An educated consumer gets the best results.

Cleveland Clinic doctors established that migraine patients who are educated about sumatriptan (Imitrex) and other triptans tend to do better. It is not a surprising discovery, but it highlights the importance of patient education. The study involved 207 patients at the Cleveland CLinic, Mayo Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Here are some important facts that migraine sufferers need to know.

One such fact, taking medicine early, seems obvious, but many patients often wait to take a triptan for a variety of reasons. They often think that it may not be a migraine, but rather a tension headache that will not require a triptan. Others are reluctant to take medication because it might be dangerous, although the most common reason is that patients often don’t get enough medicine from their insurer. These are expensive drugs, even in a generic form. However, it is more expensive to lose a day of work and if the medicine is taken early one tablet may be sufficient, but if taken late, the patient may need 2 or 3 tablets to abort an attack.

Another fact is that you do not need to take an aspirin (or Migralex) or ibuprofen before resorting to a triptan if the headache is very severe. Many people often keep trying an over-the-counter drug first, even if they always end up taking a triptan. It is OK to combine aspirin or ibuprofen with a triptan if a triptan alone is insufficient.

Migraine sufferers should also know that triptans are contraindicated in people with coronary artery disease. If you had a heart attack, suffer from angina or have multiple risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, etc).

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