Treximet was released in May of 2008, by GSK Pharmaceuticals, who make Imitrex (sumatriptan).
According to the makers, it was to be a vast improvement over Imitrex. Like Imitrex, it is made to be taken at the onset of a migraine, but is supposed to work faster and better to reduce migraine pain. GSK has spent several years and millions of dollars researching and "pre-marketing" Treximet in anticipation of FDA approval and product launch.
Is Treximet Better Than Imitrex?
So what's the deal? Is this really better than Imitrex alone? From a strict treatment point of view, yes, the medication probably is better than Imitrex alone for a migraine. The reason for this is twofold. First of all, several years ago, Dr. Silberstein of the Jefferson Headache Center was able to demonstrate through research, that Imitrex combined with naprosyn taken at the onset of a migraine was better in treating that migraine than either drug alone. Such a combination is deemed synergistic, meaning basically that two plus two equals ten. Naprosyn is the prescription form of Aleve which is sold over the counter and is an anti-inflammatory. Once this research was confirmed, GSK began to develop a combination drug.
The second reason this drug might be better is something called RT technology. GSK has developed this and uses it currently for its Imitrex tablets. Think of it as "burst" technology as the tablet does burst apart when it begins to dissolve. This may speed absorption, and speed is of the essence when treating a bad migraine.
I Can't Afford Treximet
All treatment benefits aside, is this new medication really a great deal? Well for some, maybe not. One of the reasons a combination drug is usually developed is because the patent on the original drug is about to expire. And sure enough, that is what is happening to Imitrex this year.
Unfortunately, samples of Imitrex have disappeared from doctor's offices. For those who have prescription coverage, the best answer is to ask for a prescription for naprosyn and take both pills at the onset of a migraine. Failing that you could just take two Aleve tablets with your Imitrex. If you have coverage you can get $50.00 off your prescription by visiting the Treximet site.
For those with no prescription coverage, hang in there! Two pharmaceutical companies who make generic drugs have announced that they will be manufacturing sumatriptan (generic Imitrex) by the end of 2008. Once that is available, it will open up the availability of the drug for millions of migraineurs who previously could not afford the drug. Even with no prescription coverage, the generic may be cheap enough to afford by paying cash. The downside to generics is, different fillers which are cheaper are used in manufacture. GSK still holds the patent on RT technology so it most probably will not be available in the generic sumatriptan.
Generic midrin might be a nice option if you are having financial issues.
Cautions With Treximet
The most common side effects with Treximet are GI upset and this is due to the naprosyn component. Anxiety, dizziness ans worsening headache may also happen.
As will all medications in the class of triptans, you cannot take these medications if you are pregnant, have uncontrolled hypertension or heart problems such as coronary artery disease. You also should not take it if you currently have severe GERD (acid reflux) or have a peptic ulcer or are allergic to naprosyn. Check with your provider to be sure before taking any new medication and remember, treat early and treat fast to get rid of migraines.