Benefits of using this medication

Sumatriptan belongs to a class of medications known as 5-hydroxytryptamine agonists (also called “triptans”). It is used to treat migraine headaches with or without aura (warning signs that occur prior to the onset of a migraine). The pain of migraine headaches is thought to be caused by dilated blood vessels inside the head. Sumatriptan relieves migraine headaches by constricting these blood vessels.

Sumatriptan isn’t recommended for other types of headache or for headache prevention.

This medication may be available under several brands and/or in several different dosage forms. Any brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the dosage forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed in this article. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed in this article.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their physician has not prescribed it.

dosage forms of medication

25 mg
Each white, triangular, film-coated tablet, engraved with “N” on one side and “25” on the other side contains 25 mg of sumatriptan (base) as the succinate salt. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and crospovidone. Film-coating consists of titanium dioxide, polydextrose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, triacetin, and polyethylene glycol.

50 mg
Each white, triangular, film-coated tablet, engraved with “N” on one side and “50” on the other side contains 50 mg of sumatriptan (base) as the succinate salt. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and crospovidone. Film-coating consists of titanium dioxide, polydextrose, hydroxypopyl methylcellulose, triacetin, and polyethylene glycol.

100 mg
Each pink, triangular, film-coated tablet, engraved with “N N” on one side and “100” on the other side contains 100 mg of sumatriptan (base) as the succinate salt. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and crospovidone. Film-coating consists of titanium dioxide, polydextrose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, triacetin, polyethylene glycol, and synthetic red iron oxide.

dose of medication

The recommended adult dose of the tablets ranges from 25 mg to 100 mg. The most common dose is 50 mg.

If the headache returns, or if there is partial but not total relief, the dose may be repeated after 2 hours. If a dose has not helped your headache at all, don’t take a second dose without first consulting a physician. Not more than 200 mg should be taken during any 24-hour period.

The tablet should be swallowed whole with water, and not crushed, chewed, or split.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your physician.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your physician has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, don’t change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your physician.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Contraindications to the use of the medication

Do not use sumatriptan if you:

  • are allergic to sumatriptan or any ingredient of the medication
  • are taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) or have taken them within the past 2 weeks
  • don’t have a clear diagnosis of migraine
  • have angina (chest pain), including Prinzmetal’s angina (coronary vasospasm)
  • have blood vessel disease (e.g., ischemic bowel disease, Raynaud’s syndrome, stroke, transient ischemic attacks [TIAs])
  • have certain types of migraine headaches (including hemiplegic, basilar, or ophthalmoplegic migraine)
  • have had a heart attack
  • have heart disease (e.g., heart valve disease, ischemic heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, congenital heart disease)
  • have high blood pressure that is severe or not under control
  • have severely reduced liver function
  • have taken another 5-hydroxytryptamine agonist (i.e., naratriptan, rizatriptan, zolmitriptan) in the previous 24 hours
  • have taken ergotamine-containing or ergot-type medications (such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, or methysergide) in the previous 24 hours

side effects of the medication

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below aren’t experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your physician.

These symptoms may occur in some patients and in this case, you should refer to your consultant. But the majority of the patients don’t suffer from any side effects, so do not stop using the medicine because of fear of in listed side effect . , .

Contact your physician if you experience these side effects and intolerable. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • burning, discharge, pain, or soreness in the nose (nasal spray)
  • burning, pain, or redness at place of injection (injectable form only)
  • change in taste sensation
  • decreased saliva
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • feelings of (in any part of the body):
    • burning
    • coldness
    • heat
    • heaviness
    • numbness
    • pressure
    • strangeness
    • tightness
    • tingling
    • warmth
    • weakness
  • flushing
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle aches
  • nausea or vomiting
  • tiredness

Although most of these side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you don’t check with your physician or seek medical attention.

Check with your physician as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • loss of colour in fingers or toes
  • shaking, tremors, or uncontrolled movements
  • skin rash, hives, itching, or bumps on skin
  • slow, fast, or pounding heartbeat
  • unusually cold hands or feet
  • vision changes (usually temporary)

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • convulsions (seizures)
  • fast or irregular breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of vision
  • lower abdominal pain or severe rectal bleeding (blood in the stool or black, tarry stools)
  • persistent purple discoloration of hands and feet
  • severe allergic reaction (e.g., swelling of the face or throat, hives, difficulty breathing)
  • signs of a heart attack (symptoms include pain, pressure, tightness, or heaviness in the chest, jaw, neck, or shoulder; sweating; or shortness of breath)
  • signs of a stroke (e.g., sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or problems with speech; sudden vision problems in one or both eyes; sudden dizziness or loss of coordination; sudden severe headache, especially if it seems different from your usual headaches)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your physician if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

precautions of the medication

Before you start using a medication, be sure to inform your physician of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Allergy: If you are allergic to sulphonamides (sulfa medications) you may experience an allergic reaction to sumatriptan. Reactions range from a skin allergy to a serious allergic reaction. If you are allergic to other medications in this class (5-hydroxytryptamine agonists such as rizatriptan and naratriptan) you can also have an allergic reaction to sumatriptan. If you are allergic to any of these medications, you should not take sumatriptan unless advised to do so by your physician.

Blood pressure: Sumatriptan may cause an increase in blood pressure. If you have severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, don’t take sumatriptan.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Drowsiness may occur as a result of taking this medication. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.

Heart disease: This medication may cause narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart. This can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, and other heart problems. For this reason, sumatriptan should not be used by people with heart or blood vessel disease. If you have certain risk factors for heart disease (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, family history of coronary artery disease, menopause, men over 40 years of age), tell your physician. If you experience symptoms of a heart attack (e.g., pain, pressure, tightness, or heaviness in the chest, jaw, neck, or shoulder; sweating; or shortness of breath), get immediate medical attention.

Injection: The injectable form of sumatriptan should never be taken intravenously (into a vein).

Kidney function: The effect of reduced kidney function on how sumatriptan acts in the body has not been evaluated. Sumatriptan isn’t recommended for use if you have reduced kidney function.

Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your physician how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your physician may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.

If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your physician immediately.

A lower dose of sumatriptan may be needed for people with reduced liver function. However, sumatriptan isn’t recommended for use if you have severely reduced liver function.

Medication overuse headaches: As with other pain relief medications, overuse of sumatriptan may lead to medication overuse headaches, or “rebound headaches” where the headache returns as the medication wears off. Avoid taking more of this medication than is recommended by your physician. If you experience more frequent headaches, contact your physician as soon as possible.

Seizures: There have been rare reports of seizures experienced by people taking this medication. Most of these people had a previous history of epilepsy or medical conditions that increase the risk of seizures. If you have a history of epilepsy or other condition that increases your risk for seizure, discuss with your physician how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Serotonin syndrome: People who use sumatriptan along with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., paroxetine, citalopram, fluoxetine), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs; e.g., venlafaxine), or other medications that act on serotonin, may experience serotonin syndrome. This syndrome is severe and can be life-threatening. If you are taking antidepressants, discuss with your physician how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

If you experience symptoms of serotonin syndrome (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, fast heartbeat, fever, increased reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) after using sumatriptan, get immediate medical attention.

Stroke and bleeding around the brain: Rarely, this medication may cause cerebrovascular events such as stroke and bleeding around the brain. If you have had a previous stroke or are at risk for it, talk to your physician about the use of this medication. If you experience signs and symptoms of a stroke (e.g., sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or problems with speech; sudden vision problems in one or both eyes; sudden dizziness or loss of coordination; sudden severe headache, especially if it seems different from your usual headaches), get immediate medical attention.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your physician immediately.

Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking sumatriptan, it may affect your baby. Talk to your physician about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for adolescents and children under 18 years of age.

Seniors: There is limited experience with the use of sumatriptan by people over 65 years of age. The use of this medication by seniors isn’t recommended.

Drug-Drug interaction of the medication

There may be an interaction between sumatriptan and any of the following:

  • amphetamines (e.g., dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine)
  • anti-psychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzepine, quetiapine, risperidone)
  • bromocriptine
  • doxepin
  • ergot-containing medications (e.g., dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, or methysergide), if taken at the same time or within the previous 24 hours
  • linezolid
  • lithium
  • MAO inhibitors (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine), if taken at the same time or within 14 days of taking sumatriptan
  • meperidine
  • methylene blue
  • metoclopramide
  • other 5-hydroxytryptamine agonists (e.g., rizatriptan, naratriptan, zolmitriptan), if taken at the same time or within the previous 24 hours
  • rasagiline
  • selegiline
  • St. John’s wort
  • SSRI-type antidepressants (e.g., paroxetine, fluoxetine, sertraline, fluvoxamine)
  • sibutramine
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, imipramine, nortriptyline)
  • tryptophan
  • venlafaxine

If you are taking any of these medications, talk to your physician or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your physician may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications doesn’t always mean that you must stop taking one of them. talk to your physician about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your physician or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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