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Last Updated on June 3, 2023

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The active ingredient Sumatriptan belongs to the group of triptans used for the treatment of acute migraine and cluster headache. Sumatriptan was the first approved triptan on the German pharmaceutical market. The drug may be administered for example a tablet, suppository, or syringe. Here you can read more about the impact and use of Sumatriptan, side effects and other important facts.

How Sumatriptan works

migraine differs by a mostly one-sided, strong and vibrant to throbbing pain from normal headaches. The cause of migraines is not fully understood. Currently, experts of several complementary factors in the emergence of migraine:

  • During an acute migraine attack blood vessels have been shown to extend in the brain, so that the relevant parts of the brain are strengthened with blood. In the vascular wall are receptors, the pain and the stretching of the vessels pass to the brain.
  • In an acute migraine attack can be in the blood enhanced inflammatory messengers find such as CGRP (“calcitonin gene-related peptide”), substance P and neurokinin A. These provide additional vascular dilatation and irritation of the affected tissue.
  • Experts suspect in migraine patients a hyperexcitability of certain parts of the brain. The same is the seizure of the case, to which the migraine has few parallels.
  • Genetic factors also can affect the severity of the disease.

triptans such as Sumatriptan spread via the blood to the brain and activate on the surface of nerve cells and blood vessels in the brain certain docking sites (receptors) for the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT 1receptor). This means that constrict the dilated during an attack blood vessels and are also released by nerve cells less inflammatory messengers.

Even with cluster headache, Sumatriptan having an effect. It involves strictly unilateral, very strong pain attacks that occur preferentially in the range of temporal and eye.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of Sumatriptan

Sumatriptan is taken after taking over his mouth quickly, but only in small quantities (approximately to ten to twenty percent) over the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. Across the blood-brain barrier it reaches its site of action. Sumatriptan is then largely converted in the liver to not more effective degradation products and excreted through the kidneys. About two hours after taking already half of the original amount of drug has left the body.

When is Sumatriptan used?

The active ingredient Sumatriptan is indicated for the treatment of acute migraine attacks with or without aura and cluster headache.

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How Sumatriptan is used

The migraine agent Sumatriptan is taken at the beginning or during an acute migraine attack usually as a tablet. The usual dose is 50 to 100 milligrams Sumatriptan, higher doses show no increased effect. If the pain occur after work the first tablet within a few hours, a second tablet can be taken (but no earlier than two hours after the first) within one day. If the first tablet but does not hit, should no more be taken, but in some other painkillers (aspirin,) be dodged.

Since Sumatriptan is in the intestine poorly absorbed, some other forms are available on the market that allow a more rapid onset:

  • Sumatriptan nasal spray is sprayed once in one nostril.
  • Sumatriptan suppositories are inserted into the rectum.
  • Sumatriptan injection solution is injected into the subcutaneous fat.

All of these forms are lower doses than the tablets to be the improved recording requirements. They are particularly suitable for patients who suffer from migraines with nausea and vomiting and therefore poorly can take pills.

What are the side effects of Sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan at a ten to one hundred patients treated for side effects such as, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and muscle pain.

What should I watch for while taking Sumatriptan?

If Sumatriptan combined with other drugs used to treat migraines (such as other triptans or ergotamine), can increasingly adverse effects as a spasm of the coronary arteries occur. Such drug combination must therefore be avoided.

Antidepressants type of MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as tranylcypromine, moclobemide) can slow the breakdown of Sumatriptan, so its blood levels increases greatly. The same applies to other substances that act on the serotonin budget, like other antidepressants (SSRI – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, 5-Hydroxytryptophan), a little sleeping pill (tryptophan), opioid painkillers (Tramadol, Fentanyl) and particularly addictive substances (amphetamines, cocaine, MDMA).
You may not be combined with the migraine agent Sumatriptan therefore.

The use in pregnant women should be avoided due to the limited study data, however, is possible under medical supervision and strict risk-benefit balance in the second and third trimesters.

Sumatriptan passes into breast milk, but only about twelve hours after ingestion. If produced at this time milk is expressed and discarded, can then be satisfied.

Since the effectiveness in children and adolescents has not been established, this should not use Sumatriptan for Migraine treatment.

In principle there is nothing against taking Sumatriptan in elderly patients. However, In the absence of a few data ingestion is not recommended.

How to get Sumatriptan

preparations containing the active ingredient Sumatriptan are still in any dosage and package size prescription, but will discuss a release from the prescription (for low doses and small package sizes). Newer triptans as naratriptan and almotriptan are only in pharmacies already in small packages.

Since when Sumatriptan is known?

After scientific studies showed in the 1960s that the vasoconstriction in the brain caused by various serotonin derivatives and analogues for improvement of migraine attacks, the pharmaceutical company Glaxo sought (now GlaxoSmithKline) in 1972 specifically for new active substances for this purpose. The case developed novel drug Sumatriptan has been approved in the Netherlands and in 1992 in Germany and the United States 1991st Since 2006, the patent protection has expired, numerous generics came with the drug Sumatriptan on the market.