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Updated on 26 Mar 2024

What to do if you missed your sumatriptan dose

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Other known brand names

Imitrex, Imigran

About sumatriptan

Sumatriptan succinate is classed as a selective serotonin receptor agonist, or triptan. It is thought to work by reversing the widening of blood vessels in the brain, helping to ease the symptoms of migraine. Sumatriptan is most effective when used at the start of a migraine attack.

Sumatriptan is available with a prescription or over the counter under the brand name Imigran. NowPatient offers sumatriptan or Imigran as treatments for migraines only, following an online consultation with a prescribing clinician.

Key facts of sumatriptan

  • For the treatment of migraine attacks
  • Sumatriptan has some common side effects which include drowsiness and nausea
  • It can be dangerous if you take sumatriptan with certain medications. If you’re not sure if it is safe, discuss this with the prescribing clinician

Who is sumatriptan not suitable for?

Sumatriptan may not be suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, speak to the prescribing clinician before taking sumatriptan if you:

  • Have ever had an allergic reaction to sumatriptan
  • Have had a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or heart disease
  • Have liver disease
  • Are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants
  • Are taking other triptan medicines
  • Are taking other migraine treatments, such as ergotamine or its derivatives, methysergide
  • Have a history of epilepsy
  • Are taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressants, or St. John’s wort

How and where to get sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan is available with a prescription. It is also available over the counter at a pharmacy.

NowPatient does not allow customers to buy sumatriptan directly. Our service is certified, safe and effective, and we only ever treat conditions. If you book a consultation with a prescribing clinician for the treatment of migraines, you can discuss if sumatriptan is a suitable treatment option for you.

At the end of the consultation, the clinician will decide if a treatment plan is suitable for you. If it is, the clinician will issue you with a prescription which can then be ordered, paid for and delivered directly to your chosen address by NowPatient.

Dosage and strength for sumatriptan for migraines

Sumatriptan is available as tablets, solution for injection and as a nasal spray when used for migraine attacks. It is available in strengths ranging from 50 mg to 100 mg tablets, and 10mg to 20mg nasal sprays.

Information about how to take sumatriptan for migraines

Sumatriptan tablets are taken orally with or without food when migraines first appear. They should not be taken when you experience aura symptoms such as tingling, dizziness, or issues with your vision.

Sumatriptan can be prescribed when pain killers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, have not been effective. It can also be used in combination with NSAIDs to treat migraine headaches.

Sumatriptan nasal spray is taken at the start of a migraine attack for best effect, but will also give relief if taken later. Spray into one nostril. If ineffective, take a second dose after 2 hours.

Read the patient information leaflet supplied with your medication or speak to a healthcare professional for medical advice.

What happens if you take too much sumatriptan?

If you take more than prescribed, then it can lead to some unpleasant side effects. You should talk to your doctor or reach out to one of our prescribing clinicians, if you have taken too much sumatriptan and you experience any of the following side effects:

What are the side effects of sumatriptan?

Side effects of sumatriptan are split into common and serious.

Common side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Chest pain
  • Tingling sensations
  • Nosebleed
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Hot flushes
  • Shortness of breath

If you experience any serious side effects, you should contact NHS 111.

If you experience a serious allergic reaction with the signs shown below you should contact emergency services on 999.

  • Your lips, mouth, throat or tongue suddenly become swollen
  • You’re breathing very fast or struggling to breathe (you may become very wheezy or feel like you’re choking or gasping for air)
  • Your throat feels tight or you’re struggling to swallow
  • Your skin, tongue or lips turn blue, grey or pale (if you have black or brown skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
  • You suddenly become very confused, drowsy or dizzy
  • Someone faints and cannot be woken up

Always report adverse effects to the MHRA yellow card reporting system. You can read more about this here How and where do I report side effects of my medication? – NowPatient

Information about taking sumatriptan at the same time as other medications or herbal supplements

There is not enough evidence to suggest there are any drug interactions between herbal supplements and sumatriptan. In any event, you should let your prescribing clinician know if you are taking any herbal supplements.

Can sumatriptan taken for migraines be taken long term?

You should not use sumatriptan too often. Speak to your doctor if your migraine does not go away, or if you have migraines or cluster headaches on a regular basis.

Is there a herbal sumatriptan?

No. Herbal sumatriptan does not exist. If you have been marketed such a formulation, it may be fake.

Can women use sumatriptan?

Women can take sumatriptan for the treatment of migraine attacks. However it is important to not breastfeed your baby within 12 hours after taking a sumatriptan dose. Speak to your doctor if you are breastfeeding or suspect you are pregnant, before taking sumatriptan.

Should I avoid any particular food or drink when taking sumatriptan?

You can eat and drink normally when taking sumatriptan, but you should avoid alcohol during a migraine attack.

What lifestyle changes can I make to help me with migraines?

  • Maintain regular sleep patterns
  • Exercise
  • Eat regular healthy meals
  • Reduce your stress
  • Avoiding triggers

Alternatives to sumatriptan

Alternatives for the treatment of migraines include other triptans such as zolmitriptan, rizatriptan, naratriptan and almotriptan, or painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen.


Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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