New Needle-Free Sumatriptan Delivery
Imitrex (Sumatriptan) injectable was launched in 1993 in the United States and quickly became the gold standard for fast & effective treatment of a migraine attack. It was the first “triptan” on the market and was quickly followed by an oral and nasal delivery form of Imitrex. Other triptans followed and there are now 7 triptans available in the United States. They include Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Axert, Relpax, Amerge and Frova. Triptans are the most migraine specific medications we have for the acute treatment of migraine. Imitrex now comes in a generic form called Sumatriptan.
Until 2010, Imitex stat-dose (4 & 6 mg) was the only injectable triptan available. The quick onset of action (10 minutes) and the non-oral route made it ideal for:
- Migraines associated with nausea & vomiting
- Rapidly escalating migraine attacks
- Morning migraines
However, some patients do not like to give themselves an injection and may be “needle phobic”.
SUMAVEL Dose Pro is unique. It is a needle-free system that delivers 6 mg Sumatriptan subcutaneously. It offers the same 10 minute onset of action as injectable Imitrex (Sumatriptan) and the same advantages of a non-oral delivery system.
How does it work? The SUMAVEL Dose Pro is a self-contained injection device with 3 simple steps:
- Snap (snap off the cap)
- Flip (flip back the lever)
- Press (press against the skin)
The device is pressed against the skin of the thigh or lower abdomen. It should not be injected through clothing. The Sumatriptan is delivered into the subcutaneous tissue by the force of compressed nitrogen gas that is released once the unit is activated. There is an audible “whoosh” as the nitrogen gas escapes. Once the “whoosh” sound is heard, the Sumatriptan has been delivered. After administering the Sumatriptan, the entire unit can be disposed of in the regular trash. There is no needle to dispose of. At this time the unit is not recyclable but plans for that are underway.
How is it prescribed? It comes in a 6 mg dose. It can be injected as needed for a migraine attack and may be repeated in 1 hour to a maximum of 12 mg in a 24 hour period. It is FDA approved for the treatment of migraine with and without aura and for cluster headache in adults ages 18 and older.
Can it be combined with oral triptans in the same 24 hour period? It is not recommended to combine different triptans in the same 24 hour period. However, I feel it is OK if the oral triptan is Imitrex, generic Sumatriptan, or Treximet since they all contain the same triptan (Sumatriptan). Please call our office if you are unsure about this issue.
What are the side-effects of SUMAVEL Dose Pro? Side-effects may include a feeling of chest tightness, flushing and warmth. Local injection side-effects can include swelling, redness and bruising. A small drop of blood may be present after delivery. In the majority of patients, SUMAVEL Dose Pro is very well tolerated.
In summary, SUMAVEL Dose Pro is a new & unique non-oral delivery system for Sumatriptan. It offers the quick onset of action and effectiveness of injectable Imitrex but without the needle. To learn more, visit SUMAVELDosePro.com
If you feel you can benefit from this new delivery system and medication please call our office and we can set up an appointment. I look forward to demonstrating this unique needle-free injectable system and teaching you how to get fast, effective and needle-free relief from an acute migraine or cluster headache attack.
Our office phone number is 949-861-8717.
Susan Hutchinson, MD Director-Orange County Migraine & Headache Center