Sumatriptan is a medication prescribed for the treatment of migraines. Its purpose is to alleviate migraine symptoms such as pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Sumatriptan can help you get back to your regular activities and possibly decrease your reliance on other pain relievers.
This medication is classified as a triptan drug and functions by influencing serotonin, a natural substance that causes constriction of blood vessels in the brain. It may also alleviate pain by impacting certain nerves in the brain. Despite its benefits, sumatriptan does not prevent future migraines or decrease the frequency of migraine attacks.
Uses and Dosage
Follow your doctor’s instructions and take this medication by mouth with or without food at the first sign of a migraine. The dosage will be determined based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Refrain from taking additional doses of this medication if there are no improvements in your symptoms without consulting your doctor first. If your symptoms only partially subside or if your headache returns, you may take another dose after at least two hours from the first dose, but do not exceed 200 milligrams in a 24-hour period.
Sumatriptan can also be used as a backup to a sumatriptan injection. If your symptoms are only partly relieved or your headache comes back, you can take one dose of sumatriptan by mouth at least two hours after the injection. The maximum dose in a 24-hour period is 100 milligrams.
If you have a higher risk for heart problems, your doctor may perform a heart examination before prescribing sumatriptan. They may also require you to take your first dose of this medication in their office to monitor for serious side effects such as chest pain. Consult with your doctor for further information.
Using medication for migraine attacks for more than ten days per month can potentially worsen your headaches. Adhere to the prescribed dosage and do not use the medication more frequently or for longer periods than advised.
Inform your doctor if you require more frequent usage, if the medication is not working as expected, or if your headaches are getting worse.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- tingling feeling
- feeling warm or cold
- upset stomach
- muscle cramps
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- pain, tightness, pressure, or heaviness in the chest, throat, neck, and/or jaw
- slow or difficult speech
- breaking out in a cold sweat
- shortness of breath
- weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- sudden or severe stomach pain
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- bloody diarrhea
- sudden or severe stomach pain
- sudden weight loss
- paleness or blue color of the fingers and toes
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- redness, swelling, or itching of the eyes, face, lips, or throat
- change in vision
Before taking sumatriptan, inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, including to this drug or other substances. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that could cause allergic reactions or other complications.
Before taking this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have or have had blood circulation issues, certain types of headaches (hemiplegic or basilar migraine), heart problems, liver disease, seizure, or stroke.
Certain conditions can increase your likelihood of developing heart problems. Inform your doctor if you have any of these conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a family history of heart disease, overweight, smoker, postmenopausal (women), or age greater than 40 years (men).
This drug may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Drinking alcohol or using marijuana can intensify these symptoms. Do not operate machinery, drive, or undertake any activity that requires alertness until you can do so safely.
The risks of heart disease, liver disease, and high blood pressure increase with age. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, specifically increased blood pressure and heart problems.
During pregnancy, use this medication only when absolutely necessary. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk in small amounts. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Imitrex is available in the following forms and strengths:
How often can you take Imitrex?
If you take Imitrex too often, you may develop rebound headaches. It’s recommended that you take Imitrex less than 10 days per month, to avoid this side effect.
Should you lay down after taking Imitrex?
Lying down in a quiet, dark room for a while after you use this medicine may help relieve your migraine.