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Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More

Highlights for sumatriptan

  • Sumatriptan oral tablets are available as both generic and brand-name drugs. Brand name: Imitrex.
  • Sumatriptan also comes in a nasal spray, an injectable solution, or a nasal powder.
  • Sumatriptan oral tablet is used to treat migraine headaches. It’s used when headache symptoms first start. It’s not used to prevent headaches.
    • Heart attack: This drug can cause serious heart problems such as heart attack, angina (chest pain), or cardiac arrest. If you’re at risk for heart disease, your doctor may have you take your first dose in their office so they can monitor you.
    • Arrhythmias: This drug may cause your heart rhythm to change, which can be dangerous. If you feel changes in the way your heart beats, stop taking this drug and call your doctor right away.
    • Chest, throat, neck, or jaw pain: This drug can cause tightness, pain, or pressure in your chest, throat, neck, or jaw. In general, this feeling can be a symptom of heart attack, but it may not be when you’re taking this drug. If you have this symptom, call your doctor.
    • Brain hemorrhage or stroke: Severe bleeding in the brain (brain hemorrhage) or stroke can occur if you take this drug. It’s not clear if sumatriptan is a direct cause of these effects.

    Sumatriptan oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s available as the brand-name drug Imitrex. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

    Sumatriptan also comes in a nasal spray, an injectable solution, or a nasal powder.

    Why it’s used

    Sumatriptan is used to treat migraine headaches. Sumatriptan may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

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    How it works

    Sumatriptan belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin-1 receptor agonists. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

    A migraine causes the blood vessels in the brain to expand. It also causes a release of chemicals in the brain that can cause inflammation (swelling and irritation). Sumatriptan works by helping to bring your blood vessels back to their normal size. It also helps prevent your body’s release of these chemicals that cause inflammation.

    Sumatriptan oral tablet may cause drowsiness. It may also cause other side effects.

    More common side effects

    The more common side effects that can occur with use of sumatriptan tablets include:

    • feeling warm or cold
    • tingling or prickling sensations in your skin
    • pressure or pain in your chest, neck, jaw, or throat
    • dizziness
    • tiredness

    If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

    Serious side effects

    Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

    • Heart attack. Symptoms can include:
      • chest pain that spreads to your shoulder or arm
      • excessive sweating
      • dizziness
      • weakness
      • shortness of breath
    • Other heart problems. Symptoms can include:
      • severe chest pain
      • fast heart rate
      • irregular heart beat
      • palpitations (feeling like your heart is skipping beats)
    • Abnormal feelings in your chest (not related to your heart), throat, neck, or jaw. Symptoms can include:
      • tightness
      • pain
      • pressure
      • heaviness
    • Vision problems. Symptoms can include:
      • blurred vision
      • loss of vision (may be temporary or permanent)
    • Stroke or brain hemorrhage. Symptoms can include:
      • headache
      • face drooping
      • trouble speaking
      • numbness or weakness on one side of your body
      • loss of balance
    • Changes in mental health. Symptoms can include:
      • confusion
      • agitation
      • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
      • thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself
    • Digestive tract problems. Symptoms can include:
      • pain in your abdomen (stomach area)
      • bloody diarrhea
      • nausea and vomiting
    • Serotonin syndrome. Symptoms can include:
      • agitation
      • confusion
      • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
      • fast heart rate
      • shaking
      • sweating
      • big pupils (dark centers of your eyes)
      • diarrhea
      • rigid muscles
    • Seizures
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    Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

    Sumatriptan oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

    To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

    Drugs you should not use with sumatriptan

    Do not take these drugs with sumatriptan. Doing so can cause dangerous effects in the body. Examples of these drugs include:

    • Monoamine oxidase-A inhibitors (MAOIs), such as phenelzine, isocarboxazid, or tranylcypromine. Taking these drugs with sumatriptan can cause a severe condition called serotonin syndrome. Symptoms can include agitation,…

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