The reference site for Sumatriptan

Sumatriptan is a medication used for the treatment of migraine and cluster headaches.

WHAT IS Sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan is an antimigraine medicine. Migraine headaches are believed to result from dilatation of the blood vessels in the head. Sumatriptan causes constriction of the blood vessels, thus relieving migraine headache.

This medicine is usually used for people whose headaches are not relieved by acetaminophen, aspirin, or other pain relievers.

Despite that sumatriptan is highly effective in relieving migraines, it unfortunately does not prevent or reduce the number of attacks.


Brand Name(s): Imitrex
CAS nº: 103628-46-2
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Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to sumatriptan and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Sumatriptan was approved by the FDA in 1993.

Sumatriptan was the first triptan available and, in the United States and most developed countries, is available only by medical prescription. In the United Kingdom, sumatriptan is available over the counter under the name of Imigran Recovery®. It is sold in packs of two 50mg tablets for approximately £7.99.

Larger pack sizes, the nasal spray, and the liquid preparation for injection are still only available by prescription.

Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Sumatriptan is used to relieve migraines and its associated nausea and light sensitivity.

Migraine headaches are believed to result from dilatation of the blood vessels in the head. Sumatriptan causes constriction of the blood vessels, thus relieving migraine headache.

Despite that this medication is very effective in relieving migraines, it does not prevent or reduce the number of migraine attacks.

Sumatriptan is usually used for people whose headaches are not relieved by acetaminophen, aspirin, or other pain relievers.

Other uses for this medicine

This drug may also be used for certain other types of headaches.

However, it is important that you talk to your doctor before using this drug about the possible risks for your particular condition.

Dosage and using this medicine

Do not use sumatriptan for a headache that is different from your usual migraines. Instead, consult with your doctor.

To relieve your migraine as soon as possible, use sumatriptan as soon as the headache pain begins. Even if you get warning signals of a coming migraine (an aura), you should wait until the headache pain starts before using sumatriptan. Using sumatriptan during the aura will not probably prevent the headache from occurring. However, even if you do not use sumatriptan until your migraine has been present for several hours, the medicine will still work.

Lying down in a quiet, dark room for a while after you use this medicine may help relieve your migraine.

If you are not much better in 1 or 2 hours after an injection of sumatriptan, or in 2 to 4 hours after a tablet is taken, do not use any more of this medicine for the same migraine. A migraine that is not relieved by the first dose of sumatriptan probably will not be relieved by a second dose, either.

Ask your doctor ahead of time about other medicine to be taken if sumatriptan does not work. After taking the other medicine, check with your doctor as soon as possible. Headaches that are not relieved by sumatriptan are sometimes caused by conditions that need other treatment. Nevertheless, even if sumatriptan does not relieve one migraine, it may still relieve the next one.

If you feel much better after a dose of sumatriptan, but your headache comes back or gets worse after a while, you may use more sumatriptan. However, only use this medicine as directed by your doctor. Never use more of it, or increase the dosage, than that directed by your doctor. Using too much sumatriptan may increase the chance of side effects.

Your doctor may direct you to take another medicine to help prevent headaches. It is important that you follow your doctor’s directions, even if your headaches continue to occur. Headache-preventing medicines may take several weeks to start working. Even after they do start working, your headaches may not go away completely. Despite this, your headaches should occur less often and they should be less severe and easier to relieve. This can reduce the amount of sumatriptan or pain relievers that you need. If you do not notice any improvement after several weeks of headache-preventing treatment, check with your doctor.


For patients taking sumatriptan tablets:

Sumatriptan tablets are to be swallowed whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, crush, or chew the tablets before swallowing them.

For patients using sumatriptan injection:

This medicine comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using the medicine, and check with your health care professional if you have any questions.

Your health care professional will teach you how to inject yourself with the medicine. Be sure to follow the directions carefully. Check with your health care professional if you have any problems using this medicine.

After you have finished injecting the medicine, be sure to follow the precautions in the patient directions about safely discarding the empty cartridge and the needle. Always return the empty cartridge and needle to their container before discarding them. Do not throw away the autoinjector unit, because refills are available.

For patients using sumatriptan nasal solution:

This medicine comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using the medicine, and check with your health care professional if you have any questions.


The dose of sumatriptan will vary for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of sumatriptan. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

For nasal dosage form (nasal solution):

For migraine headaches:
Adults – 5 milligrams (mg) or 10 mg (1 or 2 sprays into each nostril), or 20 mg (1 spray into one nostril). If the pain is not relieved, another spray (5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg) should not be used for the same migraine attack. Another spray (5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg) may be used for a migraine that occurs at a later time as long as it has been at least two hours since the last spray. Do not use more than 40 mg in a twenty-four-hour period (one day).

Children – use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

For oral dosage form (tablets):

For migraine headaches:
Adults – 25, 50 or 100 mg as a single dose. If you get some relief, or if the migraine comes back after being relieved, another dose may be taken two hours after the last dose. Do not take more than 200 mg in any 24-hour period. If you are taking the tablets after using an injection, you may take single doses of up to 100 mg a day with two hours between doses. Do not take more than 200 mg in a 24-hour period.

Children – use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

For parenteral dosage form (injection):

For migraine or cluster headaches:
Adults – one 6 mg injection. One more 6-mg dose may be injected, if necessary, if the migraine comes back after initial relief. However, the second injection should not be given any sooner than one hour after the first one. Do not use more than two 6 mg injections in a 24-hour period (one day). However, some people may be directed to use no more than two 6 mg doses in a 48-hour period (two days).

Children – use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking Sumatriptan:

Tell your doctor if you suffer from epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or coronary artery disease (or risk factors that include diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).

Sumatriptan can cause serious side effects on the heart, including heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you have any history of heart or circulation problems. You may not be able to use sumatriptan.

You should not use sumatriptan if you have any of the following: heart disease; angina (chest pain); liver disease; blood circulation problems; ischemic bowel disease; history of a heart attack or stroke; high blood pressure; or a headache that is not like other headache you have had.

Moreover, do not use sumatriptan if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan®), tranylcypromine (Parnate®), selegiline (Eldepryl®, Emsam®), or phenelzine (Nardil®) in the past 14 days.

Do not use sumatriptan within 24 hours after using any of the following medicines: ergot medicine such as methysergide (Sansert®), ergotamine (Ergostat®, Medihaler®, Cafergot®, Ercaf®, Wigraine®), or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E.®, Migranal Nasal Spray®); or almotriptan (Axert®), eletriptan (Relpax®), frovatriptan (Frova®), naratriptan (Amerge®), rizatriptan (Maxalt®, Maxalt-MLT®), or zolmitriptan (Zomig®).

You may not be able to use sumatriptan, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment, if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Sumatriptan is in FDA pregnancy category C. This means that this medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Additionally, your name may need to be listed on a sumatriptan pregnancy registry when you start using this medication.

Furthermore, sumatriptan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Sumatriptan is not for routine use. Use it only to relieve your migraine headache as soon as symptoms of the migraine appear.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Possible side effects from sumatriptan may include:

burning, discharge, pain, and/or soreness in the nose
burning, pain, or redness at place of injection
change in sense of taste
discomfort in jaw, mouth, tongue, throat, nose, or sinuses
feeling of burning, warmth, heat, numbness, tightness, or tingling
feeling cold, “strange,” or weak
muscle aches, cramps, or stiffness
nausea or vomiting

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

tingling feeling
feeling of warmth or heaviness
upset stomach
irritation of the nose
muscle cramps

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

chest pain (severe)
changes in skin color on face
convulsions (seizures)
fast or irregular breathing
puffiness or swelling of eyelids, area around the eyes, face, or lips
shortness of breath, troubled breathing or wheezing

Other side effects than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Always keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Please remember to throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If necessary, talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

Should an overdose occur whilst taking sumatriptan, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, please call the local emergency services immediately on 911.

Symptoms of an overdose may include:

bluish tinge to the skin
dilated pupils
lack of coordination
redness in the arms and legs
skin changes at the site of injection
slow breathing

Product Images

Pictures of Sumatriptan pills

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of sumatriptan that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes and manufacturers.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.


Strength(s): 50 MG
Imprint: IMITREX | 50

Strength(s): 100 MG
Imprint: IMITREX | 100

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