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Sumatriptan Tablets

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Sumatriptan Tablets

Migraine

Sumatriptan tablets are an effective treatment used to treat migraine headaches. It is part of the 5-HT1B/1D agonist type medicines also known as "triptans" Migraines occur because of an abnormal change in brain activity that causes certain blood vessels in the brain to open up and become "leaky". Sumatriptan works by returning these blood vessels to their normal state, providing relief from the pain and other symptoms that the migraine may have caused. A single dose of Sumatriptan usually stops the headache from reaching its full intensity and the treatment as a whole can vastly improve the quality of life of those suffering. 

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Description

Sumatriptan - what is it used for?

Sumatriptan tablets are an antimigraine treatment used to treat migraine headaches associated with aura. It belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin 5-HT1B/1D agonists or "triptans". Sumatriptan was the first of these types of medicines to come to market and thus is one of the most cost effective migraine treatments available.

How does it work?

Migraine headaches occur because of an abnormal change in brain activity that causes certain blood vessels in the brain to dilate. Sumatriptan works by returning these blood vessels to their normal state, providing relief from the pain and other symptoms that the migraine may have caused, like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

How is Sumatriptan taken?

The recommended dose for adults is 50mg at the beginning of a migraine attack. If this is ineffective then a patient can take up to 100mg. The tablets can be taken with our without food and should be taken whole, with a full glass of water.

Sumatriptan should be taken as soon as migraine symptoms are experienced. The earlier it is taken during an attack, the more effective it’s action is.

If the headache returns or the first dose was not effective enough to stop the headache, another tablet can be taken at least 2 hours after the first. If Sumatriptan still doesn’t reverse the pain then it is not recommended that you take another tablet for the same attack. Other treatment options (such as painkillers) should be sought to help deal with the symptoms.

How long does it take to work?

Relief usually takes 45 minutes to achieve with Sumatriptan. Each tablet lasts up to 2 hours however as triptans work by reversing the cause of migraine, they rarely require a second dose.

Can I take painkillers with Sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan can be taken alongside painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen. The NSAIDs in combination with a triptan have been shown to be more effective than using either alone as a monotherapy.

Why is Imigran so much more expensive than Sumatriptan if they’re the same?

Imigran is a branded medication manufactured by GSK containing the active ingredient sumatriptan.

Sumatriptan as a generic medicine is clinically equivalent and interchangeable with Imigran. The price difference is because GSK were the first company to release the drug to the market. As bringing a drug to the market is expensive, it is usually reflected in the price of branded medicines.

P.S 2019

How to Use

It’s best to take Sumatriptan as soon as you feel a migraine coming on, although - you can take it at any time during an attack.

Don’t use Sumatriptan to try to prevent an attack - only use it after your migraine symptoms start.

The usual dose for adults aged 18 to 65 is one Sumatriptan tablet, swallowed whole with water at the onset of migraine. 

If your symptoms start to come back

You can take a second Sumatriptan tablet if at least 2 hours have passed since the first tablet. Don’t take more than 300 mg in total in 24 hours.

If Sumatriptan doesn’t give you any relief: Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Don’t take more than six 50 mg tablets or three 100 mg tablets (that’s 300 mg in total) in 24 hours. Taking too much Sumatriptan could make you ill.

If you have taken more than 300 mg in 24 hours: Contact your doctor for advice. If you have any further questions about the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, but not everybody gets them. Some symptoms may be caused by the migraine itself.

Common side effects (affect up to 1 in 10 people)

  • Heaviness, pressure, tightness or pain in the chest, throat or other parts of the body,
  • or feelings of unusual sensations, including numbness, tingling and warmth or cold.
  • These effects may be intense but generally pass quickly.
  • If these effects continue or become severe (especially the chest pain): Get medical help urgently. In a very small number of people these symptoms can be caused by a heart attack. 
  • Other common side effects include:

  • Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting), although this may be due to the migraine itself.
  • Tiredness or drowsiness.
  • Dizziness, feeling weak, or getting hot flushes.
  • Temporary increase in blood pressure.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Aching muscles.
  • For a full list of side effects CLICK HERE

    Reporting of side effects

    If you get any concerning side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse

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