Sumatriptan is used to treat migraine headaches (severe throbbing or pulsating sensation usually affecting one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound).
It helps relieve pain and other symptoms of a migraine attack.
Use Sumatriptan exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine is available as a nasal spray or nasal powder in a capsule inside a disposable nosepiece.
The nasal powder is administered into the nostril via a reusable breath-activated delivery device.
To use the nasal spray, follow these steps:
- Remove the nasal spray from the blister packaging just before you use it. Do not test the spray or press the plunger prior to using a dose.
- Blow your nose gently to clean your nostrils before using the spray.
- Close one nostril with your finger. Hold the nasal spray straight and upright with your fingers and thumb.
- Place the nozzle of the spray into the other nostril. Breathe out through your mouth and as you breathe in through your nose gently with your mouth closed, firmly press the plunger with your thumb. Keep breathing in while spraying.
- Remove the nasal spray and your finger on the closed nostril. While keeping your head upright for 10-20 seconds, breathe in gently through your nose and breath out through your mouth to help keep the medicine stay in the nose.
- Discard the used nasal spray.
To use the nosepiece (containing a capsule) via a breath-activated delivery device, follow these steps:
- Remove the device cover and the first nosepiece.
- Insert the first nosepiece into the device until you hear it click into place.
- Fully press and release the button to pierce the medication capsule. It is important that you must not miss this step, or you will not get any medication.
- Insert the nosepiece deeply into one (first) nostril, then rotate the device to place the mouthpiece into your mouth.
- Blow with your mouth into the device for 2-3 seconds to release the medication into your nose. You may hear a rattling sound or feel a vibration. Do not press the button while blowing.
- Press the clear tab to remove the first nosepiece. Check the capsule in the nosepiece if the medicine is gone. If the capsule appears unused, repeat steps 2 to 5. Discard the used nosepiece.
- Insert the second nosepiece into the device until you hear it click in place.
- Repeat steps 3 to 6 with the second nosepiece into the other (second) nostril.
- Replace the cover of the device.
Make sure you know how to use your nasal spray or the breath-activated device. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not share your nasal spray or device with others as it could spread infection.
Use Sumatriptan only when you have a migraine attack.
Sumatriptan should be used as soon as you feel a migraine coming on. If you responded well to the first dose but your symptoms start to come back, or if your migraine does not go away after the first dose, do not use a second dose without first asking your doctor. If your doctor says that you can use a second dose, wait for at least 1 or 2 hours from the time you administered the first dose before using a second dose.
Inform your doctor if this medicine does not give you any relief.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart problems e.g. chest pain, history of heart attack
- heart rhythm disorders e.g. irregular or abnormal heartbeat
- history of stroke
- moderate to severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure
- peripheral vascular disease (narrowing or blockage of arteries outside of the heart and brain causing poor circulation of blood to the arms and legs)
- certain types of headache known as hemiplegic, basilar or ophthalmoplegic migraines
- severe liver disease
as Sumatriptan may not be suitable for you.
Do not use this medicine if you are currently taking or have taken a medicine that is used to treat depression known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within 14 days of stopping the MAOI.
Do not use Sumatriptan with other medicines for migraine, such as ergotamine, methysergide, zolmitriptan and naratriptan, or if you have taken these medicines in the last 24 hours.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- controlled high blood pressure
- family history of heart disease
- high cholesterol levels in the blood
- with or a history of epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- previous allergic reactions to sulfonamides (certain type of antibiotics)
- mild to moderate liver disease
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have gone through menopause.
Notify your doctor if you smoke or a chain smoker.
Sumatriptan should not be used to prevent or reduce the number of migraine attacks.
Your doctor may need to do a medical examination and various tests before starting you on this medicine.
If you have an increased risk of heart disease, your doctor may advise you to use your first dose of Sumatriptan in the clinic so that he can monitor your response. You will also be required to have regular heart check-ups while being treated with this medicine.
Sumatriptan is not a painkiller. Do not use this medicine for any other purpose other than to relieve a migraine.
Sumatriptan may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: unpleasant taste, discomfort, irritation or burning sensation in the nose or throat, nosebleed, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, muscle pain, and flushing.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- tightness, pain, pressure or heaviness in the chest area, throat, jaw or neck, irregular heartbeat
- agitation, confusion, hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent), fever, fast heartbeat, muscle stiffness
- pain, weakness, numbness or tingling sensation in the legs and feet
- severe or sudden stomach pain, bloody diarrhoea
- fits or seizures
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes, mouth or throat
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not use Sumatriptan with other medicines for migraine, such as naratriptan, zolmitriptan, ergotamine, methysergide and dihydroergotamine, or if you have taken these medicines in the last 24 hours.
Do not use this medicine if you are currently taking or have taken a medicine that is used to treat depression known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine and tranylcypromine within 14 days of stopping the MAOI.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- medicines to treat depression e.g. citalopram, fluoxetine, venlafaxine, duloxetine, doxepin
- St. John's wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Sumatriptan.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Certain types of food and food additives such as chocolate, cheese, coffee and monosodium glutamate (MSG) may trigger a migraine attack. You may want to keep a food diary to help you identify possible foods that trigger off your migraine attacks.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
Keep the nasal spray in its original blister pack, preferably in the box, to protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.