Sumatriptan is used to treat the symptoms of headaches, but it cannot prevent migraine attacks or reduce their frequency.


What is Sumatriptan?


Sumatriptan interacts with the serotonin neurotransmitter receptors. Its action is based on the narrowing of blood vessels in the head, sending the block of signals to the brain caused by painful stimuli and that of the release of substances that cause not only the pain but also the nausea and other symptoms of migraine.


How should Sumatriptan be taken?


Sumatriptan is taken orally in tablet form after the appearance of the first symptoms of a migraine attack. In case of need, a second dose can be taken at least two hours after the first one and only upon doctor's advice. In fact, in the case of intake of excessive amounts of Sumatriptan or prolonged treatment, migraines can worsen. It is therefore essential to strictly follow the doctor's instructions.


Side effects associated with Sumatriptan


Among the possible adverse effects of Sumatriptan are included:


  • Redness
  • Pricking
  • Feeling of heat or cold
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Gastric disorders
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps


It is important to contact the doctor immediately if taking Sumatriptan triggers any of the following:


  • Pain, tightness or heaviness in the chest, throat, or jaw
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Pretention
  • Cold sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
  • Sudden or severe pain in the stomach
  • Fast, heavy or irregular heartbeat
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Cyanosis of the fingers
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Redness, swelling or itching eyes, face, lips or throat
  • Rash
  • Urticaria
  • Vision problems
  • Convulsions


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Sumatriptan


In general, Sumatriptan should not be taken for more than ten days a month. Moreover, it must not be taken if other drugs of the same type or ergot derivatives have been taken in the last 24 hours, and if you are taking (or have taken in the last two weeks) MAO-A inhibitors.


Furthermore, before taking the Sumatriptan it is important to inform your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or any other drug
  • You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, especially acetaminophen, aspirin or other NSAIDs, antidepressants, SSRIs or SNRIs
  • You have heart disease or stroke in the family
  • You are in menopause
  • You are a smoker or you are overweight
  • You suffer (or have suffered) from heart disease, heart attacks, angina, irregular heartbeat, stroke or mini stroke, circulation problems, Raynaud's syndrome, intestinal infarction, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, seizures, kidney or liver disease
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding


You should also remember that Sumatriptan causes drowsiness and it can impair the ability to drive and operate hazardous machinery.