The drug now known as Treximet has been approved for sale in the USA (on the 15th of April, 2008). It’s expected to hit the shelves any time now, as a prescription medicine.
But what is Treximet (formerly Trexima)? And is it worth all the hype?
Actually, I’ve written about Treximet several times before (here for example) – it’s been in the testing phase for a long time. It’s a combination drug – containing sumatriptan succinate (Imitrex) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). You can expect to see more drugs like this in the future, as Triptans such as sumatriptan go generic and companies look for new things to sell.
With the approval, I thought it would be a good time to summarize the good and the bad about this much talked about drug.
First, the good. Tests have shown that it seems to work well. Tests were done on a mostly female Caucasian group with migraine. Results? Noticeable relief from pain both short term (after 2 hours) and longer term (up to 24 hours). And better relief than from either key ingredient alone, or a placebo. In the end, Treximet seems to work a little faster and better than either drug alone. Trexima uses something called RT Technology, which gets the ingredients into action in your body quickly.
The other benefit is that it also seems to help with nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Sounds great, right? Well, there are a few concerns about Treximet. Most of these come from the fact that it’s a combination drug.
For example, sharp readers will notice that Treximet was compared to sumatriptan succinate and naproxen sodium in the clinic trials – each by itself, but not in combination. With the expected price of the pills, we have a right to ask – is Treximet really that much better than just taking sumatriptan succinate and naproxen sodium together? With the changes over the next few months, it looks like that option would be far cheaper.
Speaking of cost, will insurance companies be willing to cover Trexima prescriptions?
Another good question – do you need Trexima every time you feel you need to take an abortive medication? In other words, might you want the sumatriptan alone sometimes, and would your doctor and insurance company allow you to have both? And if you take Treximet in the first dose, do you need the combination again for the second dose? (Good discussion on that here)
Being a combination drug, you do get the potential for side effects from both ingredients – for example, increased risk of stroke and gastrointestinal problems (from the naproxen sodium – typical for this type of drug).
So, might Treximet help you? Yes. But proceed with caution to avoid both over-paying and over-drugging. Keep informed on this discussion. And feel free to join in with your comments.