Sumatriptan Tablets (50mg & 100mg)
- Treats migraines
- Very fast acting
- Generic (cheaper) version of Imigran
Please note brand received may vary
order before 2pm
and team of dispensers
What is Sumatriptan?
Sumatriptan is an effective and fast-acting medicine used for treating migraines and cluster headaches. It is part of a group of medicines called triptans, or serotonin (5-HT1) agonists.
It is the generic version of the drug Imigran, used to treat migraines. Triptans are prescribed for migraine sufferers to help them cope with the changes in the brain caused by this condition. By contracting blood vessels, triptans are able to stabilise brain chemicals and alleviate the pain brought on by migraines.
You must have a prescription to buy Sumatriptan.
What is Sumatriptan used to treat?
Sumatriptan cannot cure cluster headaches or migraines, nor can it prevent the oncoming of these afflictions. However, it is very effective in lessening the pain caused by these conditions, alleviating the symptoms and allowing you to go about your everyday life without interruption from chronic pain.
While it is not classed as a painkiller, the medicine can be used as one if nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or painkillers have not effectively lessened your symptoms.
Why is Sumatriptan recommended for migraines?
Sumatriptan has been clinically tested and shown to be effective at relieving single acute migraine attacks. It has also been found to be generally well-tolerated.
Furthermore, Sumatriptan is fast-acting and typically gets to work within an hour of being taken. This means your symptoms should go away shortly after taking this medication.
How does Sumatriptan work?
This medicine stabilises several chemical changes within the brain during a migraine attack, reducing your symptoms.
Changes in the brain which cause migraines are thought to involve the widening of blood vessels within the brain. Sumatriptan contains the active ingredient sumatriptan succinate, which causes your brain's blood vessels to contract to their normal size, thus alleviating the symptoms of a migraine.
By stimulating the serotonin receptors in your brain, it causes the surrounding muscles to contract, lessening the pain of a migraine attack.
Who can take Sumatriptan tablets?
You should not take Sumatriptan tablets if you suffer from any of the following conditions or allergies:
- You have high blood pressure
- You have recently used ergotamine or similar medicines, or MAO inhibitors
- You have any heart conditions (such as heart attacks, angina or tachyarrhythmia)
- You have seizures or fits
- You are allergic to Sumatriptan, Triptans 5-HT1, antimigraine agents, or any other ingredients
- You have a severely reduced liver function or liver disease
You are not advised to take Sumatriptan tablets if you intend to drive or operate machinery. Migraines often cause drowsiness and dizziness, so you should avoid driving a car or operating any type of machinery until you feel better.
Sumatriptan can also have an adverse effect on anybody who is taking antidepressants. If you are taking antidepressants, you should consult your doctor before you start taking this medication.
You can eat and drink as normal while taking Sumatriptan as alcohol does not affect the medicine. However, during any headache attack, it is always best to avoid any alcohol as it can sometimes be the trigger for a migraine or cluster headache.
Sumatriptan is considered to be a safe treatment for migraines in pregnant women. Sumatriptan can also be taken during breastfeeding as minimal amounts are excreted into the breastmilk.
Can you buy Sumatriptan over the counter?
You can purchase this medicine when you have a prescription from your doctor. It is not for sale over the counter.
Can you buy Sumatriptan online in the UK?
A prescription-only medicine (POM), you can buy Sumatriptan online from Medicine Direct if you have been diagnosed with migraines in the past. All you need to do is complete our simple and confidential online questionnaire, which will be assessed by one of our certified prescribers.
Sumatriptan 50mg or 100mg doses are available to be purchased from our online pharmacy. If you order before 2pm we can offer next day delivery on your medicine.
Never buy medicine online unless you order from a registered pharmacy, like Medicine Direct.
Medicine Direct stocks a number of alternative triptan medicines if Sumatriptan is not suitable for you. You can also order medicines like Almotriptan and Zolmitriptan from our online pharmacy by filling out our online medical questionnaire. Once one of our prescribers has checked your answers, your order will then be processed.
Imigran nasal sprays, which contain sumatriptan as the active ingredient, are also available to be bought from our online pharmacy. The nasal spray works to relieve migraines and is a good alternative for people who have trouble swallowing tablets.
Non-prescription alternatives like Anadin Extra and Migraleve Pink can be bought from our pharmacy, too.
All of our doctors and Pharmacists follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Sumatriptan 500/100mg tablets.
Your first dose should be taken only when the pain has actually started, not before, as this can lead to symptoms of “aura”, which are the temporary warning symptoms before a migraine. Do not take Sumatriptan as a preventative measure against the onset of migraines.
Sumatriptan 50mg tablets are the regular starting dose for most people who experience migraine pain; this dosage should be sufficient to relieve most of the symptoms brought on by migraines, without needing to repeat the dose.
If you suffer from severe migraines, or 50mg is not effective enough, you may prefer to try Sumatriptan 100mg strength tablets.
How to take Sumatriptan
Take one tablet as soon as you start to feel the symptoms of a migraine attack coming on.
If your symptoms return or the initial dose is ineffective, a second dose can be taken after two hours.
Do not take more than three 100mg tablets or six 50mg tablets in 24 hours.
Swallow Sumatriptan tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.
Always read the patient information leaflet before you start to take Sumatriptan. This leaflet will contain full details on how to take this medication.
Sumatriptan Side Effects
With all medicines, Sumatriptan has side effects. Most of these side effects are very mild and most people do not experience many or any of them.
Common side effects of Sumatriptan do not generally last long and include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Dizziness or feeling unsteady on your feet
- Feeling hot or cold
- Face flushing red
If any of these issues bother you or last for more than a few days, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.
In very rare cases, some people experience serious side effects. You should stop taking Sumatriptan and contact your doctor straight away if you experience any of the following:
- Feelings of warmth or cold in your face, arms, legs or chest
- Unusual feelings of heaviness in your face, arms, legs or chest
- Tightness or tingling in your face, arms, legs or chest
For the full list of side effects, you should read the patient information leaflet inside your medicine's packet.
Sumatriptan warnings and drug interactions
Sumatriptan is generally considered to be a safe form of medication; it has been used for many years and has proven an effective way of tackling the symptoms of migraines.
It should be noted that Sumatriptan (Imigran) can cause your blood vessels to narrow, temporarily. For this reason, people who have had problems with poor circulation, a history of angina, heart attacks, strokes or mini-strokes should not take Sumatriptan. In rare situations, Sumatriptan can trigger serious heart problems even in people who have never had circulation problems.
You should check with your GP before taking Sumatriptan if you are a heavy smoker, a woman who has had menopause or a man over the age of 40.
Migraines are, in some rare cases, associated with loss of vision, loss of speech and paralysis.
You should always see a GP for a diagnosis before you self-medicate for a headache. You should not take Sumatriptan in any of the below instances:
- When headaches are different from previous ones or they show new symptoms
- When headaches are more frequent and last longer
- When headaches start for the first time over the age of 40
Do not take Sumatriptan tablets if:
- You have high blood pressure
- You have severely reduced liver function
- You are allergic to Sumatriptan or any of the ingredients
- You use, or have recently used ergotamine or similar medicines (e.g. methsergide maleate) or MAO inhibitors (like moclobemide or selegiline)
Sumatriptan in some cases may interact with other drugs, it is recommended to read the complete list of drug interactions before taking this medicine.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
While there is not enough research to say for certain, Sumatriptan is not believed to be harmful during pregnancy. You should consult your doctor about the potential benefits and dangers of taking the medicine before you take it.
It is usually safe to take Sumatriptan while breastfeeding, as only small amounts of the medicine go into the breast milk. You are advised to speak to your doctor if your baby was premature or has any health problems. Similarly, if you are trying to get pregnant, you should talk to your doctor before taking Sumatriptan. We recommend BUMPs for additional information.
The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Sumatriptan succinate.
For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics.
Is Maxalt the same as Sumatriptan?
No, Maxalt is also a triptan, but it contains the active ingredient Rizatriptan. However, both medicines are used in the treatment of migraines.
Which is stronger: rizatriptan or sumatriptan?
Rizatriptan has been found to be more effective than sumatriptan when measured in time-to-pain-relief time. However, sumatriptan is nonetheless an effective medication for migraine relief. Both medicines are well tolerated and unlikely to cause serious side effects.
Can Sumatriptan make you feel high?
No, Sumatriptan can relieve pain caused by migraine headaches effectively, but it will not get you high. It is also not to be used as a general pain relief medicine, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Can Sumatriptan be abused?
Clinical studies suggest that Sumtriptan’s potential to be abused is low.
Is it okay to take Sumatriptan daily?
You must not take Sumatriptan for more than 10 days in a month. If your migraines persist or require you to take Sumatriptan on a regular basis, you should speak to your doctor. There may be an underlying reason why you are experiencing this problem.
Can you have caffeine with Sumatriptan?
You can enjoy caffeinated drinks in moderation while taking Sumatriptan. However, you are advised to limit stimulants like caffeine when using a triptan.
Can I take ibuprofen with Sumatriptan?
Yes, it is okay to take ibuprofen with Sumatriptan if you need additional pain relief.
Does grapefruit affect Sumatriptan?
Yes, you should not drink grapefruit juice or eat any foods that contain grapefruit while taking Sumatriptan. When consumed at the same time as Sumatriptan, grapefruit can increase the risk of certain side effects.
Does Sumatriptan cause memory loss?
Research has stated that 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists like Sumatriptan may cause memory impairment. However, this will not affect everyone, and it is not a common side effect associated with this medicine.
Written by: Hussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840
Published on: 12/10/2020
Updated on: 27/07/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
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- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
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