Medication Guide App

Alsuma

Generic Name: sumatriptan (injection) (soo ma TRIP tan)
Brand Names: Alsuma Auto-injector, Imitrex, Imitrex Statdose, Imitrex Statdose Refill, Sumavel DosePro

What is Alsuma?

Alsuma (sumatriptan) is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Sumatriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms.

Alsuma Auto-Injector is used to treat migraine headaches and cluster headaches. Alsuma will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Alsuma should not be used to treat a common tension headache, a headache that causes loss of movement on one side of your body, or any headache that seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches. Use Alsuma only if your condition has been confirmed by a doctor as migraine headaches.

Alsuma may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use Alsuma if you are allergic to sumatriptan, if you have any history of heart disease, or if you have coronary heart disease, angina, blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart, uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe liver disease, ischemic bowel disease, a history of a heart attack or stroke, or if your headache seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches.

Do not use Alsuma within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine, including sumatriptan tablets or nasal spray, almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), rizatriptan (Maxalt), naratriptan (Amerge), zolmitriptan (Zomig), or ergot medicine such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot, Migergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), or methylergonovine (Methergine).

Slideshow: Living with Your Migraines: Tips for Treatment and Prevention

Do not use Alsuma if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.

Before using Alsuma, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, seizures, high blood pressure, a heart rhythm disorder, or coronary heart disease (or risk factors such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).

Also tell your doctor if you are taking an antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), or venlafaxine (Effexor).

Alsuma will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

After using an Alsuma Auto-Injector, you must wait one (1) hour before using a second injection. Do not use more than two injections in 24 hours.

Before using Alsuma

You should not use Alsuma if you are allergic to sumatriptan, or if you have:

  • coronary heart disease, angina (chest pain), blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart;

  • a history of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke, including "mini-stroke";

  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • severe liver disease;
  • ischemic bowel disease; or

  • a headache that seems different from your usual migraine headaches.

Do not use Alsuma if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days.

To make sure you can safely use Alsuma, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • high blood pressure, a heart rhythm disorder; or

  • coronary heart disease (or risk factors such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Alsuma will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Sumatriptan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed within 12 hours after using an Alsuma Auto-Injector. If you use a breast pump during this time, throw out any milk you collect. Do not feed it to your baby. Alsuma should not be given to anyone under 18 or over 65 years of age.

How should I use Alsuma?

Use Alsuma exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Overuse of migraine headache medicine can actually make your headaches worse.

Alsuma is injected under the skin. You will be shown how to use the Auto-Injector at home. Do not self inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection.

Alsuma Auto-Injector comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Use Alsuma as soon as you notice headache symptoms, or after an attack has already begun.

Your doctor may want to give your first dose of this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to see if you have any serious side effects.

Alsuma is a disposable one time use, pre-filled auto-injector.

After using an injection: If your headache does not completely go away after the injection, call your doctor before using a second Alsuma injection. If your headache goes away and then comes back, you may use a second injection if it has been at least one hour since your first injection. Do not use more than two (2) injections in 24 hours. If your symptoms do not improve, contact your doctor before using any more injections.

Store Alsuma at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Throw away any unused auto-injectors after the expiration date on the label has passed.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Alsuma is used as needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule. Call your doctor promptly if your symptoms do not improve after using Alsuma.

After using an Alsuma injection, you must wait one (1) hour before using a second injection. Do not use more than two (2) injections in 24 hours.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include tremors or shaking, skin redness, breathing problems, blue-colored lips or fingernails, vision problems, watery eyes or mouth, weakness, lack of coordination, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid?

Do not use Alsuma within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine, including:

  • sumatriptan tablets or nasal spray, almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT), or zolmitriptan (Zomig); or

  • ergot medicine such as dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot, Migergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), or methylergonovine (Methergine).

Alsuma may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Alsuma side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Alsuma: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Alsuma and call your doctor if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling of pain or tightness in your jaw, neck, or throat;

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;

  • sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • sudden and severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • numbness or tingling and a pale or blue-colored appearance in your fingers or toes; or

  • (if you are also taking an antidepressant) - agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting.

Less serious Alsuma side effects may include:

  • mild headache (not a migraine);

  • pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body;

  • discomfort in your nose or throat;

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • muscle pain, neck pain or stiffness;

  • warmth, redness, or mild tingling under your skin; or

  • pain, redness, bleeding, swelling, or bruising where you injected the medicine.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Alsuma?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • an antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), or venlafaxine (Effexor).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Alsuma. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Alsuma.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 2/5/2011 12:05:00 PM.

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