1. What’s Sumatriptan
Sumatriptan is a medication to deal with migraines and cluster complications. It doesn’t stop these circumstances. It belongs to a gaggle of medicines known as triptans, or serotonin (5-HT1) agonists.
You are taking sumatriptan as soon as a migraine or cluster headache has began. It isn’t a painkiller however you should utilize this medication if painkillers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAIDs) haven’t labored.
Sumatriptan comes as tablets, a nasal spray or injection. The nasal spray and injection are used to deal with migraines and cluster complications. The tablets are used for migraines solely.
Sumatriptan tablets, nasal spray and injections can be found on prescription. You may also purchase packs containing two 50mg tablets from a pharmacy with out a prescription, however solely when you’ve got beforehand been identified with migraines.
2. Key info
- Take sumatriptan as quickly as a migraine or cluster headache begins.
- The tablets often work inside 30 to 60 minutes. The spray and injection work faster.
- Widespread unwanted side effects embrace feeling or being sick, feeling sleepy or dizzy.
- Don’t take migraine medicines corresponding to ergotamine or different triptans when taking sumatriptan.
- Sumatriptan can also be identified by the model names Imigran, Migraitan and Boots Migraine Reduction 50mg Tablets.
3. Who can and can’t take sumatriptan
Most adults with migraines can have sumatriptan tablets or injections. However the nasal spray is barely formally accepted for individuals below the age of 65.
Sumatriptan will not be formally accepted for kids. Nonetheless, a specialist physician might generally prescribe it for a kid over the age of 6 years.
Sumatriptan will not be appropriate for some individuals. To verify it is protected for you, inform your physician if you happen to:
- have had an allergic response to sumatriptan or another medication prior to now
- have a coronary heart downside corresponding to coronary coronary heart illness, chest ache (angina), coronary heart rhythm issues (arrhythmia) otherwise you’ve had a coronary heart assault
- have circulation issues in your legs (peripheral vascular illness)
- have had a stroke or “mini stroke” (transient ischaemic assault)
- have liver illness or different liver issues
- have seizures or matches
- are attempting to get pregnant, are already pregnant or breastfeeding
- are a heavy smoker or use nicotine alternative remedy (significantly if you happen to’ve been by means of menopause, or if you happen to’re a person over the age of 40)
- have hypertension
You might be able to use sumatriptan if you happen to’ve had hypertension prior to now and it’s now effectively managed with remedy.
When you’ve got a latex allergy, test along with your physician or a pharmacist earlier than having sumatriptan injections. Some needle protectors might comprise latex.
4. How and when to take it
- At all times comply with your physician’s directions when taking this medication.
- Take your first dose as quickly because the ache begins.
- Don’t take it on the warning stage, earlier than your migraine begins. That is when some individuals get signs of “aura”.
Tablets (for migraine solely)
- Swallow the pill complete with a drink of water. Don’t chew or crush it.
- For those who discover tablets troublesome to swallow, some include a line within the center that will help you break them in half. Examine the data leaflet inside the medication packet to see if you are able to do this along with your medication.
- The standard dose is 50mg. However some individuals could also be prescribed 100mg.
- The tablets ought to work in 30 to 60 minutes. In case your migraine improves however then comes again, you possibly can take the identical dose once more after 2 hours.
- Nonetheless, if the primary dose of sumatriptan doesn’t assist, don’t take one other dose for a similar assault.
Injections (migraine or cluster headache)
- Learn the directions that include your medication to learn the way to make use of the pre-filled syringe (auto-injector) and learn how to do away with it safely afterwards.
- Use the pre-filled syringe to inject 1 dose. This incorporates 6mg of sumatriptan. You may often inject it into your thigh.
- The drugs usually works in 10 to fifteen minutes.
- In case your headache improves however then comes again, you possibly can inject one other dose after 1 hour.
- Nonetheless, if the primary sumatriptan injection doesn’t assist, shouldn’t have one other one for a similar assault.
Nasal spray (migraine or cluster headache)
Learn the directions that include your medication to learn the way to make use of the single-use nasal spray. Every spray incorporates 1 dose (10mg or 20mg of sumatriptan).
- Blow your nostril if it feels blocked or when you’ve got a chilly.
- Place your finger over 1 nostril.
- Spray the medication into the opposite nostril and breathe in gently on the identical time.
The nasal spray often works inside quarter-hour. In case your headache improves however then comes again, you possibly can have one other dose after 2 hours.
Nonetheless if the primary dose of sumatriptan doesn’t assist, don’t take one other dose for a similar assault.
Do not need greater than 2 injections, or 2 doses of nasal spray, or greater than 300mg of tablets in 24 hours.
What if I take an excessive amount of?
Don’t take greater than the prescribed quantity in any 24-hour interval. The utmost quantity is 300mg of tablets, 12mg as injections or 40mg as a nasal spray.
Taking an excessive amount of sumatriptan might make you very ailing. An overdose may cause fainting, slowed coronary heart charge, vomiting, lack of bladder and bowel management, and sleepiness.
It will probably slender your blood vessels resulting in coronary heart issues corresponding to chest pains, irregular coronary heart rhythm or a coronary heart assault. It will probably additionally scale back the blood provide to different organs corresponding to a part of your giant gut This can provide you a extreme abdomen ache.
- you’re taking an excessive amount of sumatriptan
If you could go to hospital, don’t drive your self. Get another person to drive you or name for an ambulance. Take the sumatriptan packet or leaflet inside it plus any remaining medication with you.
5. Negative effects
Like all medicines, sumatriptan may cause unwanted side effects. Nonetheless, many individuals don’t have any unwanted side effects or solely minor ones.
Widespread unwanted side effects
These widespread unwanted side effects occur in additional than 1 in 100 individuals. They’re often gentle and brief lived. A few of the unwanted side effects are just like the signs of migraine or cluster complications.
Speak to your physician or pharmacist if these unwanted side effects hassle you or final quite a lot of days:
- feeling or being sick (nausea or vomiting)
- feeling dizzy, unsteady in your toes or drained
- feeling sizzling or chilly, face flushes pink
With the nasal spray:
- irritation or burning in your nostril or throat
- dangerous style in your mouth
With the injections:
- bruising or swelling the place you gave your self the injection
- bleeding the place you gave your self the injection
Critical unwanted side effects
It occurs hardly ever, however some individuals have critical unwanted side effects when taking sumatriptan. Don’t take any extra sumatriptan and inform a health care provider right away if you happen to get continued or rising:
- tightness or tingling in your face, arms, legs or chest
- uncommon emotions of heaviness in your face, arms, legs or chest
- emotions of heat or chilly in your face, arms, legs or chest
These emotions often do not final for lengthy. In the event that they proceed, or grow to be extreme or intense, search medical assist right away.
Critical allergic response
In uncommon circumstances, it is potential to have a critical allergic response (anaphylaxis) to sumatriptan.
Speedy motion required:
- you get a pores and skin rash that will embrace itchy, pink, swollen, blistered or peeling pores and skin
- you are wheezing
- you get tightness within the chest or throat
- you might have hassle respiration or speaking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat begin swelling
You may be having a critical allergic response and might have speedy remedy in hospital. These aren’t all of the unwanted side effects of sumatriptan.
6. How to deal with unwanted side effects
What to do What’s:
- feeling or being sick (nausea or vomiting) – these unwanted side effects could also be because of the migraine itself. For those who really feel in a position to eat, persist with easy meals and don’t eat wealthy or spicy meals. For those who’re being sick, attempt small frequent sips of water to keep away from dehydration. Indicators of dehydration embrace peeing lower than regular or having darkish strong-smelling pee.
- feeling dizzy, unsteady in your toes or drained – if you happen to start to really feel dizzy, lie down in order that you don’t faint, then sit till you are feeling higher. Don’t drive or use instruments or machines if you happen to really feel dizzy or a bit shaky.
- feeling sizzling or chilly, face flushes pink – if this bothers you or does no’t go away, communicate to a GP.
- irritation or burning in your nostril or throat – this often solely lasts for a short while.
- nosebleeds – these will often solely final for a short while. Search speedy medical assist if the bleeding doesn’t cease after 10 to fifteen minutes, particularly if you happen to’re taking a blood-thinning medication corresponding to warfarin or rivaroxaban, or you might have haemophilia or another situation meaning your blood can’t clot correctly.
- dangerous style in your mouth – attempt chewing sugar-free gum.
- bruising or swelling (the place you gave your self the injection) – that is often gentle and can go away after 1 to three days. See a health care provider if it will get worse, turns into painful or infected or if it lasts for longer than a couple of days.
- bleeding (the place you gave your self the injection) – this could solely final a short while. Search speedy medical assist if the bleeding doesn’t cease after 10 to fifteen minutes, particularly if you happen to’re taking a blood-thinning medication corresponding to warfarin or rivaroxaban, or you might have haemophilia or another situation meaning your blood cannot clot correctly.
7. Being pregnant and breastfeeding
Sumatriptan will not be regarded as dangerous throughout being pregnant, however there’s not sufficient analysis to say for sure.
Speak to a health care provider What’s the advantages and potential harms of taking sumatriptan. There could also be different medicines which can be safer for you.
Sumatriptan and breastfeeding
It is often protected to take sumatriptan if you happen to’re breastfeeding. Solely small quantities of the medication get into breast milk and so it isn’t sufficient to trigger any issues in your child.
Nonetheless, communicate to a health care provider in case your child was untimely or has any well being issues.
Inform a health care provider if you happen to’re making an attempt to get pregnant, you’re already pregnant or if you happen to’re breastfeeding.
8. Cautions with different medicines
There are some medicines that will intrude with the way in which sumatriptan works.
Inform your physician earlier than you’re taking sumatriptan if you happen to’re already taking:
- different migraine or headache medicines (together with ergotamine and different triptans)
- antidepressants known as MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors
For those who’re taking antidepressants, test along with your physician whether or not it is protected to take sumatriptan along with your different medicines. Utilizing sumatriptan with some kinds of antidepressants can improve your threat of a extreme facet impact known as serotonin syndrome.
Signs of seretonin sydrome embrace:
- feeling confused or agitated
- muscle twitching
- excessive temperature, sweating or shivering
- elevated coronary heart charge
Inform a health care provider instantly if you happen to get any of those signs.
Mixing sumatriptan with natural cures or dietary supplements
Taking sumatriptan with St John’s wort (hypericum perforatum) can improve your threat of serotonin syndrome. Don’t take St John’s wort if you happen to’re utilizing sumatriptan.
9. Widespread questions
- How does sumatriptan work?
Sumatriptan belongs to a gaggle of medicines known as triptans, or serotonin (5-HT1) agonists. We don’t but perceive what causes migraines and cluster complications. Nonetheless, your signs could also be because of the short-term widening of blood vessels in your head.
Sumatriptan works on the serotonin (or 5-HT) receptors positioned on blood vessels in your mind. This causes them to slender. This helps take away the headache and eases different signs corresponding to feeling or being sick and sensitivity to gentle and sound.
- How lengthy does it take to work?
Sumatriptan tablets ought to work inside 30 to 60 minutes. The injections begin to work inside 10 to fifteen minutes and the nasal spray works in What’s quarter-hour.
- Is it protected to take for a very long time?
It is vital to not use sumatriptan too usually. See your physician in case your headache doesn’t go away, or when you’ve got frequent migraines or cluster complications.
Sumatriptan is used to deal with migraine or cluster complications as soon as the ache has began, however there are different medicines obtainable that will assist to scale back the quantity and frequency of assaults. Speak to your physician What’s these.
Taking too many migraine medicines or taking them too usually is linked to one thing known as “medicine overuse complications”. That is when medicines make your complications worse. Your complications could also be extra extreme and chances are you’ll get them extra usually.
For those who’re fearful that you might have medicine overuse complications, make an appointment to see your physician.
- How does it evaluate with different migraine medicines?
Your selection of migraine remedy will often rely upon how effectively a remedy has labored for you prior to now and the way extreme your complications are. Migraine complications can usually be handled with paracetamol (ideally soluble) or ibuprofen. Alternatively you possibly can take aspirin (once more, ideally soluble) if you’re aged 16 or older.
There are additionally medicines that aid you cease feeling or being sick when you might have a headache. These are known as antiemetics. If painkillers or anti-inflammatories don’t assist a migraine, then a selected antimigraine medication corresponding to a triptan (serotonin 5-HT1-receptor agonist) may match.
Ergotamine tartrate (a kind of medication known as an ergot) is never used for migraine due to its unwanted side effects. Ergots and opioids (corresponding to codeine and morphine) aren’t really helpful for treating migraines.
- How does it evaluate with different medicines for cluster complications?
Bizarre painkillers don’t assist with cluster complications as a result of they take too lengthy to work. The headache is usually gone earlier than the painkiller begins to take impact. Cluster complications are often handled with oxygen remedy, both by itself or along with a triptan (corresponding to sumatriptan or zolmatriptan).
Sumatriptan comes as injections or a nasal spray for cluster complications and zolmatriptan comes as a nasal spray. The tablets and capsules won’t work for cluster complications. Opioids (corresponding to codeine and morphine) or ergots (corresponding to ergotamine) aren’t really helpful for treating cluster complications.
- Will I have to cease sumatriptan earlier than surgical procedure?
Inform your physician that you simply use sumatriptan if you are going to be put to sleep (having a normal anaesthetic), otherwise you’re having any form of operation.
Your physician might advise you to cease taking sumatriptan for twenty-four hours earlier than surgical procedure.
- Can I drink alcohol with it?
Alcohol doesn’t have an effect on how sumatriptan works. Nonetheless, it is best to not drink alcohol throughout a headache assault. Migraines and cluster complications can generally be triggered by alcohol.
- Is there any meals or drink I have to keep away from?
You possibly can eat and drink usually whereas taking sumatriptan. Nonetheless it is best to keep away from consuming alcohol throughout a headache assault.
There are lots of potential migraine triggers together with consuming cheese, chocolate, pink wine citrus fruits, meals containing an additive known as tyramine (corresponding to smoked salmon and salami) and never consuming sufficient water.
Preserving a migraine diary might aid you work out what your triggers are. Recor when and the place every migraine assault began, what you have been doing on the time, and what you ate that day. Consuming a wholesome, balanced weight loss plan and avoiding set off meals or drinks might assist when you’ve got migraines or cluster complications.
- Will it have an effect on my contraception?
Sumatriptan won’t cease your contraception working. Nonetheless the mixed capsule will not be often really helpful when you’ve got migraines with signs known as an aura. Speak to your physician when you’ve got migraines and take (or need to take) a hormonal contraceptive.
- Will it have an effect on my fertility?
There is no agency proof that sumatriptan impacts fertility in males or ladies. Communicate to your physician if you happen to’re making an attempt for a child otherwise you’re having issues getting pregnant whereas taking sumatriptan.
- Do I have to keep away from taking part in sports activities?
You do not want to cease taking part in sports activities if you happen to take sumatriptan. Nonetheless, watch out taking part in sports activities if you happen to get migraine aura that have an effect on your sight and reactions.
When you’ve got taken sumatriptan, a number of the unwanted side effects might have an effect on you whenever you’re taking part in sport. These embrace dizziness, tiredness, feeling sick or weak and shortness of breath.
- Can I drive or trip a motorbike?
You possibly can really feel very dizzy or drained whenever you take sumatriptan. Migraines can even have this impact. For those who really feel this manner, don’t drive a automotive, trip a motorbike or function equipment till you are feeling OK once more.
- Can life-style modifications assist?
There are steps you possibly can take to assist stop extreme complications. This contains figuring out what issues set off an assault so you possibly can keep away from them. Preserving a migraine diary will help.
For those who smoke, it is a good suggestion to stop. Individuals who smoke appear to have the next threat of getting cluster complications. Consuming a wholesome, balanced weight loss plan and avoiding set off meals or drinks can even assist.
- Cluster complications
- The Migraine Belief: charity
- Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headache: charity
- Ache UK: charity