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sumatriptan

Pronunciation

Generic Name: sumatriptan (injection) (SOO ma TRIP tan)
Brand Name: Alsuma, Imitrex, Imitrex Statdose, Imitrex Statdose Refill, Sumavel DosePro

What is sumatriptan injection?

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.

Sumatriptan is used to treat migraine headaches and cluster headaches in adults. Sumatriptan will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Sumatriptan should not be used to treat a common tension headache or a headache that causes loss of movement on one side of your body. Use this medicine only if your condition has been confirmed by a doctor as migraine headaches.

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

What is the most important information I should know about sumatriptan injection?

You should not use sumatriptan if you have any history of heart disease or coronary artery disease, blood circulation problems, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe liver disease, circulation problems affecting your intestines, history of a stroke, or if your headache seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches.

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

Do not use sumatriptan if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Do not use sumatriptan within 24 hours before or after using any migraine headache medicine..

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using sumatriptan injection?

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

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

  • a heart disorder called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome;

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

  • untreated or or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • severe liver disease;

  • circulation problems affecting your intestines; or

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

Do not use sumatriptan if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

To make sure sumatriptan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • high blood pressure, a heart rhythm disorder; or

  • risk factors for coronary artery disease (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).

Sumatriptan can affect your pupils during cataract surgery. Tell your eye surgeon ahead of time that you are using this medicine.

It is not known whether sumatriptan will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine. Your name may need to be listed on a sumatriptan pregnancy registry.

Sumatriptan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed within 12 hours after using a sumatriptan injection. If you use a breast pump during this time, throw out any milk you collect. Do not feed it to your baby.

This medicine should not be given to anyone under 18 or over 65 years of age.

How should I use sumatriptan injection?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Overuse of migraine headache medicine can actually make your headaches worse.

Sumatriptan is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

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

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

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

Sumatriptan injection comes in a vial (bottle), an auto-injector or prefilled cartridge to be loaded into an auto-injector syringe, or in a needle-free injector device. Each vial, cartridge, or needle-free device is for one use only.

After using an injection: If your headache does not completely go away after the injection, call your doctor before using a second sumatriptan injection. If your headache goes away and then comes back, you may use a second injection if it has been at least one (1) 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.

Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

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

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, skin redness, scabs or scaly skin where you injected the medicine, weakness, lack of coordination, breathing problems, blue-colored lips or fingernails, vision problems, seizure (convulsions), or loss of movement in any part of your body.

What should I avoid while using sumatriptan injection?

Do not use sumatriptan 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), 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).

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

Sumatriptan injection side effects

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

Stop using sumatriptan and call your doctor if you have:

  • sudden and severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea;

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

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • dangerously high blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, nosebleed, anxiety, confusion, severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats;

  • heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, tightness or pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance; or

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

Common side effects may include:

  • numbness or burning sensation;

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

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • feeling weak or tired;

  • neck pain or stiffness;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); 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)

Sumatriptan dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Cluster Headache:

Subcutaneous injection:
Initial dose: 6 mg subcutaneously, once. If symptoms recur, the dose may be repeated if at least 1 hour has elapsed since the first dose.
Maximum dose: 12 mg per 24 hours

Comments:
-Treatment should be started at the first sign of cluster headache, or associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or photophobia. This drug should not be used prophylactically.
-The safety of treating an average of more than 4 headaches in a 30 day period has not been established.

Usual Adult Dose for Migraine:

Oral:
Initial dose: 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg orally, once. If symptoms recur, the dose may be repeated if at least 2 hours have elapsed since the first dose.
Maximum dose: 200 mg orally per 24 hours

Nasal spray:
Initial dose: 5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg into one nostril, once. If symptoms recur, the dose may be repeated if at least 2 hours have elapse since the first dose.
Maximum dose: 40 mg per 24 hours

Subcutaneous injection:
Initial dose: 1 to 6 mg subcutaneously, once. If symptoms recur, the dose may be repeated if at least 1 hour has elapsed since the first dose.
Maximum dose: 12 mg subcutaneously per 24 hours

Comments:
-Treatment should be started at the first sign of a migraine headache, or associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or photophobia. This drug should not be used prophylactically.
-The nasal spray may be useful in patients who experience nausea and vomiting or who require a rapid onset of effect during an attack.
-Subcutaneous doses of 1 to 5 mg may be used if side effects at 6 mg are dose limiting.
-If the migraine returns after an initial dose of subcutaneous injection, additional doses may be given using the oral tablets, up to 100 mg orally per day, with at least a 2 hour interval between tablet doses.
-The safety of treating an average of more than 4 headaches in a 30 day period has not been established.

What other drugs will affect sumatriptan injection?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with sumatriptan, especially:

  • imatinib, isoniazid, nefazodone;

  • an antibiotic--clarithromycin, erythromycin, telithromycin;

  • an antidepressant--amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, imipramine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone;

  • antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;

  • heart medication--nicardipine, quinidine; or

  • antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS--boceprevir, atazanavir, cobicistat (Stribild, Tybost), delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telaprevir.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with sumatriptan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about sumatriptan injection.
  • 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 by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. 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. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2014-12-18, 7:38:18 AM.

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