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Stroke Diary

Injectable Sumatriptan


As I've mentioned here many times migraines are the biggest problem for me post stroke other than the epilepsy. The most effective drug for these is a triptan. I started on Maxalt Melt (rizatriptan which you place under your tongue) but when the local CCG were tightening their belts they made my GP switch me to sumatriptan (which is now off patent so a lot cheaper).

Now sumatriptan works ... after a fashion. It's a 50mg tablet and it does get rid of my headache after about half an hour but it still leaves my brain like mush for hours afterwards.

Anyway today we were off to visit friends. Before we set off I had a bit of a headache so took a couple of paracetamol thinking it wasn't a mig. I was wrong, it was, and by the time we got there I had a blinding headache ... and no sumatriptan. D'oh.

However the good news was that one of the people we had gone to see was a fellow migraineur so I asked them if they had any triptans to hand. They did and it was sumatriptan, but in the injectable form using an epipen, not tablets.

Now I know you're not meant to take other people's meds but given it was sumatriptan, just in another format, and I was desperate, I decided to risk it.

Not where I injected (ahem)

The first five minutes were a bit worrying. I felt "odd" in my head and I wondered if I was going to have a partial seizure. But that passed and after ten minutes the headache had gone. So that was a lot quicker than tablets.

But here's the best bit: I felt perfectly normal again. No mushy brain at all. In fact I felt positively good.

So my next problem is how I explain to my GP how I came to do this, despite all the instructions not to take other people's meds, and to see if I can get a prescription for my own supply.

Written 08/07/18

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