What is sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan is a headache medicine. It is believed to work by narrowing the blood vessels around the brain. Sumatriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms.

Sumatriptan tablets and nasal spray are used to treat migraine headaches.

Sumatriptan will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Sumatriptan may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to sumatriptan, or if you have:

  • a history of heart disease, angina (chest pain), blood circulation problems, or history of a heart attack or stroke;
  • ischemic bowel disease;
  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure; or
  • severe liver disease.

Do not use sumatriptan if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or phenelzine (Nardil) in the past 14 days.

Sumatriptan can cause rare but serious side effects on the heart, including heart attack or stroke. If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before using sumatriptan, tell your doctor if you have:

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • high blood pressure;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • coronary artery disease (or risk factors that include diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Before using sumatriptan, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Your name may need to be listed on a sumatriptan pregnancy registry when you start using this medication.

Sumatriptan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

This medicine should not be given to anyone under 18 or over 65 years of age.

Do not use sumatriptan within 24 hours before or after taking any of the following medicines:

  • almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT), or zolmitriptan (Zomig); or
  • ergot medicine such as methysergide (Sansert), ergotamine (Ergomar, Ergostat, Cafergot, Ercaf, Wigraine), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray), ergonovine (Ergotrate), methylergonovine (Methergine).

Sumatriptan can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine, or if anyone else has accidentally swallowed it.

Overdose symptoms may include tremors or shaking, skin redness, breathing problems, blue-colored lips or fingernails, vision problems, watery eyes or mouth, weakness, lack of coordination, or seizure (convulsions).

Since sumatriptan is used as needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule. Call your doctor promptly if your symptoms do not improve after using sumatriptan.

After taking a sumatriptan tablet, you must wait two (2) hours before taking a second tablet. Do not take more than 200 mg of sumatriptan tablets in 24 hours.

After using sumatriptan nasal spray, you must wait two (2) hours before using a second spray. Do not use more than 40 mg of sumatriptan nasal spray in 24 hours.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using sumatriptan and call your doctor if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • fast heart rate, agitation, muscle stiffness, hallucinations, lack of coordination, with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
  • sudden and severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea;
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • numbness or tingling and a pale or blue-colored appearance in your fingers or toes.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • muscle pain;
  • warmth or redness under your skin;
  • pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body;
  • sneezing, runny nose, congestion, cough;
  • burning, numbness, pain or other irritation in your nose or throat after using the nasal spray;
  • unusual taste in your mouth after using the nasal spray;
  • dizziness, sleepiness; or
  • drooling or sweating.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before using sumatriptan, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • an antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), or venlafaxine (Effexor).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can affect sumatriptan. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Imitrex, Imitrex Nasal, Imitrex Statdose, Imitrex Statdose Refill, and sumatriptan

Available Strengths & Dosages


Route Form Strength
oral tablet 25 mg
subcutaneous solution 6 mg/0.5 mL
subcutaneous kit 6 mg/0.5 mL
oral tablet 50 mg
oral tablet 100 mg

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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