Sumtriptan (generic Imigran) causes the blood vessels in the brain to contract. As some of the changes that occur in the brain to trigger a migraine attack are believed to involve the blood vessels widening, triptans (such as Sumatriptan) help to reverse this process and relieve the symptoms of migraine. They may also have some effect by stabilising some of the chemical changes that occur in the brain during a migraine attack. Sumatriptan (Imigran) usually starts to work after 30 minutes, therefore it is important to take it as soon as possible into a migraine attack. Sumatriptan may not work for everyone, where it does not work alternative 'triptans', such as almotriptan (Almogran) and favotriptan (Migard) are worth trying.
Sumtriptan is the drug contained in the branded Imigran tablets. They are available as the medically equivalent generic Sumatriptan tablets at a significant saving compared to branded Imigran. Sumtriptan 50mg & 100mg tablets are a prescription-only medicine (POM) that are available to buy from The Independent Pharmacy following a short, free online consultation to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you.
Sumatriptan 50mg tablets are the normal starting dose for most people suffering from migraine and they should relieve most migraines without the need for a repeat dose. If your migraines are severe or you find the 50mg tablets are not as effective as you would like, you may wish to try the 100mg strength.
Sumtriptan tablets should be taken as soon as possible after the onset of a migraine to help reduce symptoms as soon as possible. You can repeat the dose after 2 hours if your migraine has not been relieved.
Sumatriptan 50mg tablets can be taken with painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or codeine or with anti-sickness medicines such as Buccastem, to help treat any additional symptoms associated with your migraines.
Take ONE tablet at onset of symptoms, dose may be repeated after at least 2 hours if migraine symptoms return. Maximum dose is 300mg in 24 hours (three 100mg tablets or six 50mg tablets).
Sumatriptan (Imigran) usually starts to work after 30 minutes. It does not work for everyone. Where it does not work alternative 'triptans' are worth trying.
Sumatriptan should not be taken with other 'triptans' or with medication containing ergotamine.
The side effects of Sumatriptan can include pain, heaviness, pressure or tightness in the chest, throat or other parts of the body, or unusual sensations, including numbness, tingling and warmth or cold. These effects may be intense but generally pass quickly. Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of side effects.
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
If you feel pain or tightness in your chest after you use sumatriptan, do not panic, the symptoms may be intense but they usually pass quickly. If they do not pass quickly or they become severe, get medical help immediately.
If you take Sumatriptan 100mg tablets and you find that your medicine is effective but you get mild unwanted side effects, you may wish to lower the strength of your treatment to Sumatriptan 50mg tablets to see if they are still effective without the side effects.
Sumatriptan has been widely used for many years and is generally considered a safe drug.
Sumatriptan (Imigran) can cause a temporary narrowing of blood vessels. People who have had strokes or mini-strokes, have problems with poor circulation, or a history of angina (heart pain on exertion) or a have had heart attacks should not take sumatriptan.
Even in people who have never had circulation problems sumatriptan can in rare situations trigger serious heart problems. The following groups should check with their GP before taking sumatriptan:
Men over 40
Women after the menopause.
In some rare serious cases migraine headaches are associated with paralysis, loss of vision and loss of speech. Sumatriptan is not to be used in these cases.
Before self medicating for headaches it is best to see a GP for a diagnosis
When headaches start for the first time over the age of 40
When headaches are getting more frequent and lasting longer
When headaches are different from before or there are new symptoms.
You should not use Sumatriptan tablets if:
You are allergic to Sumatriptan or any of the ingredients
You have high blood pressure
You have severely reduced liver function
You use, or have recently used, ergotamine or similar medicines (e.g. methsergide maleate) or MAO inhibitors (e.g. moclobemide or selegiline).
Each Sumatriptan tablet contains sumatriptan succinate as the active ingredient.
Each tablet also contains: lactose monohydrate, hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, crosscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, titanium dioxide (E171), triacetin, red iron oxide (E172).