GENERIC NAME: Sumatriptan Succinate

COMMON BRAND: Imitrex, Imitrex Statdose, Sumavel DosePro, Alsuma, Zembrace SymTouch

Sumatriptan is an oral prescription drug, belongs to a class of drug known as serotonin 5-HT-Receptor Agonists (triptans). This drug works by narrowing blood vessels in the head, blocking pain signals from being sent to the brain, and preventing the release of certain natural substances (serotonin) that cause pain, nausea, and other symptoms of a migraine. This drug is not used to prevent migraine attacks and cluster headaches.

What is Sumatriptan Succinate used for?

Sumatriptan is used for acute treatment of migraines. It helps to relieve a headache, pain, and other migraine symptoms (like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound/light). Prompt treatment enables you to return to your normal routine and may decrease your need for other pain medications.

How to use Sumatriptan Succinate?

Read patient information leaflet and follow all the instructions carefully. Talk to your prescriber if you have any doubt.

Take this medicine orally at the first sign of migraine with or without food. The dose of the drug is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. If your symptoms are partly relieved, or if your headache comes back, you may go for an extra dose at least two hours after the first dose. Avoid taking more than 200mg in a day.

Take the whole tablet with water or other liquids. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

If you have any heart disease, your doctor may direct you to take your first dose of this medication in his clinic to monitor for serious side effects (like chest pain). Discuss with your doctor for more detail.

If you are taking drugs for migraine attacks more than ten days in a month, the drugs may make your headaches worse (medication overuse headache). Avoid using medications more frequently or for a longer duration than directed. Inform your doctor if you need to use drug frequently, or if the drug is not working well, or if your headaches get worse.

What are the side effects of Sumatriptan Succinate?

The common side effects observed with the use of this drug are feeling warm or cold, pressure/pain in your chest, neck, jaw, or throat, tingling or prickling sensations in your skin, dizziness, tiredness. Inform your doctor at the earliest if any of these side effects continue.

This medication may raise your blood pressure. Monitor your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.

Notify your doctor right away if you have any severe side effects, such as hearing changes, blue fingers/toes/nails, cold hands/feet, mental/mood changes.

Sumatriptan may increase serotonin level and rarely cause a severe condition known as serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk of serotonin toxicity increases if you are also using other drugs that increase serotonin level. Get medical assistance promptly if any of the following symptoms occur such as severe dizziness, fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe nausea/vomiting/ diarrhea, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

Sumatriptan commonly causes tightness in chest/jaw/ neck, pain, or pressure that is usually not serious. However, these side effects resemble with the symptoms of a heart attack (chest/jaw/left arm pain, breathlessness, or unusual sweating). Get medical assistance right away if these side effects continue or get worse.

Get emergency medical assistance if you notice side effects like a fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, bloody diarrhoea, seizure, signs of a stroke (like weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes, trouble speaking, confusion)

This is not a full record of all possible side effects. If you mark other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

What are the precautions while using Sumatriptan Succinate?

Use this drug only when a clear diagnosis of migraine is confirmed. This drug is equally effective at any stage of migraine, although early use is recommended as pain medication works best with the first sign of pain occurs.

Before using this drug, inform your doctor if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction with this drug or with any other medicines. Further tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, like to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Inform to your doctor about certain conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, smoker, postmenopausal women, age more than 40 years (men) as this conditions can increase your risk for heart problems.

Before taking this medication, notify your doctor about your medical history, especially of blood circulation problems (in your legs, arms, or stomach), certain types of headaches (hemiplegic or basilar migraine), heart problems (like chest pain, irregular heartbeat, previous heart attack), liver disease, seizure, transient ischemic attack.

This drug may cause central nervous system (CNS) depression including drowsiness, dizziness, weakness; caution when operating heavy machinery or driving.

Older adults may be more prone to the side effects of this drug, especially increased blood pressure and heart problems.

In pregnancy, this drug should be used only when the benefits outweigh the risk. Discuss with your doctor about the risks and benefits of this drug.

Consult your doctor before breastfeeding as this drug passes into breast milk in small amounts.

What are the drug Interactions of Sumatriptan Succinate?

If your doctor prescribes you this medicine to treat your migraine pain, your doctor/pharmacist may also be aware of any possible drug interactions and monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medication before discussing with your doctor.

Taking MAO inhibitors with sumatriptan may induce a severe (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, procarbazine, methylene blue, moclobemide, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during therapy with this medicine. Avoid most MAO inhibitors for at least two weeks before and after treatment with this drug. Seek advice from your doctor when to start or stop using this medication.

The risk of serotonin toxicity/ syndrome increases if you are using other drugs that increase serotonin level. Like street drugs such as MDMA “ecstasy,” St. John’s wort, certain antidepressant SNRIs(duloxetine/ venlafaxine), including other SSRIs such as citalopram/ paroxetine, tryptophan, among others. The risk of serotonin toxicity/ syndrome may be more likely when you start or change the dose of these drugs.

To avoid the possible drug interaction if you use ergotamine medication (like dihydroergotamine) or other “triptan” drugs (like zolmitriptan, rizatriptan), along with sumatriptan, you need to separate sumatriptan dose with these medications. Discuss with your prescriber how long you should wait between your doses of these drugs.

WARNINGS:

Heart attack: sumatriptan may cause serious heart problems like angina (chest pain), heart attack, or cardiac arrest. If you are at high risk for the cardiac problem, your doctor may prescribe you a lowest effective dose under his supervision and monitor you regularly.

Arrhythmias: This drug may change your heart rhythm, which can be dangerous. If you feel any changes in the way your heart beats, stop taking this drug and call your doctor immediately.

Brain haemorrhage or stroke: Brain haemorrhage (severe bleeding in the brain) or stroke can occur if you take this drug. It is not clear if sumatriptan is a direct cause of these effects.

This drug may cause tightness, pain, or pressure in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw. Generally, this feeling can be a symptom of heart attack, but it may not be when you are taking this drug. If you observe this symptom, inform your doctor immediately.

What are the forms and strengths for Sumatriptan Succinate?

Generic: Sumatriptan.
Form: Oral tablet.
Strengths: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg.

Brand: Imitrex.
Form: Oral tablet.
Strengths: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg.

Brand: Imitrex.
Form: Injectable SC solution.
Strengths: 6mg/0.5mL vial.

What is the dosage of Sumatriptan Succinate?

For a Migraine Headache:

Adult ( 18 to 64 years):

 Initial dose: One tablet (25mg, 50mg, or 100mg) taken when migraine symptoms appear.
Dose increases: If you don’t get enough relief within 2 hours of the first dose, you may take an extra dose at least 2 hours after the first dose.
Maximum dosage: Do not take more than 200mg/day.

Pediatric:

 Children (0–17 years):

Safe and efficacy of sumatriptan in children below 17 years have not been established.

Geriatric:

Older adults (65 years and above):

Older adults are susceptible to the side effects of these drug as their kidneys, liver, and heart may not work as well as they used to. This can cause slow drugs elimination. Due to this, a large amount of drug stays in the body for a longer time.

Your doctor may prescribe you low dose or a different medication schedule.

 Special Considerations:

If you have liver disease, you should not take more than 50mg of sumatriptan in a single dose. If you have severe liver disease, you should not use sumatriptan at all.

Most common questions asked about Sumatriptan Succinate / Q&A’s:

Is Sumatriptan Succinate a controlled substance?

No, Sumatriptan is not a controlled substance that comes under the schedule “Controlled Substances Act (CSA)”. It is only a prescription medicine.

Is Sumatriptan Succinate a painkiller?

Sumatriptan is not any ordinary painkiller that helps relieve any pain. It is not effective against any pain other than a migraine and cluster headaches.

Is Sumatriptan Succinate safe during pregnancy?

Safety of sumatriptan is not established in pregnant women yet. Your doctor will prescribe this drug during pregnancy only if the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks.

Is Sumatriptan Succinate safe during breastfeeding?

Sumatriptan must be used with caution if you are a breastfeeding mother, as this drug passes into the breastmilk and may cause potential harm to the baby. Do not breastfeed for at least 12 hours after you take this drug.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.