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Imigran Nasal Spray and Injection Discontinuations

Nasal spray and injectable forms of Imigran are no longer available in Australia. 

What is it? 

Sumatriptan was the first triptan to become commercially available in the 1990’s as a targeted acute medication to reduce the symptoms of migraine attacks, and is widely recognisable under the brand name “Imigran”. The oral form has a number of generic suppliers in Australia as well as the branded form.

Typically the oral form (tablets) will be initially prescribed. However some patients may not be able to take this, or it may be ineffective due to severe nausea or vomiting. Nasal sprays and a self-injectible form were being supplied by Aspen Pharma.  These forms have the benefits of being quicker acting, and able to be effective even if vomiting. These are still self-administered so that they can be taken in the early stages of an attack when most likely to be effective, and they do not require a trip to a healthcare facility.

None of the other triptans are currently available in a non-oral formulation in Australia.

What happened?

Unfortunately, Aspen Pharma has discontinued their nasal sprays and injectable forms of sumatriptan as their supplier is no longer manufacturing these products.

Aspen have confirmed to Migraine Australia that after an extensive search they have been unable to source an alternative manufacturer.

This occurred at the end of 2023, and the wholesaler stock is now depleted (some pharmacies may still have stock). As they were the only nasal spray supplier, there are currently no suppliers of this form in Australia.

An alternative supplier of the injectable form is still available with the brand name “Clustran” (6mg only).  

Please note that tablet forms of the medication are not affected and are still readily available.

This is incredibly disappointing as these forms of medications are used when the more widely available medications are ineffective. Discontinuations have a massive impact on peoples lives when there is no readily available substitute.

What do I do now?

A compounding pharmacy may be able to prepare a nasal spray on request. Please confirm with your choice of pharmacist, however note that a lead time of at least 2 weeks will likely be required in order to import the raw ingredients, and the spray produced will have a shelf life of approximately 28 days.

The cost involved will vary according to the pharmacy chosen, but is likely to be more expensive than the previous commercially available options as it will be a special order. 

Depending on your circumstances it may also be possible to move to the injectable form (Clustran), or to an alternative triptan.

Nurtec is also a newer option on the market for acute treatment, however please note this is not yet on the PBS so is still very pricey.

Please see your GP or neurologist to discuss the options.  Join the Migraine Warriors Australia Support Group to connect with others who understand what you are going through.

Posted 9/4/24

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