New and effective medication for migraine
Why is this medication prescribed?
Sumatriptan is used to relieve migraine headache symptoms. However, it will not prevent migraine headaches or reduce the number of attacks you have.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Sumatriptan comes as a tablet to take by mouth and a nasal spray. It should be used at the first sign of a migraine headache. If you are at risk for heart disease and you have never taken sumatriptan before, you may need to take the first dose in your doctor's office. Usually only one dose is needed. If pain is not relieved with the first dose, your doctor may prescribe a second dose to be taken after at least 2 hours. Do not take more than 200mg of the tablets or 40 mg of the nasal spray in any 24-hour period. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take sumatriptan exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Take the tablet with plenty of water or other fluids.
To use the nasal spray, follow the package directions or ask or your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking sumatriptan,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sumatriptan or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), and vitamins. If you have taken an MAO inhibitor [phenelzine (Nardil) or tranylcypromine (Parnate)] during the past 2 weeks, do not take sumatriptan. If you have taken another medication for migraine headaches such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), methysergide (Sansert), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT), or zolmitriptan (Zomig) during the past 24 hours, do not take sumatriptan.
- tell your doctor if you smoke, if you have a strong family history of heart disease, if you are postmenopausal, or if you are a man over 40. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood pressure; angina (recurring chest pain); a heart attack; diabetes; high cholesterol; obesity; stroke; transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke); ischemic bowel disease; coronary artery disease; seizures; or blood vessel, kidney, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking sumatriptan, call your doctor.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
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?
Although side effects from sumatriptan are not common, they can occur. 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:
- pain or tightness in chest or throat
- sudden or severe stomach pain
- fast heartbeat
- difficulty breathing
- redness, swelling, or itching of the eyelids, face, or lips
- skin rash, lumps, or hives
- change in vision
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Call your doctor if you continue to have symptoms.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.