Medicated

Which Triptan Should I Choose for Migraine Relief?


by Carissa Andrews - January 21, 2019


For most people who suffer from migraines, finding the right medications to get them under control is key. Triptans (serotonin receptor agonists) are compounds that activate a person’s serotonin receptors, in the same way serotonin does. This reaction works to quiet the pain response and most patients find their migraines are diminished within 30-minutes to 2 hours of taking one. They help not only with subduing the headache pain itself, but also sensitivity to light and sound, as well as reducing nausea and the vomiting that can come from the intensity of a migraine.

It’s important to note that triptan medications are not preventative medications, however. They can only treat a headache once it starts, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your triggers, as well as preventative medications that may help manage your headaches. Some of the preventative medications for migraines include:

• Anticonvulsants such as Topiramate (Topamax) -- most commonly for teens and young adults

• Anti-nausea medications such as Metoclopramide (Reglan)

• Beta Blockers such as Propranolol (Inderal)

• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) drugs such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or Cambia, new powdered formulation of diclofenac potassium

• Tricyclic antidepressants such as or Amitriptyline (Elavil), or Nortriptyline (Aventyl)

Now, for those of you wondering which triptan will work best for your migraine, you may be surprised to learn there are seven different triptans available.

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

There are also four different formulations you can find them in:

• Tablets

• Orally disintegrating (or dissolving) tablets - ODT

• Injections

• Nasal sprays

The delivery system you’re prescribed will typically depend on how you feel when you have a migraine. For example, if you get sick to your stomach, it’s likely you’ll be prescribed an injectable or nasal spray to give you a better chance at relief. It’s best to keep track of how the medication you’re prescribed is working for you because if one doesn’t help, it’s still worthwhile to try another variation.

For the sake of ease, let’s break down the triptans into two main categories: Fast-acting and Long-Lasting. Let’s take a closer look.

Fast-Acting Triptans

If you’re a person whose migraines tend to come on rapidly, a fast-acting triptan may be the right one for you. There are five triptans who fit the bill, with Imitrex being the most prescribed. Let’s take a closer look.

Imitrex/Sumatriptan

If you have slow or quick onset migraines, Imitrex will likely be the place where your doctor will start. The injectable format is considered the “gold standard” in migraine triptan care, so if all other triptans have failed, it is typically the go-to medicine your doctor will prescribe. The injectable Imitrex has a 70% response rate in just under an hour and is the only ultra-fast triptan available at this time.

But an injection isn’t the only way to get Imitrex. It’s also available in tablet and nasal spray for easier use. If a migraine feels as though it has a slow onset, you can take one of these slower-acting variations and follow it up with an injection if the migraine doesn’t respond to the medication or worsens. (Special Note: you can only do this if you are using the same triptan medication, but in a different form.)

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

You can buy Imitrex here on Canada Pharmacy Online in all three of its variations and dosages. The brand Imitrex comes from Canada, Turkey, Australia manufactured by GSK and Aspen. The generic of Imitrex comes from Canada and it is manufactured by Pharma Science. We also stock generic Sumatriptan comes from India and UK.

• Imitrex Injection vials: 6 mg/0.5 ml

• Imitrex STAT DOSE Kit (with 2 x 0.5ml Cartridges): 6 mg/0.5 ml

• Imitrex tablets: 100 mg, also known as Imitrex DFor Imigran

• Imitrex nasal spray: 5 mg, 20 mg available in 2-nasal spray per pack

• Sumatriptan tablets: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, also known as Pms-Sumatriptan, Suminat. Lowest price starts from $2.63 per pill

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

Axert/Almotriptan

Axert has a fast 30-minute response time for most people. If you have heart problems of any kind, your doctor may prescribe this triptan. The side effects with Axert are lower than with other triptans—particularly incidences of non-cardiac chest pain after use.

You can buy Axert online in the 12.5 mg tablets manufactured by Aimrall in the United Kingdom. We also carry the generic equivalent, Almotriptan comes from Canada, in the same 12.5 mg dosage manufactured by Sanis Health or Sandoz or Mylan.

• Axert tablets: 12. 5 mg, also known as Almogran

• Almotriptan tablets: 12.5 mg, also known as Sandoz-Almotriptan or Mylan-Almotriptan. Lowest price starts $8.13 per pill

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

Maxalt/Rizatriptan

You can use Maxalt and Maxalt MLT if you need a fast-acting medication and don’t want to take an injectable. Just like with Axert, some people even report relief as quickly as 30 minutes. Maxalt comes from UK and Canada and it is manufactured by Merck. Generic Rizatriptan comes from Canada, India, UK by different suppliers such as Marcan and Actavis. Buy Maxalt 10mg online for as low as $2.42 per tablet from our licensed Canadian Pharmacy.

• Maxalt tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg

• Rizatriptan tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg, also known as Mar-Rizatriptan or Rizact. Lowest price starts $2.42 per pill

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

Maxalt MLT

The difference between the two Maxalt mediations has to do with the type of tablet. Maxalt is an orally consumed tablet, where Maxalt MLT is an orally dissolvable one. There is not a big difference between the two, however. The dissolvable medication is just an easier medication to take if you are nauseated or don’t have access to a glass of water to take it with.

We carry brand name Maxalt MLT manufactured by GSK comes from in Canada. Generic Rizatriptan Orally Disintegrating (ODT) is supplied by a variety of manufacturers in Canada including Jamp, Marcan, Pharma Science, Sandoz, and Mylan. This product is available in the following dosage forms.

• Maxalt MLT tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg

• Rizatriptan ODT tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg. Lowest price starts $1.88 per pill

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

Relpax/Eletriptan

Relpax is very similar to Axert and Maxalt, in that its onset response is very fast. Trials have shown it works better than Imitrex’s 100mg tablet at a much lower dose of just 40mg. However, it does come with more side effects and more interactions than Imitrex. If you are taking antibiotics and antifungals, for example, you should not take Relpax.

If you are looking to buy Relpax online, we carry both the brand name medication, as well as the generic equivalent, Eletriptan. Relpax is manufactured by Pfizer comes from United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. The generic Relpax is manufactured by Teva in Canada.

• Relpax tablets: 5 mg and 10 mg

• Eletriptan tablets: 5 mg and 10 mg, also known as Teva-Eletriptan. Lowest price starts $11.67 per pill

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

Zomig/Zolmitriptan

Zomig is a fast-acting medication and comes in a diversified product array that is only matched by Imitrex. While it does not have an injectable, Zomig does come in three different delivery systems: Tablet, Rapimelt (orally disintegrating tablet, ODT), and Nasal Spray.

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

You can buy Zomig online or generic Zomig Rapimelt in our Canadian pharmacy store (as well as its generic equivalent zolmitriptan) in three different delivery systems. Brand name Zomig is manufactured by AstraZeneca in Canada and Australia. Generic equivalent of Zomig and Zomig Rapimelt is manufactured by Teva or Sandoz in Canada and UK. Zomig nasal spray comes from Canada manufactured by AstraZeneca, and the generic Zomig nasal spray comes from India manufactured by Cipla.

• Zomig tablets: 2.5 mg

• Zolmitriptan tablets: 2.5 mg, also known as Teva-Zolmitriptan. Lowest price starts $7.42 per pill

• Zolmitriptan ODT tablets: 2.5 mg, also known as Sandoz Zolmitriptan ODT. Lowest price starts $5.21 per pill

• Zolmitriptan nasal spray: 2.5 mg and 5 mg, also known as Zolmist. Lowest price starts $18.33 per nasal spray

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

Long-Lasting Triptans

Not everyone suffers from quick-onset migraines. If you’re someone who has a headache for a number of hours before it gets worse or has a tendency to reoccur for a couple of days, these two triptans may suit you better.

Amerge/Naratriptan

Amerge has a 12-hour duration and works very well if you have a tendency to wake up with migraines. While not technically a preventative medication, it can be taken one the night before to ward them off. It can also be taken every twelve hours for 3-4 days if you get menstrual migraines. If you happen to get advance warnings your migraine is coming (prodrome), Amerge is also an effective triptan to consider.

You can buy Amerge online in a 2.5 mg tablet, or the generic equivalent Naratriptan in a 1 mg or 2.5 mg dosage. Amerge is manufactured by GSK comes from Canada, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. The generic equivalent of Amerge is manufactured by Teva in Canada.

• Amerge tablets: 2.5 mg, also known as Naramig

• Naratriptan tablets: 1 mg and 2.5 mg. Lowest price starts $5.38 per pill

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

Frova/Frovatriptan

Frova is a long-lasting medication that will stay in the body for a while (approximately 24 hours). The initial response does take some time to kick in—roughly 3 hours, as opposed to 30 minutes to 2 hours for most of the other triptans. Frova’s greatest benefit is its low risk of recurrence when taking it, likely due to its long life. If you tend to get migraines in clusters or are unsure if a headache will worsen into one—this may be the triptan for you.

You can currently buy Frova online in the brand name and generic medication at the 2.5mg dosage. Frova is manufactured by Endo Pharma (distributed by Paladin) comes from Canada and Turkey. The generic Frova also comes from Canada and it is on backorder.

• Frova tablets: 2.5 mg, also known as Migrex. Lowest price starts $5.42 per pill

• Frovatriptan tablets: 2.5 mg

Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth
Photo Credit: by @CPOHealth

A prescription is required for all of the migraine medications above. If you suffer from migraines, hopefully you have found some details to help you choose the right triptan to take care of them. There are also a variety of preventative medicines out there that you could talk to your doctor about, such as the ones we listed earlier. Luckily, we have a variety of medications that give relief to thousands of people, regardless of how their migraine presents, and a variety of ways the medications can be delivered. Whether a tablet, dissolvable, nasal spray, or injection is best for you—you’ll find there is something for everyone in order to get you back on your feet and enjoying your day.

*This article is meant to be for reference only and should not take the place of your neurologist’s advice. If you suffer from migraines, it’s best to take this information in with you during your next appointment and discuss your options with your doctor.

Special Note: We may stock/supply different generic equivalent medications from different suppliers. Contact our customer service to check product details.


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