Sumatriptan

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Sumatriptan is a selective serotonin receptor agonist. It works by reducing inflammation and reversing the widening of blood vessels in the brain, thereby stopping a migraine headache. It is often used to treat a migraine attack after it begins. It will not prevent a migraine.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions as to how many tablets to take when the attack starts. It should work within 30 minutes.
  • If your migraine is not completely relieved, you may repeat a dose (usually same as the first dose) 2 hours after the first dose. Do not take more than 4 tablets (200 mg) per day or as per your doctor’s instructions. Do not use sumatriptan too frequently (limit of 10 days per month) as it can cause medication overuse headache (migraine/headache may worsen).
  • You may take this medication with or without food.
  • If the tablets did not give you enough help with your migraine, consult your doctor.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You have history of heart condition or stroke, uncontrolled blood pressure, seizure (fits), liver or kidney diseases.
  • You are allergic to antibiotic that contains sulfonamide.
  • You are taking taking medications under the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) e.g. fluoxetine, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) e.g. venlafaxine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) eg. isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Feeling sleepy, dizziness, tiredness
    • Do not drive or use machinery
    • Do not drink alcohol when taking this medication
  • Pain or tightness in your throat or jaw
    • If pain is intense and does not go away, please seek medical attention
  • Flushing (feeling hot), tingling sensation
  • Sore throat

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome such as:

  • Feeling agitated and restless, other mental changes such as hallucination
  • Heavy sweating, shivering
  • Fast heart rate, irregular heartbeat
  • Rigid or twitching muscles
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

Signs and symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Discomfort in the middle of your chest that lasts for a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Chest pain or chest discomfort that feels like an uncomfortable heavy pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Avoid taking different triptans or triptan combination products (e.g. zolmitriptan, eletriptan etc.), or medications containing ergotamine (e.g. Caffox, Cafergot) or dihydroergotamine within 24 hours after taking sumatriptan.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.


Disclaimers
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.


This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore.

Last updated on Feb 2021
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Sumatriptan

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