Cluster Headaches: Imitrex Injectable vs. Generic Sumitriptan Succinate

If you suffer from cluster headaches you’re likely familiar with Imitrex injectable. You’re also likely to be familiar with the high price of Imitrex. The introduction of a generic version last year was welcome news. I’ve been taking the generic version for some weeks now, 4mg doses no more than 3 times per day and so far the generic version seems to work the same as the branded version. The cost is dramatically lower for the generic version. At my local Target, the cash price for two doses of was $214 for branded Imitrex vs. $164 for the generic.

One question I had was whether or not the generic and branded were the same; bottom line is they are. You can use the same stat dose pen kit. I made the following video to illustrate the differences.

A little more about me – Cluster Headaches

Cluster Headaches - JD FletcherThose you that have known me for some time know I suffer from cluster headaches. From Wikipedia:

Cluster headaches are rare, extremely painful and debilitating headaches that occur in groups or clusters. They may also be described as “suicide headaches”, a reference to the excruciating pain and resulting desperation that has culminated in actual suicide.

A lot of people think they’re migraines, but they’re not. They rate much higher on the pain scale than a migraine. They affect men more than women. They are fast onset headaches, so fast that oral medications don’t work, I have to give myself an injection of Imitrex when I get one. There is the other difference – where migraines happen ever so often, clusters can happen in my case 3 to 4 times per day over a 6-8 week period of time. And when they’re done, they’re usually gone for a year. I’m lucky about that, some people the remission only lasts for a few months or so. Anyway, I found this video on YouTube, and it’s scarily eerie to what happens to me when I have to suffer through one (fortunately that isn’t too often).