sumatriptan 5mg, migraine treatment

What is Sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as triptans. Sumatriptan tablets are prescribed for the treatment of migraine headaches, commonly referred to as migraines. 

Migraine symptoms may encompass a pulsating headache on one side of the head, visual disturbances, vomiting or nausea, and heightened sensitivity to sound or light. While the experience of migraines varies from person to person, it is often described as intensely painful and uncomfortable. 

The precise cause of migraines is still not fully understood; however, many individuals identify specific physiological or dietary factors as potential triggers. Factors such as tiredness, stress, and hunger are believed to contribute in some cases, along with certain foods and beverages containing caffeine, dark chocolate, cheese, and red wine. 

What is sumatriptan used to treat?

Sumatriptan is primarily used to relieve the symptoms of migraines and cluster headaches. It works by narrowing blood vessels in the brain and reducing substances that can trigger headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms. 

Who can and cannot take medicines containing sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan is generally safe for adults. However, individuals with certain medical conditions may need to avoid sumatriptan. It's crucial to inform your healthcare provider about your medical history and current medications. 

Avoid taking sumatriptan if: 

  • you are allergic to sumatriptan or any other ingredients in the medicine 

  • you have heart-related issues like narrowed arteries (Ischaemic heart disease), chest pains (angina), or have previously had a heart attack 

  • you experience circulation problems in your legs causing cramp-like pains during walking (peripheral vascular disease) 

  • you have a history of stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischaemic attack or TIA) 

  • you live with high blood pressure, unless it's mild and under treatment 

  • you have severe liver disease 

  • you are using other migraine medications containing ergotamine, methysergide, or any triptan/5-HT1 receptor agonist 

  • you are on anti-depressants known as MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) or have used them in the past two weeks 

Inform your doctor and avoid sumatriptan if: 

  • you have additional risk factors such as being a heavy smoker, using nicotine replacement therapy, being a man over 40, or a post-menopausal woman 

  • you have a history of fits (seizures) or conditions that may increase the likelihood of seizures, like a head injury or alcoholism 

  • you have liver or kidney disease 

  • you are allergic to antibiotics called sulphonamides, as there may be a potential allergy to sumatriptan 

  • you are taking anti-depressants called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors) or SNRIs (Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake inhibitors) 

Additionally, if you use sumatriptan frequently, it may worsen your headaches, and your doctor may advise discontinuation.  

Seek immediate medical help if you experience chest pain or tightness after using sumatriptan. 

When taking sumatriptan, inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking, as certain medicines may interact adversely. Specifically, avoid concurrent use with ergotamine, other triptans/5-HT receptor agonists, antidepressants, or St John’s Wort. 

For pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, consult your doctor before using sumatriptan. 

migraine image, older man holding his forehead

When to take sumatriptan?

For effective relief, take sumatriptan tablets as soon as your migraine attack begins. It is specifically designed to work during the attack itself and is not intended for preventive use beforehand. 

Each sumatriptan tablet constitutes a single dose of migraine relief medication. Adhere to the dosage instructions provided by your prescribing pharmacist, nurse, or doctor.  

Never exceed 300mg of sumatriptan in one 24-hour period. If you accidentally take more than the recommended dosage of sumatriptan, seek immediate medical attention.   

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