extreme migraines that were not relieved with the generic version. As a result, I was extremely ill, (vomiting, fever, diarrhea, restlessness, inability to sleep, sensitivity to light and sound) for 2 days with each migraine. The generic version is not the same as the brand Imitrex!

  91. My migraines began a year ago and I was prescribed Imitrex. The imitrex worked well for me … so well that I only had to take a half of a 50 mil tablet for results in about 15 minutes. This was great for me since my headaches are hormonally related and they usually come and go for a period of about 3 days. So for the three days every month I took Imitrex with very little side effects. But now that the generic is out and I was forced to try it because my pharmacy doesn’t carry the real Imitrex any longer. Yesterday my migraine started and I tried the generic with no relief from one 50 tablet … no relief from the second taken an hour and a half later … and no relief at all until I was taken to the emergency room for an injection. Last night I almost fell twice while trying to get to my bathroom and today I feel awful from having this “crap ” in my system.

  92. I had a horrific experience with Dr. Reddy’s pills that lasted for over a month, until I finally figured out that it was the pills that were making me so sick! I was diagnosed with a “statis” migraine and made three separate trips to the ER, had an MRI, a CT scan, three IVs, had about 5 different presciptions filled, including two for narcotics and ALL OF IT was because I was having an allergic reaction to something that was in the Dr. Reddy pills. I kept taking them to get rid of a migraine, and it would trigger a series of terrible headaches that I couldn’t get any relief from. I ended up costing my insurance company almost $10,000 (like I care!) in ER trips and tests because of those GD generic pills!!! From now on, I ONLY use brand name pills, including the Topamax I take for my migraines and I have vowed that I will NEVER take generic drugs for any reason. Unless I absolutely cannot afford it, I will go brand. The FDA is lying to all of us when they tell us generics are the same. And I’m not rich by any means–but that’s how strongly I feel about it. I would pay $26 a headache to get relief rather than ever use another Dr. Reddy’s pill.

  93. I have had a similar experience with generic Imitrex. It is no where near as effective for me and it is just as expensive now (1/10) as the brand name was. It is very disappointing.

  94. I’ve been on Imitrex since before the pills came out and it was only available in injection form. I was livid when Glaxo “changed the formula” to extend their patent and have also been eagerly awaiting the generic. I tried them once and got absolutely no headache relief. I’m now trying it again because of an insurance snafu and the only pills the insurance would cover for an emergency supply were the generic. Its a new pack so its not an issue of expired medication or the batch. Yet again I have had absolutely no relief and I’m starting to wonder if they didn’t just charge me a couple hundred (being reimbursed by Medco) for a batch of sugar pills/placebos.

  95. To all fellow migraine suffers, reading these comments is so upsetting. The companies that make these meds are all about greed. Making money off of people suffering. So very sad and despicable.

  96. We should all take some action and write to our Congress, Senate, Insurance Companies, The FDA, etc and express our concerns as we are on this website. Glaxo should be ashamed of itself….pure greed.

    I too tried the generic…it’s a joke.

  97. Fortunately, Dr. Reddy’s 100mg pills work for me (cut in half for each migraine occurrence.) I switched to the generic when my insurance said it was making me meet a $500 deductible for name brand. I have no/zero deductible for generic. That part I think is ridiculous. But I am one of the lucky sufferers that gets perfect relief, 1+ year(s) or so now, from Dr. Reddy’s tablets. Now the bad news, my insur. co. just told me that they are removing Dr. Reddy’s from their generic category and moving it to Formulary/Brand category. So I will have to pay that $500 deduct. first before getting another prescription for the $15 co-pay as I previously paid. I stocked up as much Dr. Reddy’s as I could before the change…so I’m good for the year. But after that, I will need an alternative. The search begins…

  98. I’ve taken Imitrex since they were approved and never had a problem. However, since the generic sumatriptan (by Mylan here in QC, Canada) I have noticed that I need to take SO many tablets each attack! I used to be fine with one, max two 100mg Imitrex at the start of an attack however nowadays I often max the dosage (2*100mg) three days in a row.

    It seems that the generic sumatriptan simply doesn’t give the same relief as the regular Imitrex and I am really bothered by it as my migraines really affect my life (I get them 1-3 times / month).

  99. I have been a diagnosed migraneur for about 15 years. Imitrex, in either pill or injection form, has always been the only triptan to give me relief. I think the generics are less effective than the real stuff. I have had Dr. Reddy’s, Ranbaxy, and currently have sumatriptan 100 mg from Mylan. The ranbaxy pills always broke before you could get them out of the blister package, and the Mylan are ok. Neither of these 2 compare to the effectiveness of the Dr. Reddy’s brand. My neurologist also told me most of his patients liked the Dr. Reddy’s brand as well; it is supposed to be made by GSK, as a reader suggested earlier.

  100. I’m so glad I found this site. I have had migraines since childhood and was finally prescribed Imitrex by my primary care physician a few years ago. It worked like a miracle! Until I lost my medical insurance and could no longer afford the ridiculous $252.00 for 9 pills! I recently found out there is now a generic version and was thrilled (at a cost of $87.00 for 9 pills…no drop in the bucket, but better than $252.00). While the generic version gets rid of my migraine, the side effects are pretty awful (something I never had w/Imitrex). Body aches, nausea, dizzyness, sleepy/tiredness, sore throat. Blah! But, I do have to say it’s better than having a dibilitating migraine.

  101. Buy your Imitrex (Imigran) from the UK! It’s available there as an OTC. Cost delivered is about $5 US per pill. It is branded SGK. In my wife’s experience it work identical. We found it cheaper through Costco as a generic in 100mg size. We cut in half. Cost is less than $2 per pill after cutting in half. She find the generic version through Costco is effective but works slower.

  102. My local Big Blue Mart recently switched from injectable sumatriptan manufactured in Singapore, for Sandoz (surprisingly affordable under Medicare Part D, and very effective) to that made in Bangalore, India, at Biocon. The bottle does not even contain the 0.5 mL printed on the label (Singapore always filled 0.6 mL), but I found the medicine absolutely useless. Worse than that, after non-stop migraines for more than five days, I ended up with a minor bleed into the vitreous, accompanied by other very large and annoying floaters.

    I’ve used the original injectable Imitrex since immediately after it was released from protocol testing, and have always found it perfectly effective. This junk from Biocon is as effective as injecting saline sub-q, as far as the migraine is concerned, but I now wonder if it has something deleterious in it. At any rate, must start the complaint process through my physician and the pharmacy (which switched to this junk, and charged me three times as much as the generic Singapore-produced sumatriptan!), but am less than optimistic about getting one of the world’s largest corporations to change just because it might benefit a patient’s health.

    As for the person who claimed you were somehow in error in waiting three days to finally take brand-name Imitrex, ANYONE who has used the injectable medication (or the pills) has been warned of the dangers involved in using more than two doses for one headache. In fact, it is often stressed that one should be careful of using more than two doses in one WEEK, especially if one is prone to frequent headaches for many decades, as I have. In addition, I am among many migraine patients who always waits and waits, hoping that the medication will finally kick in or the headache will recede just enough to prevent one from tearing off one’s head!

  103. I took imitrex for years. first the injectable, then the 50mg tabs. I graduated to 100mg tabs and could sometimes split them and still obtain relief. I too was thrilled when the generic came out. The Dr Reddy pills worked ok; then my pharmacy switched to Mylan. I don’t think they work at all, and my insurance allows 4 pills every 10 days. On a bad weekend I can use 3 of them, then I’m left with 9 days before I’m allowed a refill. I complained to the pharmacist, who said they were identical (and made me feel like an idiot!). I wish I didn’t need any of them…………………

  104. I had the same bad experience with generic Imitrex a year ago. I went for a refill and the pharmacist gave me the new generic without telling me it was not Imitrex.
    A couple of hours after having taken the pill and feeling that the headache was gone, I started to feel terribly dizzy, light headed and nauseous. In the same time, the headache came back worse than before and I had to be driven home from work by a friend. I then discovered that I had taken Sumatriptan instead of Imitrex. I complained to the pharmacy and they took it right away after hearing my symptoms and gave me Imitrex back.
    Since then, I have to pay $40 a month to treat my migraine but at least Imitrex is working great.

  105. I have taken Imitrex since it was first available. I was happy when the generics became available for the lower cost. Now I would gladly pay for real Imitrex. My pharmacy first used Dr Reddy, which didn’t work. Then switched to another brand which had some efficacy. It now has gone back to Dr Reddy. My doctor has done a no substitution script but my insurance, Tricare, refused to pay for it. he called them about this but they still refused.

    Has anyone been able to find a source for real Imitrex overseas or somewhere else?

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