This is an informative article about the medicine Sumatriptan, a triptan drug used for migraine relief. In what follows, the reader can expect to find information about the use of Sumatriptan, its ingredients, how it works, what potential side-effects it may cause, which other drugs it may interact with, and important contraindications. Sumatriptan is not indicated as a preventive therapy for people who suffer from chronic migraine, it only works during an acute migraine attack.
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Reviewed by Dr Yasmin Aghajan, MD
Information last reviewed 07/31/19
Sumatriptan is a drug used to treat the symptoms of migraine headaches, and belongs to a class of drugs called triptans. Usually, migraines involve severe, throbbing headaches, which are sometimes accompanied by sensitivity to light and/or sound, neck stiffness, and nausea (feeling sick). Doctors at Medzino can issue a prescription for Sumatriptan 25mg, 50mg, or 100mg if you suffer from migraine.
Sumatriptan works by narrowing the blood vessels in our head (constriction), which are believed to cause headache whenever they temporarily widen (dilatation). In other words, constriction helps to stop pain signals to be sent to the brain, hereby blocking the release of substances that cause pain, nausea, and other symptoms.
The active ingredient in Sumatriptan is sumatriptan at a concentration of 25mg, 50mg, or 100mg.
Sumatriptan also contains the following inactive ingredients: lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, acesulfame potassium, magnesium stearate and colloidal silicon anhydrous.
For migraines, the dose is either 50mg or 100mg once, taken at the onset of the migraine. If the initial dose was only partially effective or ineffective, you may repeat the dose (either 50mg or 100mg) after 2 hours. The maximum dose is 100mg per dose, or 200mg per 24 hours.
To be the most effective try to take Sumatriptan at the onset of a migraine. However, you can still take it throughout the migraine. It is not to be used to prevent migraine. Take with water or other fluids. Do not split the tablet or crush it.
Sumatriptan should not be taken on a scheduled basis; rather, it must only be used on an as needed basis at the start of a migraine. If the migraine started hours ago, you may still take Sumatriptan.
You should call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 and seek immediate medical attention such as going to the emergency department. An overdose of Sumatriptan could have severe consequences. Do not delay seeking medical care.
Common side effects of Sumatriptan include:
If any of these side effects persist or cause discomfort, talk to your physician.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following rare but serious side effects:
Some drugs interact with Sumatriptan and must therefore not be taken with Sumatriptan. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:
In some cases, it is not recommended to take Sumatriptan. Do not take Sumatriptan in the following cases:
For your own safety, tell your doctor if you present any further risk factors:
Generally, no. Sumatriptan is only to be used for migraines with headache, as it helps relieve the headache. Ocular migraines will resolve on their own with rest and supportive care. Sumatriptan should not be used to treat migraines without headaches.
Sumatriptan is neither a prevention nor a cure. It is an as needed symptom relief medication for acute migraine attacks. There are other preventive medications available for migraines. There is no cure for migraine.
Sumatriptan is only useful for the treatment of migraines and other similar neurologic painful conditions (such as cluster headaches). It is not a classic “painkiller” meaning it does not work to treat general aches and pains. It is not a controlled substance like opioids.
Many studies have evaluated the safety of -triptans and have found them to be safe. The caveat is that Sumatriptan and other -triptans should not be used more than 10 times a month, as this increases the risk of rebound withdrawal type headaches.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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