Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Alsuma
  2. Imitrex
  3. Imitrex Stat Dose Refill
  4. Sumavel DosePro

Descriptions


Sumatriptan injection is used to treat acute migraine attacks and cluster headaches in adults. Sumatriptan works in the brain to relieve the pain from migraine headaches. It belongs to the group of medicines called triptans.

Many people find that their headaches go away completely after they use sumatriptan. Other people find that their headaches are much less painful, and that they are able to go back to their normal activities even though their headaches are not completely gone. Sumatriptan often relieves other symptoms that occur together with a migraine headache, such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to sound.

Sumatriptan is not an ordinary pain reliever. It will not relieve any kind of pain other than migraine headaches. This medicine is usually used for people whose headaches are not relieved by acetaminophen, aspirin, or other pain relievers.

Sumatriptan has caused serious side effects in some people, especially people who have heart or blood vessel disease. Be sure that you discuss with your doctor the risks of using this medicine as well as the benefits that it can do.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Kit
  • Solution

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of sumatriptan injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Use of sumatriptan injection is not recommended in elderly patients with kidney problems, heart or blood vessel disease, or high blood pressure, and should not be used by elderly patients with liver problems.

Pregnancy

Information about this sumatriptan-subcutaneous-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breastfeeding

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Almotriptan
  • Bromocriptine
  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Eletriptan
  • Ergoloid Mesylates
  • Ergonovine
  • Ergotamine
  • Frovatriptan
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Linezolid
  • Methylene Blue
  • Methylergonovine
  • Methysergide
  • Moclobemide
  • Naratriptan
  • Phenelzine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Rizatriptan
  • Selegiline
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Zolmitriptan

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Amitriptyline
  • Citalopram
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Dexfenfluramine
  • Duloxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Fentanyl
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Lorcaserin
  • Meperidine
  • Milnacipran
  • Mirtazapine
  • Nefazodone
  • Paroxetine
  • Reboxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Sibutramine
  • St John's Wort
  • Tapentadol
  • Tramadol
  • Trazodone
  • Venlafaxine
  • Vilazodone
  • Vortioxetine

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Angina (chest pain) or
  • Arrhythmia (heart rhythm problem) or
  • Basilar migraine (migraine with vision and hearing problems), history of or
  • Heart attack, history of or
  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • Hemiplegic migraine (migraine with some paralysis), history of or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure), uncontrolled or
  • Ischemic bowel disease (bowels have low blood supply) or
  • Liver disease, severe or
  • Peripheral vascular disease (clogged arteries) or
  • Stroke, history of or
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA), history of or
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (heart rhythm problem)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Bleeding problems or
  • Heart rhythm problems (eg, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia) or
  • Seizures or epilepsy, history of or
  • Stomach or intestinal bleeding—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Coronary artery disease, history of or
  • Diabetes or
  • Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol in the blood) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Obesity or
  • Raynaud's syndrome—Use with caution. May be at increased risk for more serious side effects.

Proper Use

Do not use this medicine for a migraine or cluster headache that is different from your usual headaches. Instead, check with your doctor.

To relieve your migraine as soon as possible, use this medicine as soon as the headache pain begins. Even if you get warning signals of a coming migraine (an aura), you should wait until the headache pain starts before using sumatriptan.

Ask your doctor ahead of time about any other medicine you might use if sumatriptan does not work. After you use the other medicine, check with your doctor as soon as possible. Headaches that are not relieved by sumatriptan are sometimes caused by conditions that need other treatment.

If you feel much better after a dose of sumatriptan, but your headache comes back or gets worse after a while, wait at least 1 hour before using another dose. However, use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, and do not use it more often, than directed. Using too much sumatriptan may increase the chance of side effects. Do not use more than 2 doses in 24 hours.

This medicine is given as a shot under your skin (usually on the abdomen or stomach or thighs or upper arms). Sumatriptan injection may sometimes be given at home to patients who do not need to be in a hospital or clinic. If you are using this medicine at home, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to prepare and inject the medicine. Be sure that you understand how to use the medicine.

If you use this medicine at home, you will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. This will help prevent skin problems.

This medicine is available in 3 forms. You may use a single dose vial, prefilled syringe, or a prefilled autoinjector.

Do not use the medicine if it is dark colored or cloudy.

After you have finished injecting the medicine, be sure to follow the precautions in the patient directions about safely discarding the empty cartridge and the needle. Always return the empty cartridge and needle to their container before discarding them. Do not throw away the autoinjector unit, because refills are available.

This medicine comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For migraine or cluster headaches:
      • Adults—4 or 6-milligram (mg) injected under the skin. If the headache comes back after being relieved, one more dose may be injected after 1 hour. Do not use more than 2 doses of 6-mg, or 3 doses of 4-mg in any 24-hour period.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Throw away used syringes or autoinjectors in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to use it.

Check with your doctor if you have used this medicine and have not had good relief. Also, check with your doctor if your migraine or cluster headaches are worse, or if they are occurring more often, than before you started receiving this medicine.

You should not receive this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) such as phenelzine (Nardil®) or tranylcypromine (Parnate®) within the past 2 weeks. Do not use this medicine if you have used other triptan migraine medicines. Some examples of triptan medicines are almotriptan (Axert®), eletriptan (Relpax®), naratriptan (Amerge®), or zolmitriptan (Zomig®). Some examples of ergot-type medicines are dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45®, Migranal®), ergotamine (Bellergal®, Cafergot®, Ergomar®, Wigraine®), or methysergide (Sansert®).

Check with your doctor if you have used sumatriptan and your migraine got worse or started occurring more often.

This medicine may increase your risk of having abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack, angina, or stroke. This is more likely to occur if you or a family member already has heart disease, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or if you smoke. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a heart problem, such as chest pain or discomfort, an uneven heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, pain or discomfort in the shoulders, arms, jaw, back, or neck, shortness of breath, or sweating. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a stroke, such as confusion, difficulty with speaking, double vision, headaches, an inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles, an inability to speak, or slow speech.

Check with your doctor right away if you have chest discomfort, jaw or neck tightness after using this medicine. Also, tell your doctor if you have sudden or severe abdominal or stomach pain or bloody diarrhea after using this medicine.

Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after your treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

Using sumatriptan alone or in combination with other migraine medicines for 10 or more days per month may lead to worsening of headache. You may keep a headache diary to record the headache frequency and drug use.

Make sure your doctor knows about all the other medicines you are using. Sumatriptan may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome when used with some medicines. This especially includes medicines used to treat depression, such as citalopram, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, olanzapine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine, Celexa®, Cymbalta®, Effexor®, Lexapro®, Luvox®, Paxil®, Prozac®, Sarafem®, Symbyax®, or Zoloft®. Check with your doctor right away if you have agitation, confusion, diarrhea, excitement while talking that is not normal, fever, overactive reflexes, poor coordination, restlessness, shivering, sweating, trembling or shaking that you cannot control, or twitching. These could be symptoms of serotonin syndrome.

This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention. The most serious signs of this reaction are very fast or irregular breathing, gasping for breath, wheezing, or fainting. Other signs may include changes in color of the skin of the face, very fast but irregular heartbeat or pulse, hive-like swellings on the skin, and puffiness or swellings of the eyelids or around the eyes. If these effects occur, get emergency help at once.

Drinking alcoholic beverages can make headaches worse or cause new headaches to occur. People who suffer from severe headaches should probably avoid alcoholic beverages, especially during a headache.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. If any of these side effects occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  1. Blurred vision
  2. chest pain or discomfort
  3. chills
  4. confusion
  5. difficult or labored breathing
  6. dizziness
  7. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  8. fainting
  9. fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  10. headache
  11. nervousness
  12. pounding in the ears
  13. shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  14. slow heartbeat
  15. sweating
  16. tight feeling in the head
  17. tightness or pressure in the chest
  18. trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  19. unusual tiredness or weakness

Rare

  1. Black, tarry stools
  2. blood in the urine
  3. blood in the vomit
  4. burning while urinating
  5. cough
  6. decreased urination
  7. depression of the skin
  8. diarrhea
  9. dry mouth
  10. feeling of warmth or heat
  11. fever
  12. flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  13. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  14. inability to move the eyes
  15. inability to move the legs or arms
  16. increase in heart rate
  17. increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
  18. increased sensitivity to pain
  19. increased sensitivity to touch
  20. indentation of the skin
  21. joint pain
  22. loss of appetite
  23. muscle aches and pains
  24. nausea and vomiting
  25. pain in the groin or genitals
  26. paleness of the skin
  27. paleness or cold feeling in the fingertips and toes
  28. paralysis of one side of the body
  29. rapid breathing
  30. runny nose
  31. severe or continuing stomach pain
  32. sharp back pain just below the ribs
  33. shivering
  34. sore throat
  35. sticking out of the tongue
  36. sunken eyes
  37. thirst
  38. tingling in the hands and feet
  39. tingling or pain in the fingers or toes when exposed to cold
  40. trouble sleeping
  41. trouble speaking or swallowing
  42. uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
  43. unusual facial expressions
  44. wrinkled skin

Incidence not known

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain and tenderness
  2. agitation
  3. back, leg, or stomach pains
  4. bleeding gums
  5. blood in the stools
  6. bluish color of the fingernails, lips, skin, palms, or nail beds
  7. changes in skin color
  8. changes in vision
  9. coma
  10. depression
  11. double vision
  12. general body swelling
  13. headache, sudden, severe, and continuing
  14. high fever
  15. hives or itching
  16. hostility
  17. inability to speak
  18. irritability
  19. large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  20. lethargy
  21. loss of ability to use or understand speech or language
  22. loss of appetite
  23. loss of vision
  24. migraine headache
  25. muscle twitching
  26. noisy breathing
  27. nosebleeds
  28. overactive reflexes
  29. pain, tenderness, or swelling of the foot or leg
  30. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  31. poor coordination
  32. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  33. rapid weight gain
  34. rectal bleeding
  35. redness, soreness, or itching skin
  36. restlessness
  37. seizures
  38. severe or sudden headache
  39. slurred speech
  40. sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  41. sores, welting, or blisters
  42. stupor
  43. swelling of the face, ankles, hands, feet, or lower legs
  44. swollen glands
  45. talking or acting with excitement you cannot control
  46. temporary blindness
  47. trembling or shaking
  48. twitching
  49. unexplained bleeding or bruising
  50. unusual bleeding or bruising
  51. unusually warm skin
  52. weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body, sudden and severe
  53. weight loss
  54. yellowing of the eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  2. burning or tingling sensation
  3. drowsiness
  4. feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  5. feeling of warmth
  6. redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  7. relaxed and calm
  8. sensation of spinning
  9. sleepiness

Less common

  1. Abdominal or stomach discomfort
  2. anxiety
  3. bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  4. burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  5. change in color vision
  6. change in taste
  7. difficulty seeing at night
  8. difficulty with moving
  9. discomfort in the jaw, nasal cavity, or throat
  10. false or unusual sense of well-being
  11. feeling strange
  12. heartburn
  13. increased sensitivity of the eyes to sunlight
  14. joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  15. mental confusion
  16. muscle aching or cramping
  17. neck pain or stiffness
  18. red, sore eyes
  19. swollen joints
  20. tearing of the eyes
  21. thirst
  22. weakness

Rare

  1. Backache
  2. belching
  3. bloated or full feeling
  4. changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
  5. cramps
  6. dry heaves
  7. excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  8. extreme thirst
  9. heavy bleeding
  10. hiccups
  11. hunger
  12. increased thirst
  13. muscle tiredness
  14. muscle twitching or jerking
  15. pain
  16. passing gas
  17. reduced appetite
  18. rhythmic movement of muscles
  19. severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting
  20. tenderness of the skin

Incidence not known

  1. Deafness
  2. panic
  3. severe sunburn

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.