Sumatriptan can help you stop a migraine within 2 hours. You can take sumatriptan if you’re over 18 years old and have been diagnosed with migraines in the past.

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What is sumatriptan and what is it used for?

Sumatriptan is a tablet that contains a type of medication called a triptan. You can use it to treat a migraine as soon as it starts. The active ingredient in sumatriptan tablets is sumatriptan, which is a generic form of the brand Imigran.

How sumatriptan works

Sumatriptan is a type of triptan medication. Triptans work by attaching to 5-HT receptors in the brain. This helps to narrow blood vessels which can become swollen during a migraine. They help to stop the pain and other symptoms of a migraine

How to take sumatriptan

Only take a sumatriptan tablet when you have a migraine attack and not beforehand. This is because you can only treat a migraine that’s happening at that time with sumatriptan. It does not prevent them.

To take sumatriptan :

  1. Swallow 1 sumatriptan tablet whole with water as soon as you feel a migraine attack coming on. You do not need to have any food with sumatriptan tablets.
  2. After your first dose, if your migraine is not better after 2 hours, do not take another sumatriptan tablet but speak to a doctor for advice. If your migraine does get better but you feel like it’s coming back, you can take a second sumatriptan tablet as long as it is at least 2 hours since your first dose.
  3. If your second dose of sumatriptan does not clear your migraine, you need to speak to your doctor.

Taking too many sumatriptan tablets can make you ill, so do not take more than 3 sumatriptan tablets in a 24 hour period. Get in touch with your doctor if you have taken too many sumatriptan tablets or call 111 for help from a healthcare professional.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Article created: 14 Oct 2021

Last reviewed: 14 Oct 2021

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