The Independent Pharmacy

Sumatriptan Side Effects: Everything You Need To Know Before Using The Migraine Medication

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 4 Jul 2023

Sumatriptan is a prescription-only migraine medication that can help to alleviate migraine symptoms. If you suffer from migraines and you’re planning on trying a new medication, it’s a good idea to read up on it so that you know what to expect and how this treatment could potentially affect you.

Sumatriptan Tablets (50mg & 100mg)
Sumatriptan Tablets (50mg & 100mg)
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On this page, we’ll take a closer look at the most common Sumatriptan side effects so that you know exactly what to expect if you decide to use this medication.

For more general information about Sumatriptan, visit our what is Sumatriptan page.

Common Sumatriptan side effects and symptoms

There are some possible side effects that you may experience if you decide to use Sumatriptan to treat your migraines.

Some Sumatriptan users will not experience any negative side effects at all and will have an extremely positive experience with the medication.

To find out how real users got on with Sumatriptan, you can visit our Sumatriptan customer reviews page.

Here are some of the common side effects of Sumatriptan:

  • Feeling warm or cold
  • Hot flushes
  • Tingling or prickling sensations in your skin
  • Pressure or pain in your chest, neck, jaw, or throat
  • Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting) — however, this may also be due to the migraine itself
  • Tiredness or drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling weak
  • Temporary increase in blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath

If you do feel pain or tightness in your chest after you use Sumatriptan, don’t panic: the symptoms may be intense but they normally pass quickly. If they do not improve quickly or become more severe, you should get medical help immediately.

Serious Sumatriptan side effects and symptoms

You should always call your doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects from any medication, including Sumatriptan. If you feel like your symptoms are dangerous or life-threatening, you should call emergency services.

These are some of the serious side effects and their symptoms of Sumatriptan:

  • Heart attack or other cardiovascular issues: symptoms include chest pain, shoulder pain, fast heart rate, irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, excessive sweating
  • Other chest problems: tightness, heaviness, pressure or pain in the chest or throat
  • Serotonin syndrome: Agitation, restlessness, confusion, hallucinations, fast heart rate, shaking, excessive sweating, dilated pupils, rigid or twitching muscles, nausea or diarrhoea
  • Digestive problems: nausea, vomiting, pain in your abdomen (stomach area), diarrhoea or bloody diarrhoea
  • Stroke or brain haemorrhage: headache, drooping face, difficulties speaking, numbness, weakness on one side of your body, loss of balance
  • Mental health: confusion, agitation, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself

The above side effects are very unusual but it’s worth knowing what they are, just in case you encounter any. If they do occur, you may need medical attention. If in doubt, check with a medical professional immediately.

Sumatriptan maximum dosage

The maximum recommended dose of Sumatriptan is 300 mg in 24 hours (either three 100 mg tablets or six 50mg tablets). Any more than this will not alleviate your migraine symptoms and could cause adverse effects.

Sumatriptan tablets are available in two doses: 50 mg and 100 mg. We offer both dosages at The Independent Pharmacy — click here to buy Sumatriptan in either dose.

The standard recommended dosage of Sumatriptan is a single 50 mg tablet (however, in some circumstances, users may require a 100 mg dose).

If your migraine symptoms return, you can repeat your usual dose after at least two hours — however, it is important that you do not exceed the maximum recommended dose of 300 mg in 24 hours.

If you are concerned that you have exceeded this amount and are suffering from a Sumatriptan overdose, contact your doctor immediately.

Using Sumatriptan and alcohol

Alcohol should not have any impact on the effectiveness of Sumatriptan.

However, you may want to avoid alcohol (or at least limit your intake) during a migraine as this may possibly make your migraine symptoms worse and exacerbate your condition.

Drinking alcohol could also increase the side effects of Sumatriptan such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea or hot flushing — meaning you may feel more uncomfortable as you are trying to recover from a migraine.

Using Sumatriptan when pregnant

There currently isn’t enough information or research to let us know whether Sumatriptan is safe to use when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Until the full effect can be established, it is generally advisable that this medication is not used in these cases. Your doctor will be able to advise you further on how best to manage your migraines during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

For more information, you can visit our page on Sumatriptan use during pregnancy.

Using Sumatriptan while driving or operating heavy machinery

Sumatriptan can make you feel tired, drowsy and dizzy. It may also impair your reaction times and alertness.

That’s why it’s important to avoid driving, using heavy machinery or any other hazardous activities until you know how this medicine will affect you.

It could be that you do not suffer from any of these side effects at all. However, until you can be sure of this, it is best to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for your own safety and for the safety of those around you.

How Sumatriptan interacts with other medicines

Sumatriptan can interact with a few other medicines, so depending on the other medicines or medication you are taking, Sumatriptan may not be a suitable option for you.

You can use Sumatriptan alongside other medicines like painkillers and anti-sickness treatments with no interaction, such as:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Paracetamol
  • Aspirin
  • Anti-sickness medication

As well as these, Sumatriptan should have no effect on antibiotics or the contraceptive pill (and vice versa).

However, Sumatriptan may interact with antidepressants, so you should avoid taking this medicine if you use, or have recently used the below:

  • Ergotamine or similar medicines (e.g. methysergide maleate)
  • Monoamine oxidase-A/MAO inhibitors (e.g. moclobemide or selegiline)

If you are unsure about how your antidepressant medication will react with Sumatriptan, you can consult your doctor.

Likewise, you should also not use other 'triptan' migraine medication while you are using Sumatriptan, such as:

  • Almogran (almotriptan)
  • Maxalt (rizatriptan)
  • Migard (frovatriptan)
  • Naramig (naratriptan)

These drugs all belong to the same family, which would exceed the maximum recommended daily dose and potentially cause harmful effects.

Allergic reactions to Sumatriptan

Severe allergic reactions to Sumatriptan are very rare, but it can happen.

Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include:

  • A rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, throat and tongue
  • Puffiness around the eyes or eyelids
  • Difficulty breathing (including very fast or irregular breathing, gasping for breath and wheezing)
  • Fainting
  • Changes in the colour of the skin on the face
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat

If any of these symptoms occur, and you think you are having an allergic reaction, you should get emergency medical attention immediately.

Using Sumatriptan with certain health conditions

Sumatriptan is considered an extremely safe and effective migraine medication for many users. However, there are certain health conditions that are contraindicated with this drug (which means you have an increased risk of negative effects and therefore shouldn’t use it).

You should not take Sumatriptan if you have one of the following health conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart conditions (including angina, tachyarrhythmia, and heart attacks)
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Strokes
  • Peripheral vascular disease (restricted blood flow to the arms, legs, or other body parts)
  • Myocardial ischemia (inadequate blood flow to the heart muscle)
  • Lack of blood supply to the brain
  • Severely reduced liver function or liver disease
  • Seizures

Taking Sumatriptan if you suffer from any of these health conditions could be harmful to you.

If you aren’t sure whether using Sumatriptan would be safe or appropriate for you, it is best to speak to your doctor or a medical professional.

Is Sumatriptan addictive?

Sumatriptan is not addictive, but if it is taken very regularly then some patients may find that withdrawal symptoms occur after long-term use or it can begin to make headaches worse, rather than cure them.

If you are concerned that you are overusing Sumatriptan or have an addiction, you should speak to your doctor.


If you suffer from migraines then Sumatriptan is an effective and fast-acting treatment option.

Sumatriptan has some known common side effects, but these are usually mild: most commonly, feelings of drowsiness. Some symptoms may be more intense but they usually pass quickly.

Overall, the positive effects of the medication far outweigh any small side effects, and many Sumatriptan users do not experience any negative side effects at all while taking the tablets.

If you experience any of the more serious side effects of Sumatriptan, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Interested in buying Sumatriptan? All you need to do is visit our Sumatriptan page and complete a short, free online consultation. After that, we can get your prescription delivered to you the very next day.


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