SUMATRIPTAN TABLET - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Alsuma, Imigran, Imitrex
What is this Drug Used For?
Sumatriptan (imitrex) is used to treat migraines. It helps to relieve
headaches, pain and other symptoms of migraines, including sensitivity
to light/sound, nausea, and vomiting. Prompt treatment allows
you to get back to your normal routine and may decrease your
need for other pain medications. Sumatriptan does not prevent
future migraines or reduce how often you may get a headache.
Sumatriptan belongs to a group of drugs called triptans. It affects
a certain natural chemical (serotonin) that constricts blood vessels
in the brain. It may also block other pain pathways in the brain.
How Do I Use My Sumatriptan (imitrex)?
Take Sumatriptan by mouth, with or without food, at the first sign
of a migraine. If there is no improvement in your symptoms, do
not take any more doses of this medication before talking to
your doctor. If your symptoms are only partly relieved, or if
your headache comes back, you may take a second dose after two
hours or as directed by your doctor. Do not take more than 200
milligrams in a 24-hour period.
Tell the Doctor if you have never taken Sumatriptan before and
have risk factors for heart disease (see Precautions), you may
need to be monitored for rare but serious side effects (e.g., chest
pain) when you take the first dose. Your doctor may ask you to
take the first dose in the office.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet available with your order
before you start using sumatriptan and each time you get a refill.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Sumatriptan (imitrex)?
Flushing, sensations of tingling/numbness/prickling/heat, weakness,
drowsiness, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist
or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed Sumatriptan because he
or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk
of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have
serious side effects.
Chest/jaw/neck tightness can commonly occur shortly after using
sumatriptan. Only rarely are these signs of a serious condition.
However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a serious reaction
related to a lack of blood flow to the heart, brain or other parts
of the body. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely
but very serious (rarely fatal) side effects occur: chest pain,
jaw/left arm pain, fainting, fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat,
vision changes, weakness on one side of the body, confusion, slurred
speech, sudden or severe stomach/abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious
side effects occur: blue fingers/toes/nails, cold sensation of
hands/feet, hearing changes, mental/mood changes, seizures.
Sumatriptan may rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin
syndrome. The risk increases when this medication is taken with
certain other drugs such as other "triptans" used to treat migraine
headaches (e.g., rizatriptan, zolmitriptan), certain antidepressants
including SSRIs (e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine) and
NSRIs (e.g., duloxetine, venlafaxine), or a certain drug to treat
obesity (sibutramine). Before taking this drug, tell your doctor
if you take any of these medications. Serotonin syndrome may be
more likely when you start or increase the dose of any of these
medications. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop some
of the following symptoms: hallucinations, unusual restlessness,
loss of coordination, fast heartbeat, severe dizziness, high fever,
severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitchy muscles.
A serious allergic reaction to Sumatriptan is unlikely, but seek
immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious
allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of
the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
Who Should Not Take Sumatriptan?
The manufacturer does not recommend the use of sumatriptan in the
elderly since they may be more sensitive to the side effects, including
an increase in blood pressure. Sumatriptan should be taken only
when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits
with your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk and may have
undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Avoid breastfeeding for
at least 12 hours after taking sumatriptan. Consult your doctor
Other Important Information
Before using sumatriptan, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you
are allergic to it; or to other triptan drugs (e.g., zolmitriptan,
rizatriptan); or if you have any other allergies. This product
may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions
or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be taken if you have certain medical
conditions. Before using this medication, consult your doctor
or pharmacist if you have a history of: heart disease (e.g.,
chest pain, heart attack), decreased blood flow in the brain
(e.g., stroke, transient ischemic attack), blood circulation
disease (e.g., ischemic bowel disease), uncontrolled high blood
pressure (hypertension), certain types of headaches (hemiplegic
or basilar migraine), liver disease. Before using this medication,
tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially
of: certain blood circulation disorders (e.g., Raynaud's disease),
seizures. Tell your doctor if you have the following risk factors
for heart disease: diabetes, family history of heart disease,
high blood pressure (controlled), high cholesterol, overweight,
smoker, female after menopause, male over age 40. If you are
at high risk for heart disease, your doctor may want to check
your heart before prescribing sumatriptan. This drug may make
you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity
that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such
activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. The risk of heart
disease, liver disease, and high blood pressure increases with
Information and Resources on the Treatment of Migraine Headaches
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