Can imitrex cause rebound headaches?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 10/17/2005 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I got a neurologist a couple months ago, she freaked that another doc prescribed Esgic for my migraines and headaches, which were/are daily for a week at a time or more. She told me that my headaches are rebound HA's and that I should switch to Extra Strength Tylenol or Imitrex and take no Esgic. She is actually worried I am addicted to the butalbital in the Esgic, a barbiturate. I didn't really care as Imitrex works better but my insurance only gives me 9 per month. The other doc had also given me imitrex but the Esgic was to fill in if I ran out or if the headaches were not quite migraines. Sometimes I get pain free migraines too, which are really weird...
So now my migraines are going daily for a week, then a week off, then another run. I can get rid of them for half a day with imitrex, but then would have to take it again. Since I don't have enough imitrex despite her giving me handfulls of samples, I often do an imitrex if I have to be somewhere and otherwise grit my teeth and ignore it. Tylenol is pretty useless and Esgic really doesn't work well if taken more than twice a week as tolerance goes up.
Is it possible to get rebounds from imitrex? I would ask her but she is extremely hard to get ahold of, only works one day a week and doesn't return calls. Is there any reason not to take more than 2 doses in a day if I need to? The packaging says "Take as suggested" which really doesn't help as I don't remember what the doctors said. Think I will take one now, actually (:

Lady Lazarus
New Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 10/17/2005 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Yes imitrix can cause rebound headaches. I went through a similar experience recently. My doc was giving me lots of samples but she didn't tell me that you should only take 2-3/week. I was taking them every day for a few weeks - and I found I would get a dull ache behind my eyes when I didn't take any, I would think it was a migraine and take another one. When I stopped taking them I had the dull headache for a week but it never got completely unbarable. Now I only get about 1 migraine/week - big improvment ! Hang in there, if it works use it- but not everyday...
good luck!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 10/18/2005 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Lady Lazarus is absolutely right - Imitrex can cause rebound, as can any of the other triptans, OTC pain relievers, narcotics, etc.


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/19/2005 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I was previously on Imitrex, and then Maxalt (both Triptans), and I had such rebound headaches from both that I couldn't take them anymore.

Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/22/2005 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Kate,

Be careful with Triptans. They can definitely cause rebound headaches. Some experts say not more than 2 or 3 a month, some 2 then wait for 5 days before taking more.

As for the warning about no more than 2 in a day, DO heed this warning. Triptans can be dangerous because they constrict the size of your blood vessels and can increase your risk of stroke or heart attack. For example, on a plane I had taken one and thought I was having a heart attack because when the plane took off my blood vessels couldn't expand with the pressure (I had taken an Imitrex just before take off). I was fine because the pressure subsided but if you take too much similar things can happen if have any sort of anomaly in your cardiovascular system.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.   Buddha

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