Sumatriptan is a medication used for the treatment of migraine headaches.
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What Is Sumatriptan?
Sumatriptan Generic is a popular migraine treatment. It is the generic version of Imigran, and like Imigran it contains the active ingredient sumatriptan succinate. Sumatriptan belongs to a class of medications known as triptans. Triptans are different to painkilling medications, as they work to reverse the changes in the brain that are thought to induce a migraine attack. They also work to alleviate the symptoms associated with a migraine.
What is the difference between Imigran and Sumatriptan?
Imigran is the branded version of the generic medicine Sumatriptan. Generic medicines are medically equivalent to their branded version but are available at a lower price.
How does Sumatriptan Work?
Sumatriptan succinate is thought to reverse the temporary widening of blood vessels in the brain. The widening of these blood vessels is thought to contribute to a migraine attack. By stimulating receptors called serotonin (or 5HT) receptors found in the brain and therefore contracting the blood vessels, sumatriptan succinate works to treat the cause of a migraine, as well as helping to reduce any associated symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light or sound.
When should I take Sumatriptan?
Sumatriptan should be used when simple analgesics such as paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen or these simple analgesics combined with codeine are not effective. Sumatriptan can be used by people who experience less than 10 episodes of migraine each month. Sumatriptan should be taken at the beginning of a migraine, but it should not be taken to prevent a migraine, rather only to treat one.
How do I take Sumatriptan?
It does not matter if you take Sumatriptan with or without food. Take Sumatriptan with some water. One dose of Sumatriptan should be taken at the beginning of migraine onset. Wait for at least two hours after the first dose before taking a second dose. You should only take a second dose if the first dose was at least somewhat effective, but it did not completely relieve your migraine symptoms or your headache came back. You should not take a second Sumatriptan dose if the first dose did not work, but you can try taking Sumatriptan again for a future migraine.
Will I experience any side effects when I take Sumatriptan?
There is the potential for all medications to cause side effects. However, the particular side effects experienced will vary from person to person. Sumatriptan is safe and effective for the majority of people who are eligible for treatment with it. Some common side effects that may be associated with Sumatriptan can include nausea, vomiting, tiredness/drowsiness, or dizziness. These side effects affect less than 1 in 10 people. If you have any concerns about side effects, please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
What is an Overuse headache and what should I do?
A medication overuse headache, or a rebound headache, can be caused by the overuse of the drugs used to treat migraines. This is why it is very important that you speak to your doctor if you need to take more than 10 doses of Sumatriptan tablets in a month. Your doctor may instead need to discuss prescribing you preventative medication that you can take regularly to help prevent migraines.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a common condition, which affects millions of people across the UK. A migraine is characterized by a severe throbbing headache. Pain is usually felt at the front or side of the head. Approximately 20% of women and 7% of men experience migraines.
Like any medicines, Sumatriptan can cause side effects, but not everybody may experience them. Some symptoms may be caused by the migraine itself.
Common side effects of Sumatriptan include pain, heaviness, pressure or tightness in the chest, throat or other parts of the body, or unusual sensations, including numbness, tingling and warmth or cold. These effects may be intense but generally pass quickly. Some people also experience nausea, dry mouth and drowsiness. These side effects are usually mild and improve on their own.
Patient Information Leaflet
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment. Patient information can be found here.
Over the counter pain-killers such as paracetamol, aspirin or nurofen may help to reduce the symptoms of migraines. They are most effective when taken as soon as the migraine starts.
Triptans are medications that can help to reverse the changes in the brain that may cause migraines.