Imigran - Scared to use

Hi - I wondered if anyone had tried Imigran for migraine. My GP prescribed it for me recently. Usually I get by with a combination of painkillers although the one before last nothing seemed to touch it, which is why she prescribed Imigran. But when I looked at the side-effects it put me off. You might think it strange that I would rather put up with the migraine which is bad enough but seeing all the side-effects about your heart, unknown frequency of numbers affected with some quite serious side-effects, plus I take paroxetine which you're not supposed to take with it, you might undertstand my concerns. I am quite wary of some meds to be honest. I'd like to hear others experiences. Thanks

32 Replies

  • Hi I've been taking it for a number of years and find it's the only thing that stops the migraine within 20 minutes. I take Citalopram too. Perhaps you'll feel better talking your worries over with your gp or pharmacist. Good luck.

  • Many thanks for your reply, Maggiet. I had a quick few minutes with the pharmacist the other day and could have asked her then but I'd not read the long list of side-effects at that point!

  • I can understand your concerns if you read the list of side effects on alot of these drugs it takes some courage to use them! I had a feeling that with the modern computer systems that the GP's use now the system is supposed to put a red flag up if there is a conflict between two drugs you are taking as I know this has happened with my GP and he has had to look up alternatives. I always ask myself the question how bad do I feel, if it is terrible then I take the risk. If I can stand it and think whatever it is I am suffering with will be short lived I don't if there appears to be any great risks involved. My husband frequently suffers with bad migraines and was on Sanomigran to try and stop the frequency and the severity and they did seem to help but after he was diagnosed with Epilepsy the specialist made him stop them. If this has just been a one off very bad attack I personally would ere on the side of caution but if you keep on having them that bad and the frequency and severity is making life terrible. I have actually found that my chemist seems to have a greater in depth knowledge of the ins and outs of drugs and I am sure would check on that for you if you didn;t want to go back to your GP. Best of luck with whatever you decide as I know from my husband's suffering how terribly they can effect your life.x

  • Hi. I really suffered with migraines until I was prescribed with Imigran. Make sure you read the instructions and be careful. Follow your doctors advice and hopefully your migraines will at least be reduced.

    Soft hugs

  • Thanks Sarah-Jane. It's reading the instructions that's freaked me out a bit! But it sounds as if you've found them helpful. x

  • Thanks lots Rosewine. Yes the pharmacist would have been a good one to ask as she gave me time to go through all the meds I'm taking the other day, only I'd not looked through the side-effects of Imigram at that point. I do get migraines quite frequently but I'm hoping that when I finally finish my periods they will ease so am a bit reluctant to take these meds especially as they talk a lot about seizures and angina and worse. x

  • Yes I used to have absolutely corkers of headaches for about 3 days around my period time, that is certainly something I don't missx

  • Hi fibro-friendly-zone

    I sincerely hope that you are feeling well today? I do not blame anyone for feeling nervous about the side effects of medication. However, I always think it is a case of weighing up the options? I have chronic migraines that have given me blackouts, and I remember my GP visiting me at home years ago, and I said to her that I wouldn't hesitate to put a black and decker drill in my head to help alleviate the pain! This was just before I vomited on her and then passed out!

    I want to wish you all the best of luck with your migraine treatments, and I genuinely hope that whatever drugs you settle for that you do not suffer too many side effects.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thanks so much for your reply, Ken. All migraines are horrid but yours sound as bad as they get. I hope you're having a good day.

  • Hii Ken, reading that you had lack out and very chronic headacache, seems I just experience that, lst week so what happened?, what medication did she prescribed you?, I feel these each day, its terrible, I cant sit, move, walk,, please let me know how do you control it, because I can't stand this any longer, I am glad that is now you no longer feel that awful chronic pain in your head

  • Hi B2WC

    I was prescribed an artificial beta blocker called Verapamil (as I am allergic to beta blockers) and this was very successful for many years. However, its effect has begun to wane somewhat. In the meantime I have used Migraleave which I have always found very good and Metocloperamide which takes away any nausea.

    Since I have been on these medications for so long they are not as effective as they once were. However, I have an appointment to discuss my migraines with my Specialist at the end of August so I am hoping that they can come up with something new?

    I was originally referred to my Specialist as I had four Migraine related hospital admissions in a month in the late 1990's. On all four occasions I had blacked out whilst working, so it had started to really interfere with my life. It is much worse, as and when, I get cluster migraines, one after another for a week or more!

    Take care and good luck with your migraines


  • Hi Ken,

    Were your have high Blood Pressure that was why your specialist prx you with Beta Blocker?, I did have Metocloperamide, I will check about Migraleave, as during the month of April and May just like you I have 4 black out, but just like you perhaps, I have to resign from my work as I couldn't stand this storming persistent headache, I couldn't even move my head, as a sales advisor is just not possible doing lots of driving anymore. Are you seeing Neuroligist?


  • Hi B2WC

    I had very fluctuating blood pressure, so it would go from really low to really high. The Verapamil helped to stabalise this for a very long time (about 7 years). I can genuinely understand that you would not be able to do your job with this sort of issue plaguing you on a daily basis. I am very lucky in that I am self employed and can tailor my hours around my illnesses.

    I see a Neurologist once a year just to check up on how I am doing, but I have a medical care coordinator who is my GP and she liaises with all of my Consultants and specialist Nurses, as I also have chronic asthma and COPD along with my Fibro and nerve damage. At the moment they want me to assign somebody as a carer which I find quite ironic, as I look after my wife who has MS!

    Take care


  • Hi Ken,

    Oh dear, you got COPD, are you using seretide or Symbicort 400/12?

    Symbicort tend to be the best but specialist normally always chose the cheapest drug around. You also look after your wife who suffering from MS, I am sorry to hear that Ken, well it seems that you are very strong person, well I wish you both all the best. I felt that I was going to have a black out yesterday went to A& E, asked for Imigran they won't prx me, as I as under neurologist, so I have to call them on Monday, but they would prx me Migraleve, but when I look at the consistency of it, I won't take it, as contain codeine.

    Anyway, thank Ken, for all your help.



  • I have Symbicort along with Atrevent, Ventolin and 10mg of steroids daily.

    My GP told me that new research shows that Codeine can make migraines worse? This is something new to me? But I am due a Neuro assessment at the end of the month so I will ask about it then.

    Take care


  • Hi Ken,

    Yes, Codeine worsen for FM because its normally blocked the bowel movement hence it cause more headache. On the other hand with Imigran they tend to be given for patient who is starting to get migraine not for a long chronic migraine sufferer - so I am not sure - what else my specialist can help me - the problem is - I used to advise all my gps and consultants what to give to their patients - now i am the one who suffering i am unsure what shall I take?

  • I've used this for some years it does help, but I would ask doctor as the other drug is not suitable with it.

  • Thanks Irene - I wouldn't take the two drugs together anyway but surprised my GP didn't say anything about the Paroxetine.

  • I was given this for a migraine, Doc only gave me three as they are expensive apparently. Best think I have ever had for Migraine, it really helped. Just keep an eye for any side effects, but I didn't have any :)

    Hope it works for you :)

  • Thanks tiredalot, that's good to know! My GP has given me six!

  • I hope it works, migraines are horrible :)

  • Thanks - they are indeed :-)

  • Hi,

    I have used it for about 20 plus years now. I had it in injection form for a great many of those years. I find it brilliant. If you are worried about side effects, have a chat with your pharmacist or GP.



  • Many thanks Jilly. That's good to know it helped you. x

  • I found imigran to be a wonder drug for migraines. We have an amazing consultant pharmacist in Norwich called Steve Bazire - he knows every thing about drugs for mental health issues, and he told me that I did not need to worry about the contraindication with antidepressants - said that theoretically it is a problem but in reality it is not. I'd say just go for it - it's an amazing drug.

  • Ah thanks Hedgerow - that's really helpful :-)

  • Hi there, like jillylin i have taken it for many years, last few in injection form as this seems to be the only way it works for me, i still do not like injecting myself though

  • You can get Imigran 50mg OTC. The pharmacist will ask a load of health questions before giving it. I ran out of my Imigran when I was away ages ago and that's how I got some more. I didn't have to provide any evidence that I already have it prescribed to me.

  • Remember, you can't take Imigran after the age 0f 65, don't know why but it says so on the leaflet inside and I was taken off them when I reached that grand old age lol 😃

  • Hi Foggy

    I do not blame anyone of being scared of side-affects. Please talk to your gp, if you have not yet done so. A very wise thing to do, is to keep a diary of what triggers your migraines - it might be food, too much stress or other things. Google to see what triggers migraines. Mine is food, especially sugars (all kinds).

    I wish you well from the heart.

  • Hi Nita

    Thanks. I see I wrote that post three years ago but I bit the bullet and boy am I glad I did. I have had a migraine today and took two imigran. Normally they stop it in its tracks if I take it early enough. The good thing is you can continue using normal painkillers too. Yes it's a good idea to be be wary but in my case I am sometimes too wary and miss out on something that will help!

  • As I just had a recent comment on here I thought I'd update you all! I see I wrote that post three years ago but I bit the bullet and boy am I glad I did. I have had a migraine today and took two imigran. I've been using it for a couple of years now, I'd say. Normally they stop it in its tracks if I take it early enough. The good thing is you can continue using normal painkillers too. Yes it's a good idea to be be wary but in my case I am sometimes too wary and miss out on something that will help!

    Best wishes to all - migraines are horrid but if something helps with no adverse reactions then take it is what I say :) xx

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