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    Information about Sumatriptan

    Sumatriptan uses

    Sumatriptan is used in migraine. It relieves the symptoms of migraine and prevents the attack from becoming worse.

    How sumatriptan works

    Migraine headaches are thought to result from the dilatation (swelling) of blood vessels in the head. Sumatriptan works by constricting (narrowing) the blood vessels in the head, stops transmission of pain signals to the brain, and blocks the release of chemicals that cause nausea and other migraine symptoms. This relieves the migraine attack.

    Common side effects of sumatriptan

    Dizziness, Weakness, Drowsiness, Peripheral neuropathy (tingling and numbness of feet and hand), Flushing (sense of warmth in the face, ears, neck and trunk)
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Khushbu Goel
    DM, MD
    Last updated on:
    16 Oct 2019 | 01:31 PM (IST)
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    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Sumatriptan

    • You have been prescribed Sumatriptan for treatment of migraine headaches.
    • Some tips that may help avoid a migraine attack:
      • Have your meals at the same time everyday
      • Avoid bright lights and extreme temperatures
      • Avoid loud music and noisy places
      • Avoid chocolates, cheese, processed food, alcohol and smoking
      • Get enough sleep and avoid stress
    • It may cause sleepiness. Don't drive or do anything that requires mental focus until you know how it affects you.
    • Notify your doctor if your migraine occurs more often after starting the medication.
    • Notify your doctor if you have stomach pain, headache, bloody diarrhoea or worsening high blood pressure.
    • Inform your doctor if you have a history of heart disease or stroke.
    • This medication does not prevent migraine attacks from happening.

    Frequently asked questions for Sumatriptan


    Q. How soon should I take Sumatriptan when attack starts?

    Once your migraine headache has started, take Sumatriptan as soon as possible. Do not use it to prevent an attack. Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

    Q. Can Sumatriptan increase my Blood Preasure?

    Yes, Sumatriptan can cause an increase in blood pressure. However, it is does not occur in everyone. But, you should keep a check on your blood pressure during therapy with Sumatriptan.

    Q. What are the symptoms of headache caused due to medication overuse?

    If you are having frequent or daily headaches despite (or because of) the regular use of headache medications, it is suggestive of medication overuse headache. You should consult your doctor who may discontinue the medication for sometime.

    Q. What are the symptoms of Sumatriptan overdose?

    Taking an overdose of Sumatriptan may cause fainting, dizziness, slow heartbeat, change in electrical activity of the heart, vomiting and inability to retain urine or stools.

    Q. Can Sumatriptan be used for the prevention of migraine attacks?

    No, Sumatriptan is not used for the prevention of migraine attacks. It should only be used where a clear diagnosis of migraine has been established.

    Q. What should I tell my doctor before taking Sumatriptan?

    Before taking Sumatriptan, you should tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver or kidney disease or a family history of heart disease. You should also inform your doctor if you smoke, have had your menopause, or are a man aged 40 years or more. Let your doctor know if your headache is associated with dizziness, difficulty in walking, lack of coordination or weakness in the leg and arm. Your doctor should also know if you are taking medicines to treat depression such as sertraline, escitalopram oxalate, fluoxetine, venlafaxine, or duloxetine. It is also important to inform your doctor if you have had short-lived chest pain and tightness.

    Q. What triggers migraine attacks?

    Migraine may be triggered by several factors. Some of the common triggers are caffeine withdrawal, changes in hormone levels during menstruation or with the use of birth control pills. Migraine also gets triggered with changes in sleep patterns, such as not getting enough sleep, drinking alcohol, missing meals, or smoking. Rigorous exercise or other physical stress, loud noises or bright lights, odors or perfumes, or exposure to smoke and stress and anxiety may also act as a trigger.

    Q. I have been prescribed Sumatriptan. Can I take other migraine medicines, similar to Sumatriptan, with it?

    Sumatriptan belongs to a family of tryptamine-based drugs called Triptans. You should not take another triptan along with Sumatriptan. Taking two triptans together may trigger a heart attack and may also result in an increase in blood pressure.

    Q. Does migraine run in families?

    Migraines may run in families. Migraines occur more often in women than men. It has been noticed that some women, but not all, have fewer migraines when they are pregnant.

    Q. How do I know migraine attack is about to start?

    Some people develop aura before getting a migraine attack. It may include visual problems, such as seeing flashing lights, zig-zag patterns or blind spots, numbness, dizziness, or a tingling sensation like pins and needles, or feeling off balance. You may also have difficulty speaking and loss of consciousness, although this is unusual.

    Q. Can I take Sumatriptan with propranolol?

    Yes, you can take propranolol and Sumatriptan together. However, since Propranolol may cause an increase in levels of Sumatriptan, so you should take 5 mg dose of Sumatriptan and not 10 mg.

    Q. When should I start taking the medicines used to prevent migraine?

    Medicines for prevention of migraine are usually used if you have tried avoiding possible triggers but are still experiencing migraines. You may also be prescribed these medicines if you experience very severe migraine attacks, or if your attacks happen frequently.

    Q. Can Sumatriptan cause liver damage?

    No, Sumatriptan does not cause liver damage, but you should let your doctor know if you have any liver problem, before taking Sumatriptan.

    Content on this page was last updated on 16 October, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)