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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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Comments (101)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:54am.

Dr. Reddy's "Imitrex" doesn't work - I never had a problem with real Imitrex, I took Dr. Reddy's twice - it didn't work at all. I never had a problem with a generic before.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 8:21pm.

I have used Imitrex for about 5 years with nearly 100% success, within 2 hours.  Last week my prescription was converted over to the generic Dr. Reedy's version.  I had an attack this afternoon.  After taking a 100mg does of the generic, I suffered for 5 hours with absolutely no relief.  Out of desparation, I took a brand name Imitrex at 50mg, within 2 hours I had full relief.   I have no more migrain, but I am a little worse for wear after 7 hours with the nausia and throbbing.

How can they this crap?  Shouldn't it be against the law or at least insurance fraud?

Submitted by Jan Flowers (not verified) on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 1:50am.

Me, too! I also just reported my experience w/generic to the FDA.

I've always found Imitrex effective with no greatly bothersome or long lasting side effects. Although Dr. Reddy's Sumatriptan does reduce my migraine symptoms, it does NOT cure them as Imitrex did and I am left feeling sub-par (low energy, slightly weak, and still a bit migraine-y) for at least 24 hours. I willingly started using this generic 6 weeks ago and suspected it wasn't equal to Imitrex but also thought the problems could be general holiday issues of overwork, overeating, less sleep, etc. Now I KNOW the generic med is the problem.

I'm going to my pharmacy today to see if there's any way to exchange my remaining generic for the real - and truly effective - Imitrex.

Thanks for helping me know it isn't just me!

Happy New Year!

Submitted by Brian2 (not verified) on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 12:48pm.

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.

This is a standard tactic used by many brand name drug manufactures. Just before the drug is about to go generic they find another company or their own subsidiary company and make a "generic" version available before the patent runs out. This "generic" version is the brand drug, manufactured by the brand company, and packaged with a different label.

When a real generic manufacture brings their drug to market they now have to compete against the brand twice, once as the still available expensive brand, and again as a slightly lower cost brand masquerading as a generic. This has the effect of forcing the generic manufacture to lower its price and receive less profit which then dissuades other generic companies from entering the market. Thus the brand manufacture has essentially extended its patent life and revenue stream. Don't buy into the hype that this generic imitrex doesn't work as well because it is the brand name imitrex.

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.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 1:56pm.

In spite of the assertion they must be the same, I too am having difficulty with the generic and have just requested a "no substitution" from my doctor. It has a clearly different reaction in my system and has taken two 100mg tablets instead of one for migraine releif 3 out of 4 times tried.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 4:23am.

I have now used Dr. Reddy three times. It has worked for me same as Imitrex so far. I have caught these migraines early, though. Even with Imitrex, some migraines were not aborted if I let them become too severe. Concerning "no substitution", in most cases your insurance company will really stick it to you if you don't accept a generic when available. I tried this with another drug, and instead of a $25 co-pay for brand name (generics are $10), I wound up with a $100 charge. Check on what formula your insurance company follows in these cases before leaving your prescription at the pharmacy, or you may be in for a big shock.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 7:34am.

I used one dose of Dr. Reddy Sumatriptan and had what and emergency nurse and my doctor thought may have an allergic reaction. I never had an allergic reaction to Imitrex. Whether is is GSK or Dr. Reddy at fault here, something is different in the generic version. I was given the imitrex packaged pills and on the next beginning migraine, had no symptoms.

I tried to find an accurate listing of of all ingredients (active and nonactive) on the Dr. Reddy site and they do not provide that. Even if it is a supposed "inactive" ingredient I have a rigth to know if it is different. Diferent could be same substance different source. Look at the mess we have from Chinese products.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 4:17pm.

Well, My last RX was substituted for the generic because as mentioned earlier, if I had chosen to stick with the original, the insurance company would have stuck it to me. I noticed no noticeable difference but when refill time came around 1st of February, Rite Aid pharmacy had already pulled the generic from their shelves. Imagine that?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 12:06pm.

I too have tried the new pills without success. I have taken Imitrix for at least 10 to 15 years and it has saved my life. My mail order pharmacy made the change without my doctor's knowledge. It took two pills to do what one normally did and I felt horrible for the rest of the day. It is only February 10th and I have reached the "doughnut hole" on my medicare because of generic shots and pills. Since the cost is now on me I am going to try and get the "real thing" until I reach my next plateau. Life without Imitrex is unthinkable. What is an older person to do.

Submitted by Tammy P (not verified) on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 8:25pm.

I found this site when searching for info about the generic Imitrex. I was about to refill with the generic and wanted to know if it worked as well. The comments here led me to believe that it wouldn't and I was torn about trying it for myself. I have used Imitrex since the mid 1990's. Started with the injections and switched to the pill form when that became available. Like many have said, it is a miracle drug for me. I am 48 and I have had migraines since I was 17. Imitrex is a lifesaver for me! For over a year my insurance company was only allowing 4 pills at a time with a co-pay of $40,00. I used to pay $15.00 for 9. I have always had the 50 mg tabs. When I went to refill I found that I could still only get 4 pills, but they were 100mg and the co-pay was $10.00. I asked the pharmacist if I could split the pills and she said yes. For this price ,I decided to try them. They worked just as well as the brand. Like I said, I have used this medication for years and I know how long it takes to work for me. Within about 25 minutes I had the usual sensations that I get with Imitrex and an hour later my headache was gone. You tend to find negative comments about things on the Internet. Not often does someone write about their good experiences so that is why I left a comment here. Maybe this post will save someone some money. Can't hurt to try the generic if the cost for you is quite less.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 02/20/2009 - 2:08pm.

My headaches come in a cycles. I have gone through two cycles so far. Each time, the Dr. Reddy's 100 mg generic imitrex worked just fine, and I had no side effects, unless you count saving $112.50 per month a side effect! Back in the late 1990's I began taking 25mg Imitrex. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. My neurologist switched me to Amerge which I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, my company switched insurance companies and the Amerge became too expensive, so I switched back to Imitrex, only the dosage was increased to 100mg. Since then, it has been smooth sailing. I have been known to split the name brand pill when I was running low so I would not run out completely before I could get a refill. That worked out fine, too. I have not tried splitting Dr. Reddy's yet, but if necessary, I will.

Submitted by Jennifer (not verified) on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 8:54am.

I also recevied the Dr. Reddy Sumatriptin rather than Imitrex. I read everything I could about it. I also checked with a pharmacist friend who assured me that they were not pulling the pills off the shelves and had no complaints. I decided to try it with an open mind when the time came. I've had two headaches now, taken my Dr. Reddy pill and it acts exactly the same in resolving my headaches. I do not feel any different than I did with Imitrex. Once the headache is resolved, I feel fine the rest of the day. For me, there is absolutely NO difference. My prescription was filled after Feb 9, 2009. I'm in a position to get the more expensive Imitrex if needed, but at this point, I see absolutely no reason to do that. I recognize that we are all different and have different issues, but for this individual, with no other health issues, 59 years of age with a few migraines a month, there was no difference in medication.

Submitted by Jaclyn (not verified) on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 9:51am.

On Feb 2 my doc called in my order for Imitrex but I didn't start using them till three days ago. It has been a year since I needed to inject or take a pill...The packaging is very similar to the brand (I didn't realize I was given the generic). Well, needless to say, the generic took much, much longer to work. Afterwards I felt naseau, and my head is still trobbing. This was after taking two tablets. I went back to the pharmacy to complain and return the tablets. The pharmacist would not take them back and made sure to tell me I have been the only one to come back with a negative remark regarding the generic. Unfortunately, the generic is not the same. I will continue with Imitrex and make sure the pharmacy continues to give me brand. Stick with what works for you!

Submitted by Kredyty (not verified) on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 12:22am.

Realy nice write up.
I have also migrens ;/
---
Owner of Kredyty Konsolidacyjne site.

Submitted by Ann (not verified) on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 7:15am.

I notice burning when water sprays on my skin. eg. in the shower, washing dishes, washing hands. I notice more dragginess and fatigue, and some weakness. It wasn't like this on the name brand Imitrex. Imitrex allowed me to go to work and be effective. What good is a drug that makes you so tired you can hardly make it through the day? Yesterday I went home from work early.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 9:48pm.

So if this new generic brand is the exact same formulation as the brand name of Imitrex, why does the generic version NOT work the same as the name brand? This is not something us severe migraine sufferers who can quickly become incapicated by a Migraine attack should discover when the drug we take doesnt do its job yet?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 6:44am.

As many of the people have posted, I have been on Imitrex for 2 years now with great relief. However, last month I was switched to the generic, which of course I was excited about. I take generics with other prescriptions and I don't by into the "hype" that they're not as good.

I am telling you without a doubt that there is something different in Dr. Reddy's formulation of the drug. The first time I took it Not only did my headache not go away but I had such severe muscle pain that I almost went to the ER. I gave it another chance during my next attack with the same effect. I have never had this type of side effect with name brand Imitrex, even when I first started taking it.

The only reason this would happen is if the formula was different. It may have the same amounts of the same active ingredient but perhaps the inactive ingredients are different. It has nothing to do with a psychological dislike of generic prescriptions. Who doesn't want to pay less for the same thing? It's a shame.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 10:11am.

I wondered at first what the difference was. Then I noticed that it's made in Singapore by Penn Labs (a GSK company). Haven't noticed any difference at all with Dr. Reddy, and I've been using Imitrex for 7+ years.

Submitted by Leslie (not verified) on Mon, 03/30/2009 - 3:24pm.

I just took Dr. Reddy's right before I felt like I was getting a migraine. I noticed the pharmacy gave me the generic when I went for a refill, it was cheaper, which was nice. It's made me feel EXTREMELY tired and it didn't start working until after 2 hours. With Imitrex I have side effects and it would work right away but not too bad where I felt like I couldn't function.

Submitted by val (not verified) on Mon, 03/30/2009 - 7:26pm.

IM 30YRS OLD AND HAVE BEEN SUFFERING FROM MIGRAINES SINCE I WAS 10YRS OLD.IN 2007 I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CLUSTER HEADACHES(WORST KIND OF PAIN IVE EVER FELT IN MY LIFE).I WAS GIVEN IMITREX,WONDERFUL WONDERFUL MEDICINE. IT MADE ME FEEL BETTER IN 15MINS,YEAH I STILL HAD SOME PAIN BUT MOST OF IT WAS RELIEVED IN 15MINS. IN DEC2008 I WENT BACK FOR REFILL,AND I ENDED UP WITH GENERIC CAUSE OF COST $10 VERSES $121.00. I HAVE NO PROBLEM AT ALL TAKING GENERIC,BUT LET ME TELL YOU I HAD AN ATTACK(FEB2009) WHEN ONE PILL OF DR.REDDYS DIDNT WORK,I CALLED THE ER SCREAMING AND CRYING ON WHAT TO DO... NURSE SAID TAKE ANOTHER PILL AN HOUR LATER WITH THE PERCOCET THE DR.GAVE YOU...SO TRYING NOT TO BANG MY HEAD ON THE WALL OR POKE MY EYE OUT(CAUSE THATS WHAT YOU TEND TO WANNA DO WITH A CLUSTER HEADACHE)I DID JUST THAT AND FINALLY 3 1/2 HRS LATER IT WAS GONE! THE GUY UP ABOVE SAYS THERES NOT A DIFFERENCE IN THE 2 MEDS,OK WELL IF THERE ISNT THEN WHY IS IT THAT MOST PEOPLE ON HERE ARE TOTALLY UPSET BOUT IT? I MEAN COME ON IF GENERIC WORKED JUST AS GOOD THEN WHY ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING... ITS GOOD THAT FOR THOSE OF YOU ON HERE THAT ARE TAKING GENERIC AND IT WORKS FOR YOU...I ENVY YOU!!TRUST ME I DO...FRIDAY I HAD MILD HEADACHE AND HAD TO SUFFER, IT SUCKED!! THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE TO SUFFER I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK!!AND THOSE THAT HAVE GREAT RESULTS TO DR.REDDYS,YOU LUCKY GROUP!!

Submitted by stacey (not verified) on Fri, 05/08/2009 - 4:11pm.

I find no difference with Dr. Reddy and Imitrex in resolving my headaches. but when I went to get my refill at CVS, they no longer use Dr. Reddy but some other generic...can't remember the name but it is made in New Jersey. I was afraid to try it, since Dr. Reddy already worked for me exactly as the real Imitrex. They are ordering Dr. Reddy for me. Wondered if anyone tried other generics for migraines.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 7:34pm.

My insurance company switched me from Imitrex to Dr. Reddy's several months ago, and I immediately recognized a difference. Same side effects as many posted above -- nausea, light-headedness, fatigue, just a total feeling of being out of it, and very very slow relief from my migraine. Just recently when getting a refill, I mentioned this to the pharmacist, who filled the prescription with another generic Imitrex, this one a Ranbaxy product made by Ohm Laboratories in New Brunswick, N.J. It works much better, as good as Imitrex. For those having problems with Dr. Reddy's, you might ask your pharmacist about Ranbaxy. It works for me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 2:43pm.

Approximately 2:1 postings on this board stating that Dr. Reddy's does not work. Add me to the negative count. You'd expect the negatives to be higher since people like us are more likely to be searching the web for info.

I'd also be interested to hear if another competitor has a generic that works better for more people with fewer side effects. The cost is steep and every time I get a refill I have to do it two or three times because of confusion about the generic (1st they give me the generic by mistake, then charge a $72 copay because they think I requested it, finally the correct $40 copay when my Dr. confirms he requested it).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/07/2009 - 12:59pm.

I too became a "victim" of the mail-order "change my prescription without doctor's knowledge." At first, I'll admit to being pleased that the cost was less! I've received two different generics for Imitrex, namely Dr. Reddy's and another manufactured by TEVA Pharmaceuticals, Sellersville, PA. I've had a lot of success with Imitrex treating my migraines. I had SOME success with Dr. Reddy's generic - but hardly ANY success with the TEVA generic. Most recently, I took a 100 mg of the TEVA when symptoms were beginning, fellow migrainers will understand, "I'm pretty sure this is it, I'm taking a dose." When I've taken Imitrex at this very thought-provoking moment in the past and it worked within 2 hours. Not so with TEVA - three hours later I was SOBBING with pain. I took another dose, then three hours later another dose (making the grand total of 3 100 mg doses). Needless to say I didn't feel "normal" until 24 hours later - and of course, had a rebound migraine, making it necessary to take yet ANOTHER dose!! I see my doctor in a couple of weeks, I will be requesting "DAW - Depense as Written - Imitrex." For me, cost savings isn't worth it - especially when I needed to double or even sometimes triple doses!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/23/2009 - 7:01pm.

Dr Reddy's did not work for me.

Submitted by Steph (not verified) on Thu, 07/30/2009 - 6:50am.

I've tried two generics. Dr. Reddy's and the one produced by TEVA. Of the two, Dr. Reddy's works much closer to the way brand Imitrex does for me. The TEVA brand was like eating candy; it did not work at all for migraines, and was only mildly effective with more severe regular headaches. I've heard before that the generics are never exact duplicates of the original patented medication. They keep the main structure the same but change the "filler" chemicals, which can then make the medications less effective for certain people. I'm suspecting this is the culprit with the generic Imitrex now available... which totally sucks, making this a hit or miss process with finding the one that works...

Submitted by Anne (not verified) on Sat, 08/01/2009 - 5:35pm.

I agree, Dr. Reddy's may have the same active ingredient that brand name Imitrex has, but it does not work the same way. Maybe the filler. I notice nausea and jitters. Yuck!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/06/2009 - 10:08am.

I had been using brand name Imitrex for years for migraine relief and for the last 6 months have been using Dr. Reddy's. What I've noticed is (1) slower onset for relief of pain, (2) incomplete relief of pain, (3) need to re-dose more frequently with Dr. Reddy's brand than imitrex brand to get complete relief, (4)more side effects such as generalized malaise, fatigue, muscle soreness, stiffness for hours after the migraine pain has been relieved. I'm disappointed in the generic brand and would gladly pay the difference to get my imitrex back again!

Submitted by Heather (not verified) on Fri, 08/14/2009 - 6:05pm.

I've had migraines for as long as I can remember, but up until this past year had always been able to control them with a combination of aleve, benadryl, heating pads, and rest. This past year, they got so bad a few times that my husband took me to the ER thinking I was having an annuerysm or something. After a few months of these types of migraines with no relief from my usual methods, I saw a neurologist who prescribed Imitrex for me. I started taking it in Oct. 2008, and it worked beautifully for me. I'd feel the typical muscle tension in my shoulders and chest from it, but it was worth it to feel the migraine relief. In Mar 2009, I got my first refill, and was given generic. The first onset after the refill, I took a pill expecting the usual relief and side effects... well neither one happened. My migraine raged on and I felt no side effects. I felt a little like I had just taken a sugar pill. I think there may be a combination of chemicals in this medication that renders it ineffective to a large population. It definitely didn't work for me.

Submitted by Anonymous Lilly (not verified) on Mon, 08/17/2009 - 5:38pm.

I am almost relieved to see the number of people who say Dr. Reddy's does not work for them. I thought it was just me. Than you for validating my observation. Whereas one Imitrex tablet would take care of a Migraine, I have to take two or three Dr Reddy's. Even if GSK does produce Dr Reddy's, if a person has to take three tablets instead of one to treat a headache, GSK makes the same level of profit and it costs the patient the same in the long run.

Submitted by JayD (not verified) on Sun, 08/23/2009 - 6:21pm.

I too have been taking Imetrix for many many years, starting with the injections. 50mg has always worked well for me. My headache would feel somewhat better after 30 to 45 minutes and tend to disappear totally with an hour or two. The new generic seems to sometimes help alittle, but I seem to often not totally get rid of the headache and have it return in a couple hours instead of disappear. After reading these postings, I definately want to try Imetrix again to see if I can see a difference.

Submitted by jayD (not verified) on Sun, 08/23/2009 - 6:30pm.

I also just thought to mention that Dr. Reddy's pills are whiteish, and the Imitrex pills were pinkish if I remember correctly. One person said they were exacty the same pill with a different package. If they are a different color then there is at least some small difference in the manufacturing and/or composition?

Submitted by Debs (not verified) on Fri, 08/28/2009 - 8:41am.

My pharmacy switched me to Dr. Reddy's generic Imitrex. I have normally cut my Imitrex in half as 50 mg would work GREAT! But with the generic cut in half it does not. I have to end up taking my other half. I am not happy with Dr. Reddy's brand. We can only get nine pills a month and for me that is not enough for the amount of migrains I get. Cutting them in half gave me 18 pills and could survive the month. Now I am using them up faster with the generic leaving me in fear of getting a migraine and no medication. Just the thought gives me a migraine. When I told my doctor they didn't work as good all he said was "well take a whole one". Obviously he has never had a migraine.

Submitted by Terri (not verified) on Mon, 08/31/2009 - 8:41pm.

I don't compare the time it takes to resolve a migraine because each migraine is different, but so far the sumatriptan succinate 100 mg tablets manufactured by Dr. Reddy have worked (they were substituted by my mail-in pharmacy to qualify for a lower price) - one pill per migraine if taken early enough usually does the job. Just as with brand-name Imitrex, if I wait too long to take the tablet, I'll have to take a rescue 6 mg injection. I have not tried a half tablet yet; sometimes half an Imitrex would handle a very early migraine, but it was always a gamble and taking the other half when the headache resumed rarely worked, and the shot was required to resolve the headache so I don't do that unless my supply is low. I take Topamax prophylactically now so I have fewer and less intense headaches than before which has been very helpful. I hope the best for everybody here, I know it's rough... wish they'd just figure out why it happens and fix us! Take care. :]

Submitted by Ingrid (not verified) on Tue, 09/01/2009 - 12:09pm.

So glad to see it's not just me that thinks the generic is not working ! I've had migraines since I was 12 - I am now 36. I have been taking Imitrex since 1994 - a true miracle drug that saved my life - and my job! Now that there is a generic Imitrex available -- Dr. Reddy's -- that's what my insurance co says I have to take. It does not work at all for me. With imitrex, as long as I took it pretty soon into the migraine, I could expect major relief within about 45 minutes. Dr. Reddy's does NOTHING for me. I didn't experience the side effects the others mentioned, but it certainly did not work for me. I took 3 - 50mg tablets over a 3 hour period - and no relief. On the 4th hour, I took my saved up "emergency" real Imitrex - and guess what? It was gone within 45 minutes. I am going to have to fight my insurance company on this one - and perhaps get my Dr. involved to write a letter stating why I must have the real thing - but I don't want to pay the higher brand name co-pay price!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/05/2009 - 11:50am.

I just found this message board. I have been using Imitrex tablets and injections for 10 years to combat cluster headaches.
I just recently got switched over to the generics. There is no question that the generic injections ( made in Singapore) do not work as good- if at all. As late as last night- I had the onset- took an injection - out of vial - about 1/2 does that always works with Imitrex- no result- cluster headached persisted all night with 3 major occurances - something that has never happened in 10 years of my using Imitrex. I have expereinced the same thing with the 100mg pills.
There is something different and no question the generics are NOT as effective - although much cheaper but who cares- when you seek relief.
I have no objection to generics and welcome them - when they work- something is very wrong here in terms of 'exact formulas'. One wonders that if Glaxo authorizes the generic if they purposefully do so on a sub-par basis to get folks back to buying the real Imitrex and much higher prices ???

Submitted by josephsking on Tue, 09/29/2009 - 9:42am.

sumatriptan succinate is technically the same drug you were getting from the name brand, however it is not just the active ingredient that makes the drug work. When producing a generic they use less expensive binders (Ingredients to hold the pill together) and this can cause a significant reduction in absorption of the drug for some people. Everyone is different and this causes a lot of problems for the pharmaceutical and insurance companies. A lot of insurers will not cover brand names drugs ever though they are aware of this problem. My suggestion is to contact your insurer and explain the problem, that way there might be a chance that it will be covered-but there will be a higher co-pay for the name brand medication. If your migraines are as bad as mine-then you will probably be happy to pay a little more to make sure that you can treat them effectively. I really hope this helps you. I have advocated for myself and others to the FDA and all of the major pharmaceutical companies to get policies changed regarding the forced use of generic medications. Things will change, it just takes time. Hang in there and I wish you all good health!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/14/2009 - 6:04am.

The first Dr. Reddy's pill worked.  For the second and third pills for later migraines, Dr. Reddy's did nothing.  Worst migraines I ever had, since I was afraid to take Advil due to possible drug interactions.

Submitted by LisaZ (not verified) on Tue, 10/27/2009 - 11:52am.

I have suffered with severe migraines for years with limited to no success with different medications. Some would work great at first then, over time stop giving reliable relief. Then I tried Imitrex. It has been awesome! When I heard there was a generic, I was even happier. First one worked fine. The next two, so-so. And this last one -nothing. I was curled up in the dark throwing up all night like I hadn't taken anything. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their experiences with Imitrex vs. the generic. This is exactly the info I hoped to find. I was so worried that I was building up a tolerance/resistance to yet another med. After reading this, I called my doctor. She is talking with the insurance co. to see about fixing things for me -keeping my fingers crossed.

Submitted by dbalisy on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 11:49am.

This is the fist time that I've ever "blogged" about anything but I am so frustrated with my doctor's response to my suggestion that the generic sumatriptan succinate is not the same as the name brand, Imitrex, that I had to reply.  I received the generic medication by TEVA Pharmaceutical (which is manufactured in Israel, by the way, not China) when I received a refill by mail about four months ago.  The first time I used the medication it didn't work, which rarely happened with Imitrex.  I also felt much more tired and very light-headed.  I did have some side-effects with Imitrex (slight tightening in the throat and prickly all over when showering) but it almost always worked and I never felt dizzy or light-headed.  I have taken the generic three times and each time have felt VERY light-headed for at least two hours and the migraine did not resolve completely.  My doctor gave me the insurance company party line that the generic is made to the same formulation and even in the same facility for the first six months...HA!  I have done some reading about generic VS brand name drugs and have found that "bioequivalency" and "identical" are legal terms in these cases and DO NOT mean "identical."  The generic drugs have to match up to a point, but can use different fillers, etc, which can alter the absorption and how an individual responds to them.  Why would a drug company that spent millions of dollars researching and developing a drug, give away their exact formula??  They wouldn't!  Many physicians will not approve certain generic drugs for many of their patients. 

Submitted by Anonymousse (not verified) on Sat, 11/07/2009 - 11:24am.

I think Glaxo / Par is engaged in collusion and price fixing. The cost per shot for Imitrex injectables went from $50, where it was at for many years, to $195.

I wonder if they did it because the FDA approved it for use on cluster headaches, meaning more insurance companies will now pay for it. The fines aren't doing it. I hope that those responsible are incarcerated and disallowed from ever holding jobs in the pharmaceutical industry again to protect society from them.

Submitted by shnook (not verified) on Wed, 11/11/2009 - 10:23am.

I have suffered since age 11 with migraines. They have been worse lately.
Immitrex aways worked for me. They had given me Dr. Reddy's in the past and it worked great. Then they started giving me Sumatriptan by TEVA This is ridiculous hardly helps at all. I have been on the phone all morning trying to get Dr. Reddy's walgreens tells me they can get it CVS is working on it. If not I will transfer to wallgreens. Its teh same packaging and pill as immitrex and I find it works as well :)

Submitted by Carynel (not verified) on Thu, 11/12/2009 - 9:15pm.

I have had migraines for over 20 years and was even a test subject in stage 3 trials for oral Imitrex before it became available. I have taken the Dr. Reddy's with great success - felt the relief as quickly and completely as name brand Imitrex. However, last time I called in to the mail order pharmacy that my insurance says I must use, they gave me the TEVA tablets made in Isreal. They do not work. It takes 2 100 mgs to make my migraines go away, it normally takes 1 50mg of Imitrex or Dr. Reddy's. I am now using 3 times as much medication, so any savings there may have been by buying the generic, are quickly being used up by having to refill and buy more medication. (TEVA must be laughing all the way to the bank). I may file a complaint w/ the FDA to investigate the contents of the TEVA sumitriptan. (I know it may take years for them to follow up on the TEVA brand but at least I will be able to say 'I told you so' ; )

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 11:34am.

Count me as another data point, as someone for whom Dr. Reddy's didn't work at all. I too have had migraines for 10+ years, have taken Imitrex and it's always worked. Always. This past Friday, I woke up with a migraine, took the generic (Dr. Reddy's), nothing happened. Took another. Took about 5 of them (the 50mg ones) total, and it wasn't until the NEXT MORNING, late morning at that, that what had turned into one of the worst migraines I've ever had started to downgrade into just a severe headache.

I'm not bothering with this crap anymore. I'll pay the ridiculous price for real Imitrex, or try some other migraine med. That was just a horrible experience.

Submitted by mimi (not verified) on Tue, 12/15/2009 - 10:16am.

I just got off the phone with my sister, who also has migraines, and we were discussing this very subject! We both feel that Imitrex changed our lives, and made it possible for us to do things that people who don't have migraines take for granted. Name brand Imitrex always worked like a charm, minor side effects, but it always worked quickly and with no after-effects. Since our insurance started filling our prescriptions with the generic, we absolutely do not get the same level of relief. It takes longer, we have to take multiple doses, and I have rebound headaches that I didn't have with the name brand. The Dr Reddy's seemed to work ok, not as well as the name brand Imitrex, but it still worked in a reasonable amount of time, even though I had to take more and had the rebound headaches afterward. My Dr. said that I am not getting the same relief because I need to take a larger doseage, but I'm just not sure that's the answer here. I agree with everyone else that they can tell me the ingredients are the same until the "cows come home", but I don't believe it. Either the binders are different, or something.  My CVS recently changed to the TEVA brand and it doesn't work as well as the Dr Reddy's.  I mentioned it to them, and they said it was all they could get.  Hmmm...

I hate to even mention it, because I am so grateful for any relief I can get, but is it possible that someone, somewhere down the line is making an extra dollar off of this process at our expense? Hope not. Anyway, not sure what I'm gonna do because of the cost, but it feels good to vent!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/23/2009 - 11:43am.

Totally agree. Episodic CH sufferer with no relief from Dr. Reddy. Imitrex always worked for me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/24/2009 - 4:01pm.

Ditto to the comments on this page. Dr. Reddy's does nothing for me. Imitrex took care of the problem 100% of the time. I will be contacting my insurance company and including a print-out of this site. Thanks all for sharing your experiences.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/04/2010 - 7:34am.

I agree with all the negative comments. I have tried Dr Reddy's and Teva, neither worked nearly as well as Imitrex, I thought they were suppose to be the same! The are definelty not.  My Dr recently presciped another medication by Imitrex 85/500, which is 85 mg of Sumatriptan and 500 mg of Aleve, it works much better that either of the generics and there is no generic for this. I don't know why this is still on the market, GSK is the only one thatn can make it right. I was not aware of so many people haveing so many problems with the generic, I thought maybe the prescription just did not work as well for. The generic is the same price for me as the Imitrex so I aske the pharmacy to change it back to the Imitrex.

Submitted by EW (not verified) on Tue, 01/19/2010 - 6:20am.

I have had migraines since early childhood. I can recall having these sick headaches where I needed to go to bed for the rest of the day as a young child (as early as age 7). As I grew older I used and abused over the counter meds and later took various prescriptions to deal with headaches. I often can have multiple headaches in a week.

I began taking Imitrex in 1993. It really changed my life. I could now move ahead and do things, able to have relief within an hour or two.

Recently the insurance has switched me to the generic Imitrex (currently Dr Reddy's). It often does not work or takes much longer to take effect. I also have a larger incidence of incomplete relief and return of the headache. It forces me to return to the days of living with a headache and trying to get through the day. It also causes me to take larger dosages coupled with over the counter meds to try to rid the pain.

Overall- it is lousy for me. I will need to talk to my Dr and my insurance to see what choices I may have.

Submitted by chris (not verified) on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 5:00pm.

I just reported their sumatriptan succinate tablets to the fda. They did not work for me. They were manufactured by Penn labs, a glaxokline company, said made in Singapore. Does that tell you anything? They do not work. Report them to the FDA.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/01/2010 - 10:52am.

I have taken Imitrex for years--worked wonderful and was fast with few side effects. I tried Dr. Reddy's and it seemed to make my migraine WORSE. I was like one previous blogger who stated they felt the need for the ER. I tried a second pill and the migraine became less sharp, duller, but no real relief. I was nauseated, fatigued, sweaty--TERRIBLE!!!! I am getting no help from pharmacies or doctors. Everyone will tell you it's all in your head---they are made the same, same ingredients, blah, blah...they do not work the same. My Imitrex went up from $56 copay to $187 copay. I can't afford that and now I'm worried. Has anyone tried the Ranbaxy Generic?

Submitted by Susan Froehlich (not verified) on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 2:12pm.

I have been suffering incredible headaches all my life. Imitrex was a godsend. Dr. Reddy's does not work nearly as well. My pharmaceutical rep gave me a good analogy. Two cooks can have the same recipe and the cake can be very different. I do not trust that Dr. Reddy's is made by the same company as Imitrex unless they are made in different plants with alternate quality of ingredients. I am going to take the advice of the previous writer and report to the FDA.

Submitted by Kenvid (not verified) on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 10:05am.

I have tried the Dr. Reddys in the past and found it to be not as effective as Imitrex but it usually worked after a much longer time than Imitrex. Recently I have tried the Teva brand and it actually made the headache worse. I was nauseous and throbbing and had to lie down for hours. I did not want to take another for fear of making it work. I usually take either Relpax or Treximet (never together) and I find the Relpax to be more effective. The generics are definitely not as good as Imitrex and I hesitate to even ponder if they are potentially dangerous. They have sickened me on numerous occasions now and I am going to have to throw them out.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 03/24/2010 - 9:41am.

I too have had migraines since I was a child. I have been to 3 neuros with no help. The only thing that has kept me going is my Imitrex. I have always used generic perscriptions and the only one I ever had problems with was the Topomax generic until now. I could take 2 100mg Dr. Reddys and still not have relief. The other day I went to refill them and the pills have changed. It still said Dr. Reddys, but the pills weren't triangle shaped. I don't know what else changed, but now I can take one and they work just like the Imitrex. Has anyone else gotten the new shaped pills?

Submitted by Cinda (not verified) on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 7:50am.

I have suffered from migraines since I was 6 years old (46 years!). Imitrex was an absolute MIRACLE drug for me. Started on injections and then switched to pills with equal success. My migraines would be completely gone within 30 minutes with NO side effects. In 2009 my pharmacy switched me to Dr. Reddy's and I experienced comparable relief. I would have to double dose occasionally, but I assumed this was because I was cutting the pills. My MD prescribed 27 per month (25mg), but my insurance would only cover 9 per month. At my MD's suggestion, I got the 100mg and split them into 4 pieces (difficult to do since they are triangular). I did this with the original Imitrex and the Dr. Reddy's. Last week my pharmacy switched to another generic Mylan sumatriptan and it is a disaster. As before I split the 100 mg tablets (round) into 4 pieces. I am getting no relief whatsoever. Pain is as intense as ever even after multiple doses. I called the pharmacy to see what could be done since insurance had already covered it for this month. They said they had received similar requests and told me to call my MD and request him to re-prescribe Imitrex (with no generic substitute) and also for him to request an insurance over-ride. Haven't heard anything back yet - but I'm hopeful and will be happy to have my miracle Imitrex back again!!!!

Submitted by di (not verified) on Fri, 04/02/2010 - 7:50am.

I'm 29 yrs old & since Nov 2009 my entire life was turned upside down. After multiple doctors, urgent care, Emergency room visits I was prescribed imitrex generic. Appears to work very quick but after a few hours the pain of this cluster headache comes right back. So, far this week I missed 3days of work. As a single mom I'm mentally getting depressed as I feel this condition is controlling my life. I want to try the imitrex shots rather than the pills to see if I can have some "normality" back in my life. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Please help? I feel like a broken record at the doctors office.

Submitted by mwest (not verified) on Tue, 04/20/2010 - 9:49am.

I have had migraines for years. I was switched to Dr. Reddy's generic a year ago, and it worked for me. I do have to say I didn't realize I was switched to a generic since the packaging looked the same. Then a couple of days ago I was switched to the Mylan generic. It did not work after taking two 100 mg tablets. I've been in 2 days of migraine hell because of it. I'm thankful for this thread because I wouldn't have figured out the reason for the medication ineffectiveness as quickly. I called the Walgreen's pharmacy, and they acted like it was my problem. They said, "You've been on a generic for a year." Luckily I had kept an old bottle and saw that I had been switched off of Dr. Reddy's. When I pointed that out, then I was curtly told, "Well we don't carry Dr. Reddy's anymore." Time for a new pharmacy. :)

Submitted by Linda Kish (not verified) on Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:52am.

I am 70 years old and have had migraines since my teens. Would be in bed in dark room for up to 4 days so the migraine meds were a God send. I too agree with the people who say that Dr. Reddy's which my insurance forced me to change to does not work as well. I have another complaint and that is how it is packaged. I can't get them out without a metal tool! That is just crazy. No other meds are packaged this way. I wonder if anyone at Dr. Reddy's ever reads our comments. I doubt it!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/24/2010 - 10:58am.

DOES WORK,THIS CRAP WALGREENS GAVE TO ME DOESNT,WHY ISNT HE SELLING IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!! I HAVE HAD MIGRAINES SINCE 10YRS OLD AND STARTED IMITRIX AT 34YRS IT WORKS!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 5:18pm.

The Dr. Reddy's brand worked for me almost as well as the name brand Imitrex. Now my pharmacy has switched over to Mylan. It is terrible! I had to take two pills, followed by 2 Goody powders over a 5 hour period for relief. That's insane. I too use Walgreens and Dr. Reddy's Sumatriptan is not available anymore. My insurance wont pay for name brand if there is a generic available. I will be switching over to Treximet immediately.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/15/2010 - 11:27am.

I was recently switched from Dr Reddy to Mylan brand. Mylan is HORRIBLE. Not only does my headache come back in 3-4 hours (which it only very rarely did with Imitrex or Dr. Reddy) but I am getting rebound headaches which never happened for me before. I called Walgreens and the Pharmacist was super nice about it. She said she would called the warehouse distributor and see if she can get me Dr.Reddy brand. She called back the next day to let me know she could get and I am now going to pick it up. Ask your Walgreens pharmacist to do the same. MYLAN is TERRIBLE!!

Submitted by Dave Mc. (not verified) on Mon, 05/17/2010 - 9:20pm.

I started on brand name Imitrex many years ago, switched to Dr. Reddy's about 6 months ago, and now got Mylan for my last refill. All three have worked identically (great)for me ... which means headache is gone after about 45 min to 1 hour.

I feel very bad for all you who are having trouble with the generics? Not sure what to say ... but they work for me. Best I can tell I'm the only one who reports success with all three brands? Maybe only those having trouble tend to report their experience? I can't imagine they would get FDA approval with the near zero success rate reported here? Does anyone know if there were blind trials for the generics?

Peace!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/18/2010 - 12:27pm.

I suffer from very severe migraines and sumatriptan (in combination with klonopin) is the only thing that really seems to seriously make any dent in my migraines. I stared taking sumatriptan when it was still covered by patent protection (ie imitrex)... it really worked wonderfully.

About a year ago I switched over to Dr. Reddy's generic sumatriptan and that was a whole different story. TERRIBLE experience. It offered ZERO relief after taking a 2x dose. I'm now taking Ranbaxy's generic sumatriptan and it seems as effective as Imitrex ever was. Go figure.

What I do know is that there are slight variations between different manufacturers formulations.
If I recall correctly there can be up to 10% variations (+/-) in the amount of active ingredient ( in this case sumatriptan) contained in a pill. For certain individuals this may be quite significant, while for others... not so much. In addition the manufacturing/purification (synthetic pathway) may vary; meaning you end up with different "inert" filler compounds and trace byproducts ( a 100mg pill has a mass greater than 100 mg. The rest of the mass is accounted for by filler compounds, coating, etc.)

These are just some possible reasons why a particular generic MIGHT work differently for you. Just some food for thought.

Best of luck to all!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/23/2010 - 8:14am.

I also just received the new Dr. Reddy's pills, and they are not the triangular shape. I always used to cut my triangular 100 mg Imitrex (and generic triangular shaped) pills so that I could have enough to last for the migraines I got each month, but these new pills say "do not cut." Has anyone tried to cut these new shaped pills in half; if so, does it work? I also am very disgusted by the forced change to generic but am trying to see if it works.

Submitted by bydlo (not verified) on Wed, 05/26/2010 - 8:40am.

I have taken Imitrex for years and 1 tablet of 25mg or 50mg always worked. I was pleased when the generic came out, and pleased when the Dr Reddy was packaged the same as the brand. (by the way, packaging & tablet shape has since changed so it is not manufactured by the company that makes brand). I could not believe that the generic DID NOT WORK however I got the same side effects of dry throat, frequent urination and overall feeling of 'terrible' for a while. If I dose the generic TWICE I get SOME relief. I am a pharmacist and have had no problems with generics but this is a great concern. I plan to file an FDA report and switch to FROVA. My insurance will only pay for brand if I pay the difference with is a lot. This makes me wonder about the generic I have used for patients, and if I have mislead them for years.

Submitted by Allison (not verified) on Fri, 06/11/2010 - 7:58am.

I have the same problem. Imitrex has always worked for me. I would only have to take one dose of 50 mg. I've taken 3 - 50 mg tablets of Dr. Reddy's brand and it just doesn't work. I'm going to the doctor today to request Imitrex (non-generic) again.

Submitted by Quee (not verified) on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 4:16pm.

I've had migraines since I was three or four years old, diagnosed at age twelve. I took Imitrex into my twenties, then darned if they didn't go away completely by the time I was in my late twenties. Talk about bliss! Now I'm in my 40's and they've come back unfortunately, always around 'that time' of the month, and can last as long as a week if I don't take anything for them. My doctor prescriped sumatriptan, and I was originally given Dr. Reddy's, which worked better than Imitrex for me.

With Imitrex if I didn't catch the migraine in the first hour it started to develop, it didn't work at all for me. With Dr. Reddy's if I took it anytime during a migraine it would stop it in its tracks in less than an hour with a curious side effect. It felt like the migraine was being 'chased' around my head if that makes sense - it would start and stop in different parts of my head. Very strange, but not the worst feeling in the world considering that it lessened and went away very quickly.

Well now I just got a refill, down to my last tablet of Dr. Reddy's, and Walgreens gave me sumatriptan manufactured by a company called Mylan based in Morgantown West Virginia. I haven't used them yet and I'll take my last Dr. Reddy's before I do but I thought I'd check around. It sounds like only one person on this thread has had any luck with Mylan's, and it's been pure hell for everyone else. Not a good sign but I'm willing to try anything.... once.... If it doesn't work I'll shop around to see if I can get Dr. Reddy's back. I'm not sure about Imitrex since I had such a narrow window to take a pill, after which it wasn't effective at all.

Submitted by mich_bail on Wed, 06/30/2010 - 9:47am.

Hi! Just wanted to say that Dr. Reddy's didn't do anything for me whereas Mylan's knocked the pain out almost immediately. I have never tried Imitrex before, so I cannot compare Mylan's sumatriptan to Imitrex's.

Also, I didn't have the "migraine hangover." Usually, I am worthless the whole day of the migraine (and sometimes into the next day), even after it is gone. With the Mylan sumatriptan tablet, I was up and working as usual.

THANK YOU MYLAN!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 07/02/2010 - 5:40pm.

Hi, I took a Dr. Reddy's immetrex earlier today. Actually 1/2 of 100mg. Got very dizzy and headache is not completely gone. Very scary. My blood pressure seems to be going up and down. I never had any problems with real Immetrex. Can't find anywhere what happens when you cut them in half. I never had a problem before, but did notice when I switched to generic it takes approx. an hour to work. Only about 15 - 20 minutes with the real stuff. I was going to switch to 50mg but was running out and they said it would have to be preappoved to change doses. So I left it at 100mg even though half works 95% of the time.

This is a new prescription I just received in the mail. Huge difference in price. But..........if Dr Reddy's is the same, why is it capsule, oval shape this time and Dr. Reddy's I just finished was triangular like the real thing. When I first switched to generic it was oval too, but I don't know what the brand was. Just noticed it took a lot longer then too. Didn't seem to have any problems with the triangular generic. Once , the mail service was out of the generic and they sent the real thing (only once}

Because of the side effects listed for Immetrex, -heart problems - These side effects are scary.
If I mention the side effects to the neurologist they seem to blow them off. As does any doctor I have ever mentioned them too. Why do they put them on there if they are going to ignore them. My GP also blows them off. You would think if you are on immetrex they would at least check your heart on a regular basis.

Anyway, not sure what to do now.
I just got my life back after 30yrs. when I found immetrex.

I guess I will try reporting to the FDA too.

I have been taking Immetrex about 6 years.

Take care, good luck.

Submitted by Steven (not verified) on Tue, 07/20/2010 - 12:12pm.

I have taken Dr. Reddy's for over a year now and have found no difference between the generic and imitrex...same side effects, takes the same amount of time to work, etc.

Unfortunately they discontinued it from what Walgreens tells me, now I don't know what to do. The generic they gave me now for imitrex didn't work at all and i suffered through a terrible migraine.

someone asked about cutting the pills in 1/2. i do it all the time with the 100mg, so i get a 50mg dose which works just as well, just a little bit slower before it kicks in, but saves a bunch of money. make sure you wrap the unused end well for next use.

and as far as side effects go, does anyone else get EXTREMELY hungry as a side effect when they take imitrex/Dr. Reddy's? I never see that mentioned, but it always happens to me...and no, i'm not fat, i'm a 6ft. 190lb. male.

#71: Wow...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/25/2010 - 1:47pm.

So I called the pharmacy because the generic did not work for me at all! They said they would give me the name brand but listen to the price difference... $7 for the generic and $69 for the name brand. Now of course i have no option but to pay the $69 because I cant just suffer. I cant believe they are selling the generic and acting as if its the same thing when it clearly brings no relief. I have yet to come across a single person that says the generic worked for them.

Submitted by creedm (not verified) on Thu, 09/23/2010 - 2:56am.

I must be unusual. I have been using Imitrex since it first came out in injection form. I get migraines at least 4xmonth sometimes more. They are affected by barometric pressure and not due to hormone fluctuations. I began using Dr. Reddy three years ago when I found a UK pharmacy that honored US scripts and will allow me to order as many as I want. They were already carrying generic at 1.00/pill including shipping. Dr. Reddy works great for me, in fact, better than the brand had worked the last few years. I have cut them in half and have found it really depends on when I take the med. If I take it right away as soon as my aura begins 50mg and 2 excedrin will knock it out. Most times I do not take it right away as I am working (I am a registered nurse) and forget or the headache comes during sleep. Also imitrex tends to make me urinate a lot so it is difficult to take at work since nurses barely get a lunch break let alone numerous pee breaks! I have also noticed my migraines have started throbbing in the front of my head rather than the temple which throws me off and tends to cause me to treat them later in the cycle. I tried the new Imitrex mixed with Aleve and it was okay but not worth the price. I only used it because of a coupon available.

I do have issue with the packaging of all Imitrex whether brand or generic - do these manufacturers not realize that when you have a migraine you need quick access to your drug. Also, it would be nice to be able to take individual packaged pills with you in your purse or pocket.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/27/2010 - 6:23am.

I have to say that Dr. reddy pills did not work for me at all. I am now going to try the Mylan brand and hope for the best

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/27/2010 - 10:43am.

Yes generics should be the same biochemically, that's basic. But no, I don't believe they always are, and Dr. Reddy's Sumatriptan is a case in point. It comes down to the tangibles of the manufacturing facility and its quality control processes. I find Dr Reddy's products suspect and I will not buy them.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/23/2010 - 8:03am.

I have suffered from migraines for over 20 years. After trying pretty much everything (prescription-wise) I was pleased to find relief after taking Imitrex (brand name). I have not had to deal with side-effects from taking Imitrex.
When the generic version came on the market, my insurance chose to switch me to this formulation. After months of trying the generic (and with a failure rate of nearly 100% to treat my migraine with a single dose of a 100mg tablet, it takes 2 to 3 tablets each migraine and several hours when utilizing generic form)I have easily come to the conclusion that the brand name Imitrex is far superior to the generic.

[My daughter also suffers from migraines and has come to the same conclusion that I have arrived at. In addition, we have both had different manufacturers of the generic sumatriptan.]

Submitted by GeriGirl422 on Tue, 12/14/2010 - 10:33am.

This generic is a miracle drug for me. It works exactly like the brand Imitrex. Not only does it take away the WORST migraine, but I notice that when I take it, it calms down my arthritic pain all over my body. Has anyone ever experienced this?

Submitted by Kathleen McIntyre (not verified) on Fri, 12/31/2010 - 6:19am.

I am now on my second type of generic Imitrex (pharmacy driven). With the first generic the pills came packaged individually in blister packs (as the Imitrex pills were packaged). With this new generic version the pills are no packaged individually but come in a standard prescription pill vial. The original generic worked fine for me. This new version however is much less effective and after 2-100 mg pills within 24 hours I am left with a moderate migraine. I thought that maybe my migraines were just getting worse, but then thought about how the lower effectiveness of my medication correlated with this new "bulk package" generic and found this board when I Googled. Need to get with my doctor ASAP and find a new solution.

Submitted by Kiefmo (not verified) on Mon, 02/14/2011 - 10:36am.

My wife has taken imitrex and now a generic for years with great success. The pills were always packaged in an airtight light proof bubble. She ran out of her regular insurance mail supplied pills so she had her doctor call in a prescription to Walgreens. The Mylan made pills came loose and unprotected. When I took them back, the pharmacist dismissed my concerns as if I were a complete idiot to question him. Now my aggravation with him notwithstanding, we were always told that sumatripton had to be kept protected in order to stay effective. When my wife started taking the pills she even called the manufacturer to ask if they could package them so that they were easier to access. They contacted her back saying that while they understood her issue, it was absolutely imperative that they be packaged as they were. Even the Mylan website states that the pills should not be removed from their protective bubble. So what gives? Is Walgreens selling an inferior or even ineffective product just to make a few extra bucks? Does anyone know if the bubble packaging requirement has changed and if so, how?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 2:24pm.

I have been any many different sites and blogs about generics. I have had personal experience with three drugs From TEVA where they switched me without my knowledge and I have had problems with the generics.
We need to speak up again and again until someone listens and investigates this problem

Submitted by jmac13 on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 7:56pm.

I too was sadly disappointed in the reduced efficacy of Dr Reddy's generic sumatriptan, but I resigned myself to it after Blue Cross upped my copay on the name brand from 40 per month to 225. Today I refilled, and was given pills marketed by a company called Northstar Rx. I Googled to try to find any commentary on it, but so far nothing. I'll report back on my experience with it if no one else has tried it. Thanks!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/16/2011 - 2:05pm.

It is not the same. While the sumatriptan may be the same medicine, the Dr. Reddy 100 mg sumatriptan pill is twice the size of the 100 mg sumatriptan pill I used to get from a US laboratory. It is the filler that is making us sick. I am returning my Dr. Reddy pill to CVS. Since CVS can no longer order the pill from the US lab, I will get a prescription from my doc so I can order good old Imitrix from an online pharmacy. Stay away from this Dr. Reddy pill; it will make you sick.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/05/2011 - 7:33pm.

I can't believe it has taken me so long to realize its the generic that isn't working for me. I have believed in generic drugs for years, my mom is a nurse, so when a generic for Imitrex came out I was excited. As time progressed and it didn't work for me I assumed that Imitrex in general wasn't working for me, that I had built up a tolerance to it. Needless to say I have been in migraine hell. None of the other triptan drugs work for me and now I've tried a combination of other drugs to no relief. My doctor gave me some samples of the treximet (imitex & aleve) I almost told him to keep them thinking it was pointless. It worked! I am now questioning the generic like many people on this site.

Thank you!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 07/10/2011 - 7:34pm.

I did a search for Dr. Reddy's because I was wondering about it. The pills are dispensed by my pharmacy in loose form (not in blister packs). If it is the same stuff as the brand name drug, why can the brand name medication not be removed from the wrapping until immediately prior to use and why is the brand name med not supposed to be repackaged, but Dr. Reddy's can be? Very fishy... Then, interestingly, I read others' complaints about the side effects .... aches, etc. As I sit here, I have another headache and I feel horrible all over. I have not been able to figure out what is wrong with me. Perhaps nothing other than messed up migraine meds.

I have done okay on the Teva generic. But the Dr. Reddy's loose pills have been bad.

Thank you all for your postings.

Submitted by Profits from my pain (not verified) on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 8:39pm.

I've been blessed with chronic migraines for over 15 years now, and reluctantly started taking Glaxo's over-priced Imitrex about 12 years ago. Unlike most of you people, I've had to PRIVATE PAY the price-gouging nonsense that GSK sets to capitalize on my personal misfortune. The majority of my money goes to GSK. Years ago, I was so relieved to hear that their greedy patent was going to run out, and competition would drive the price down to something more humane. Seriously GSK--$30 per pill---and people bitch about high taxes? Try losing all your money to pay for their greed...Anyhoo, Dr. Reddy is a subsidiary of GSK--so much for competition. While Dr Reddy's were not as effective as the original, the REAL RIP-OFF NOW IS MYLAN's VERSION!!!! For me, the stuff does not work and requires taking three or 4 times the amount normally taken with the original...Sumatriptan is a big $$$$ for corporations and it looks like they still want their big cash, instead of providing sensibly-priced relief for sufferers of the most painful disease known to medical science! Thanks for making huge profits from my personal misfortune, and also for playing games with my life by making a TOTALLY RIDICULOUS GENERIC...

Submitted by elton john tickets (not verified) on Mon, 07/18/2011 - 10:28pm.

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Submitted by Edrocks (not verified) on Sun, 07/31/2011 - 9:12pm.

I have been following this posts for awhile and had been nervous about taking Dr Reddy's Generic. I want to post and say I got a migraine at 3:15pm took the pill and by 5:30 I was able to swing golf clubs with my kids with a dull headache. So people dont be scared of trying it. I feel it work the same as imitrex.

Submitted by Jill (not verified) on Tue, 10/11/2011 - 1:51pm.

I was fine with trying the generic until I too noticed a difference. I have to take twice as many genetics, for twice as long, and my headache doesnt really go away. Just because the generic has the same ingredients doesn't mean it is the same. Ever tried cheap wine? Parmesean cheese that is not Kraft? There are many variables besides ingredients when it comes to manufacturing pharmaceuticals.
Perhaps the different responses to the generic can help all headache suffers. Why does the generic work well for some and not for others?
I will pay the $260 for 9 imitrex brand pills rather than compromise my quality of life and medical care! I do not have a lot of money, but I will not be forced to take the generic when it does not work as well!

Submitted by Momof5 (not verified) on Sun, 12/18/2011 - 4:14pm.

5 years ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Daily Migraine. Imatrex was my only defense, pharmacy switched to generic which pleased me to save $$$ but it DOES NOT work. Now I'm finding the same response from many other migraine sufferers. Great that it works for some but it can't be exactly the same ingredients. We can't all be making this up!!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 8:46am.

Sumatriptan (oral route of administration) for acute migraine attacks in adults.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/05/2012 - 8:50am.

BACKGROUND: Migraine is a highly disabling condition for the individual and also has wide-reaching implications for society, healthcare services, and the economy. Sumatriptan is an abortive medication for migraine attacks, belonging to the triptan family.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy and tolerability of oral sumatriptan compared to placebo and other active interventions in the treatment of acute migraine attacks in adults. SEARCH
METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, online databases, and reference lists for studies through 13 October 2011.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised, double-blind, placebo- and/or active-controlled studies using oral sumatriptan to treat a migraine headache episode, with at least 10 participants per treatment arm.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We used numbers of participants achieving each outcome to calculate relative risk (or `risk ratio`) and numbers needed to treat to benefit (NNT) or harm (NNH) compared to placebo or a different active treatment.
MAIN RESULTS: Sixty-one studies (37,250 participants) compared oral sumatriptan with placebo or an active comparator. Most of the data were for the 50 mg and 100 mg doses. Sumatriptan surpassed placebo for all efficacy outcomes. For sumatriptan 50 mg versus placebo the NNTs were 6.1, 7.5, and 4.0 for pain-free at two hours and headache relief at one and two hours, respectively. NNTs for sustained pain-free and sustained headache relief during the 24 hours postdose were 9.5 and 6.0, respectively. For sumatriptan 100 mg versus placebo the NNTs were 4.7, 6.8, 3.5, 6.5, and 5.2, respectively, for the same outcomes. Results for the 25 mg dose were similar to the 50 mg dose, while sumatriptan 100 mg was significantly better than 50 mg for pain-free and headache relief at two hours, and for sustained pain-free during 24 hours. Treating early, during the mild pain phase, gave significantly better NNTs for pain-free at two hours and sustained pain-free during 24 hours than did treating established attacks with moderate or severe pain intensity.Relief of associated symptoms, including nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia, was greater with sumatriptan than with placebo, and use of rescue medication was lower with sumatriptan than with placebo. For the most part, adverse events were transient and mild and were more common with the sumatriptan than with placebo, with a clear dose response relationship (25 mg to 100 mg).Sumatriptan was compared directly with a number of active treatments, including other triptans, paracetamol (acetaminophen), acetylsalicylic acid, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and ergotamine combinations.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Oral sumatriptan is effective as an abortive treatment for migraine attacks, relieving pain, nausea, photophobia, phonophobia, and functional disability, but is associated with increased adverse events.

Submitted by Esskaydee (not verified) on Fri, 03/23/2012 - 11:14am.

What a relief to find an (unfortunately) ever-growing list of consumers who are suffering needlessly (as am I) with Dr Reddy's generic version of Imitrex. I have been taking Imitrex (injectable at first, then by tablet when they became available) since I was diagnosed as a migraineur in 1991. I was thrilled to have a refill of sumatripan succinate drop in price from $239 for 9 tablets to a co-pay of $15 for 9 tablets. However, I have consistently had to take AT LEAST two tablets over an agonizing time span to achieve HALF the level of relief that ONE tablet of Imitrex unfailingly provided me within one to two hours. I really thought I was crazy until I found this blogspot. There is quite obviously something wrong here, people! I will return to paying over $200 per refill rather than waste any more hours of my life suffering unnecessarily because of this ineffective 'generic.' Shame on you, Dr Reddy's.

Submitted by Jen in Maine (not verified) on Fri, 04/20/2012 - 4:57am.

I took 1/4 of the 100 mg generic and then the other 3/4 a few hours later and still no relief. I was so confused I thought I must have taken the wrong pill (it was in a case with other pills). Nope - it just is not working. I can take 1/4-1/3 of the real Immitrex and have relief in 1/2 hour. I ask for the 100 mg prescription from my doctor so in case I have more than the maximum number of migraines allowed by my prescription drug plan!

Submitted by jams3281 on Thu, 05/03/2012 - 7:29am.

I have to use Express Scripts as my mail order pharmacy through my insurance. When generics for Imitrex came out, they started giving me Ranbaxy brand. It worked the same as Imitrex, no difference at all, for me. Then last year, Express Scripts started sending me the Dr Reddys brand-- may as well be a sugar pill. It does not phase my migraines at all, not even after the 2nd dose. I contacted Express Scripts to see if they could send me the other generic I was getting, ranbaxy. They said my Dr would need to write a new prescription for it and specify Ranbaxy only. Or, i can fill my presciption at my local pharmacy who uses Ranbaxy. But I pay $12.50 for 3mnths supply through mail order--which is an ENORMOUS savings over the Brand Name Imitrex. If I start having it filled at my local pharmacy once per month, then its $15 per month. I would much rather pay $45 for 3mnths supply at the local pharmacy for Ranbaxy than pay $12.50 for 3mnths supply of Dr Reddys-- for something that does NOT work at all.

Submitted by Deerfield (not verified) on Sun, 07/22/2012 - 5:27pm.

I had to switch from 50mg to 100mg when I started taking the generic. The new problem is Dr. Reddy's now requires scissors to open the package and I don't carry scissors in my purse or suitcase.

Submitted by dalrok (not verified) on Tue, 07/31/2012 - 12:10pm.

I just had to have my neurologist do the exact same dance that "jams" described in his/her post. Dr Reddys is just ineffective garbage for me and I'm asking Express Scripts to send me only Ranbaxy, which HAS worked for me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 10/15/2012 - 8:23am.

I have read all the comments submitted about Immitrex and Dr Reddys sumotriptan generic with interest. I have had migraines for about the last 30 years and tried most drugs that will relieve them. Immitrex injectables were the best but very expensive. The pills worked well but not as well as the injections, but they were also expensive. I was very eager to try Dr Reddys generics when they came out and have been using them for the last 2 years. The problem with them is that on average 2-3 pills in every blister pack do not work at all and the ones that do work are unpredictable. By that I mean sometimes they work immediately giving complete relief, sometimes they work partially and sometimes not at all. This suggests poor quality control, not an unknown problem where this pharmaceutical is manufactured.

Submitted by Dr. B (not verified) on Tue, 12/04/2012 - 8:08pm.

This is a well established phenomenon in my experience and practice. I personally know 5 individuals saying the same thing. Also, I add my own repeated experience. For some reason the generic does not work as well. And I was biased the other direction! I set out to prove the generic was jut as good as the original.
You wrote a very concise, well supported position. It is just hard to compete with so much first-hand experience.
Disclaimer: I make no suggestion at diagnosis or treatment. This is casual patient to patient discussion only.

Submitted by Michael from Buffalo (not verified) on Fri, 12/07/2012 - 9:58pm.

One more data point: I've been given Teva's generic sumatriptan and it does nothing for me. The brand name hasn't always worked for me, but I've had better success with it. (I get classic migraine with aura and take the pill at the onset of the aura, so it *should* work.) If I opt for the brand name drug, I have to pay $100 (for 9 pills!), so I'm just giving up on triptans altogether.

Submitted by toxic (not verified) on Wed, 12/26/2012 - 8:32pm.

Remember before generic Imitrex, Glaxo packaged every pill individually at the factory. [Blister packs are at the pharmacy.] There was a reason to do so- to avoid humidity and/or oxygen (in the air) from breaking down the active ingredient. My prescription (50 mg tablets) switched over to Dr Reddy's when generics came on the market, and I found them not to be effective all the time- had to double them, or ride out the headache. I figured out that storing them in rice (to prevent water vapor from attacking- hydrolyzing?- the active ingredient) helps maintain the effectiveness. I am debating getting a vacuum device (usually for food drying) to attempt to remove excess air and humidity simultaneously. Dr Reddy should have data on their production method (ie, no individual packaging) and the life of the active drug- if they don't now, they should generate such data for their clients.

Submitted by Anonymous12345 (not verified) on Sat, 01/26/2013 - 11:01pm.

I've suffered from migraines for over 15 years and Imitrex has worked wonders. I just got a refill and for the first time was given this generic version. I've always been open to generic versions of anything, and they've worked fine. This, however, actually did nothing to help my migraines and added some dizziness, nausea, and extra throbbing pain. After three days of attempts with this generic version, I've called and requested the brand name version again. It's worth the extra money just to have the relief.

Again, this is the first time in my entire life (40+ years) that a generic version has not worked as well as the name brand version. I don't understand why, but the "why" isn't as important to me as just getting some relief.

Submitted by dhauf (not verified) on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 3:42pm.

The pharmacy claims there is no difference, but indeed there is, after I too had been duped into the 'cheaper' Sumatriptan vs Imitrex then called the pharmacy back to say it wasnt working, & could I take an Aleve with another one? The pharmacist then said "Absolutely, as a matter of fact that creates a whole new migraine medication which is actually more expensive than Imitrex if bought under its own name"...so that's what i do now, pop an Aleve with my Sumatriptan(50mg) & poof, bye-bye migraine!



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