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What does it do?

Sumatriptan is used to treat migraines and sometimes other types of headache.

How should you take it?

Take sumatriptan as directed at the start of migraine symptoms.
Take the tablets with a large glass of water.
Inject the injection under the skin as directed.
Do not take more than one dose for the same migraine.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with sumatriptan including:

  • cold and flu medicines containing dextromethorphan (e.g. Robitussin Dry Cough Forte®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs (e.g. ecstasy).

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Pain, tightness or pressure in your chest, throat or jaw

Fast or irregular heartbeat

Trouble breathing

Tell your doctor immediately

Drowsiness, tiredness or weakness

Dizziness, hot flushing

Burning sensation, tingling or numbness

Muscle aches and pains

Sore throat, runny or blocked nose

Stomach upset

Pain, tenderness or redness at injection site

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart or liver problems, high blood pressure, depression, or a history of stroke or ‘mini-stroke’.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Do not take more than 300 mg of the sumatriptan tablets, or 12 mg of the sumatriptan injection (2 injections) in 24 hours.
  • Do not use sumatriptan to prevent the onset of migraines.
  • Sumatriptan may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. May 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed