Is Imitrex (Sumatriptan) Safe During Pregnancy?

 Imitrex During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a delicate time, and you need to be careful about what you eat and drink. And although most moms experience intense pain and more discomfort than they normally do, they refrain from taking medications. It’s probably because some medicines are safe for pregnant women, while some can lead to nasty complications for you and your unborn baby.

And, if you have a proclivity to migraine-induced attacks, they may become more severe during the first trimester. While you may be tempted to take Imitrex or Sumatriptan, is it safe for you, and can it lead to any health problems for your unborn baby? Read our post below to get the answer to the question and some more information about taking Imitrex during pregnancy.

What Is Imitrex Or Sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan is a type of medication, which is marketed under the brand name Imitrex. Imitrex is the first official triptan medication, which means it can help to constrict your blood vessels and stop the dilation of your blood vessels. As a result, you will not get the throbbing sensation and pain that you experience while having a migraine attack. Imitrex is considered as one of the best medications to reduce the effects of a migraine. It can not only reduce the number of attacks but in some cases, can also help you alleviate other related symptoms of a migraine. Some symptoms that the Imitrex medication helps relieve include the throbbing sensation, nausea and severe sensitivity to light [1].

[ Read: Migraine Medication During Pregnancy ]

Is Imitrex Safe During Pregnancy?

While you are pregnant, taking triptans (Sumatriptan is a type of triptan) is relatively safer than taking any other drug to reduce the effects of a migraine. Some other drugs it regularly finds a comparison with include ergotamine tartrate and dihydroergotamine. As safe as it maybe to take Imitrex during pregnancy, here are a few things that you should be aware of before you decide to take Imitrex or sumatriptan while pregnant:

  • Medical research is ongoing, and there have been many studies to understand the effects of Imitrex or Sumatriptan on the unborn baby when the mother takes it during her pregnancy. However, most of these studies are done on animal subjects and not on humans. The studies conducted indicate that the use of triptans should be limited to only as a pregnancy category C drug.
  • Sumatriptan is the first triptan the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved for use during pregnancy. It was first introduced in the U.S. market in the year 1992 and has one of the biggest shares in the triptans that are available in the U.S market today.
  • The types of effects that taking Imitrex or Sumatriptan during pregnancy can have on the unborn baby depends on several factors. Some of theses factors include whether the medication is administered orally, nasally, or parenterally. Some of the most common effects taking Sumatriptan or Imitrex while you are pregnant can cause; a low weight of the baby at the time of birth, preterm labor, and delivery, as well as certain abnormalities in the unborn baby that may or may not be minor.
  • According to various animal studies conducted on the effects of Sumatriptan, or Imitrex, on the unborn baby, it was found the Sumatriptan crosses the placenta in rabbits and reaches the unborn fetus.
  • According to the few studies that have been done on the effects of Sumatriptan in humans, an approximate 15 percent of the entire dose crosses the placenta at a gap of every four hours. It means that about 15 percent of the entire dose given at each time can cross the placenta and reach the unborn baby every four hours [2].

Medical Studies Conducted On The Effects Of Sumatriptan Or Imitrex During Pregnancy:

Here is a case study conducted on the side effects of Sumatriptan on women who were pregnant and how it affected their unborn babies:

At the moment, Sumatriptan is categorized as a pregnancy category C drug. It means that the government does not recommend the use of the drug for any woman who is pregnant unless the doctor feels that the effects of not taking the drug will be more harmful than the effects of taking the drug. In other words, it means that the use of the drug is not recommended for pregnant women unless the benefits of the drug usage will justify the risk that it can cause to the unborn baby. So, it is a double edged sword!

1. Method Of The Study:

For the particular study, the medical research team studied three types of adverse effects. The three different outcomes studied were abnormalities in the unborn baby, spontaneous abortion, and various obstetric complications. The researchers conducted four clinical studies and filed two case reports to discover data and tabulate their findings.

2. Conclusions Of The Study:

The medical research team reached the conclusion that when the pregnancy is categorized as pregnancy category B and C, it is safe and even recommended to take Sumatriptan. What this means is that during the earliest stages of the pregnancy, if the doctor refers a pregnant woman Imitrex, she is not at a very high risk of causing adverse effects to her unborn baby.

However, it is extremely important to remember that you can only take the drug once your doctor prescribes it. Under no circumstances should you use it as a means to reduce your migraine-induced pain and discomfort while you are pregnant. Remember to speak to your doctor before you consider any such line of treatment [3].

While a migraine attack can be extremely painful and uncomfortable to handle, especially when you are pregnant, make sure you first speak to your doctor about all possible treatment options.

Moms, did you face migraine attacks while you were pregnant? Did you try any natural remedies that were safe and that helped? Do share them here with other moms here. Leave a comment in the box below.