Sumatriptan oral tablets are a generic prescription medication. This medication is FDA-approved to treat migraine with or without aura in adults.

Migraine is a neurological* condition that causes severe, long-lasting headaches. These are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

Some people also experience an aura before or during the headache. Auras can cause changes in vision, such as seeing flashes of lights or zig-zag lines, or having blind spots. Auras can also cause tingling sensations and speech problems.

Sumatriptan is taken to relieve migraine headaches. It’s not used to prevent migraine headaches.

* “Neurological” means related to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves.

Drug details

Sumatriptan belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin agonists. These are more commonly known as triptans.

Sumatriptan oral tablets are available in three strengths:

  • 25 milligrams (mg)
  • 50 mg
  • 100 mg

Note: Sumatriptan also comes as a nasal spray and an injection. This article addresses sumatriptan oral tablets. For information on sumatriptan’s other forms, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Brand-name versions

Sumatriptan oral tablets are a generic medication. A brand-name version of this medication called Imitrex is available.

Note: The other forms of sumatriptan have other brand-name drug versions. For information on those versions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of sumatriptan oral tablets, see the “Sumatriptan oral tablet uses” section below.

Sumatriptan oral tablets are a generic drug. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Imitrex is the brand-name medication that sumatriptan oral tablets are based on. A generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

If you’re interested in using Imitrex instead of sumatriptan oral tablets, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if Imitrex comes in strengths that are suitable for your condition. If you have insurance, you’ll also need to check whether your plan will cover Imitrex.

To learn more about how generics compare with brand-name drugs, see this article.

Sumatriptan oral tablets can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking this drug. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of sumatriptan oral tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with sumatriptan oral tablets, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of sumatriptan oral tablets can include:

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from sumatriptan oral tablets. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view sumatriptan oral tablet’s prescribing information.
† For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect details” section below.

Most of these side effects may go away within a few minutes or hours. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from sumatriptan oral tablets aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

  • Irregular heartbeats that may be life threatening. Symptoms can include:
    • chest pain
    • feeling that your heart is racing, pounding, or skipping beats
    • dizziness
    • fainting
  • Serious heart problems, such as a heart attack. Symptoms can include:
    • severe pain, pressure, or tightness in the chest, arm, throat, neck, or jaw
    • dizziness
  • Problems with blood circulation in your legs or arms, such as Raynaud’s disease (reduced blood flow to your fingers or toes). Symptoms can include:
    • white, blue, or purple fingers or toes
    • numb fingers or toes
    • weakness, tingling, heaviness, or numbness in your legs
    • tightness, cramping, or pain in your legs
  • Reduced blood flow to your stomach or intestines. Symptoms can include:
    • sudden or severe abdominal (belly) pain
    • diarrhea or constipation
    • nausea or vomiting
    • fever
  • Stroke or bleeding in the brain. Symptoms can include:
    • sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body
    • drooping on one side of the face
    • trouble speaking or slurred speech
    • sudden severe headache
  • Serotonin syndrome (a dangerous condition caused by a buildup of the chemical serotonin in your body). Symptoms can include:
    • sweating
    • dizziness
    • diarrhea
    • agitation
    • loss of coordination
  • Seizures. Symptoms can include:
    • muscle spasms
    • drooling
    • sudden, rapid eye movements
    • loss of bowel or bladder control
    • loss of consciousness (not being able to respond to sound or touch)
  • Very high blood pressure. Symptoms can include:
    • severe headache
    • blurred vision
    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
    • confusion
  • Medication overuse headache. This can happen if you take pain-relieving medications, including sumatriptan, on 10 or more days per month. Symptoms can include:
    • having more migraine headaches than usual
    • migraine-like headaches that happen every day
  • Allergic reaction.*

* For more information about this side effect, see the “Side effect details” section below.

Side effect details

Here are more details on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Tingling sensations

Sumatriptan oral tablets can sometimes cause tingling, prickling, or numbness shortly after taking a dose. In clinical studies, these sensations were among the more common side effects reported with sumatriptan.

Some people also have tingling sensations as part of the aura they get with migraine.

These sensations are usually mild and go away quickly. If you find them troublesome, talk with your doctor. They may lower your dose of sumatriptan oral tablets. Or they may recommend switching to a different medication to treat your migraine headaches.

On rare occasions, these sensations could be symptoms of a problem with blood circulation, such as Raynaud’s disease. Sumatriptan can sometimes cause reduced blood flow to your legs or arms. With Raynaud’s disease, you have reduced blood flow to your fingers or toes.

See your doctor if you have the following symptoms after taking sumatriptan:

  • white, blue, or purple fingers or toes
  • numb fingers or toes
  • tingling, weakness, heaviness, or numbness in your legs
  • tightness, cramping, or pain in your legs

If you have problems with your blood circulation after taking sumatriptan, you’ll need to stop using this medication. Ask your doctor to recommend a different medication to treat your migraine headaches.

Pain, tightness, or pressure in your neck, throat, and jaw

Sumatriptan may cause sensations of pressure, tightness, heaviness, or pain in the neck, throat, jaw, or chest. These side effects can occur shortly after taking a dose of the drug. In clinical studies, these sensations were the most common side effects reported with sumatriptan.

These sensations can be intense. But they’re not usually serious, and they typically get better after a few minutes. If you find them troublesome, talk with your doctor. They may lower your dose of sumatriptan oral tablets. Or they may recommend switching to a different medication to treat your migraine headaches.

On rare occasions, these sensations could be symptoms of serious heart-related side effects, such as a heart attack. This is a rare side effect of sumatriptan. If you have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, you may have a higher risk of heart-related side effects. Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Your doctor will assess your heart risk before prescribing sumatriptan.

If you have the following side effects after taking sumatriptan, call 911 or your local emergency number:

  • pressure, tightness, heaviness, or pain in your neck, throat, jaw, or chest that are severe or don’t go away after a few minutes
  • feeling that your heart is racing, pounding, or skipping beats
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath
  • cold sweats
  • nausea and vomiting

If you have a serious heart-related side effect after taking sumatriptan, you will need to stop using this medication. Ask your doctor to recommend a different medication to treat your migraine headaches.

Fatigue

Sumatriptan can sometimes cause fatigue (lack of energy). This may result in feeling weak or drowsy. In clinical studies, these side effects were among the more common reported with sumatriptan.

A migraine headache can also make you feel weak, tired, drowsy, or lacking energy. You may feel these effects both during the migraine and for a day or two afterward.

It’s important to rest during a migraine headache. If you feel drowsy or weak, avoid dangerous activities such as driving or operating machinery until you’ve recovered. If your fatigue does not go away and becomes bothersome, talk with your doctor. They can give you tips on how to manage this side effect.

Allergic reaction

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to sumatriptan, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking sumatriptan oral tablets.

The sumatriptan oral tablet dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of your migraine headaches
  • your age
  • your liver function
  • other medical conditions you may have
  • how you react to the first dose

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg

Sumatriptan oral tablets are available in three strengths:

  • 25 milligrams (mg)
  • 50 mg
  • 100 mg

Dosage for migraine

To treat a migraine headache, your doctor may prescribe a 25-mg, 50-mg, or 100-mg dose of sumatriptan.

Take the prescribed dose when you get symptoms of a migraine headache. Then do the following:

  • If your migraine headache doesn’t go away fully, or gets better but then comes back, take a second dose. You should wait at least 2 hours after the first dose before taking a second dose.
  • If your migraine headache doesn’t improve at all with your first dose, don’t take another dose without speaking with your doctor first.

The maximum dosage for sumatriptan oral tablets is 200 mg in 24 hours.

With a sumatriptan injection

Your doctor may sometimes prescribe sumatriptan oral tablets alongside a subcutaneous injection of sumatriptan. (“Subcutaneous” means under the skin.)

After the injection, if your migraine headache doesn’t go away fully or gets better but then comes back, you can take sumatriptan tablets. If you switch to tablet doses, make sure you wait at least 2 hours after the injection to take a tablet. If needed, you may take another tablet after 2 hours.

The maximum dosage of sumatriptan oral tablets when used with a sumatriptan injection is 100 mg in 24 hours.

Other factors to know about sumatriptan dosage

Don’t take sumatriptan oral tablets for more than 4 days in any 30-day period. It’s not known if it’s safe to take sumatriptan more often than this.

Taking pain relievers to treat migraine too often can lead to medication overuse headache. With this problem, you get migraine headaches more often than usual, or migraine-like headaches that happen every day. Medication overuse headache can happen if you take pain-relieving medications, including sumatriptan, for 10 or more days per month.

If you get frequent migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. They may recommend taking a preventive medication on a regular basis to help prevent migraine headaches.

What if I miss a dose?

You shouldn’t take sumatriptan oral tablets on a regular daily basis. This drug can’t prevent migraine. You should only take this medication when you need to treat a migraine headache.

Don’t take sumatriptan oral tablets on more than 4 days in any 30-day period.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Sumatriptan oral tablets aren’t meant to be taken on a daily basis. You should only take them when you need to treat a migraine headache. If they work to treat your migraine headaches, you can keep using them for as long as it’s safe for you to do so.

Alcohol isn’t known to interact with sumatriptan oral tablets. However, drinking alcohol could worsen any drowsiness or dizziness that you may have after taking a dose of sumatriptan. It can also worsen a migraine headache.

Some people find that drinking alcohol can trigger their migraine headaches.

If you’re not sure what triggers your migraine headaches, it’s useful to keep a migraine diary. This can help you find out if there’s a pattern to your migraine headaches. A diary may also help you determine whether certain foods, drinks, or situations trigger your migraine headaches. Avoiding these triggers can help prevent these headaches.

Sumatriptan oral tablets can interact with several other medications.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Sumatriptan oral tablets and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with sumatriptan oral tablets. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with sumatriptan oral tablets.

Before taking sumatriptan oral tablets, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Drugs that you shouldn’t take with sumatriptan oral tablets

Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants. Taking sumatriptan oral tablets with MAOI antidepressants can cause a serious side effect called serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a dangerous condition caused by a buildup of serotonin in your body. Do not take sumatriptan oral tablets with an MAOI antidepressant. You also should not take sumatriptan if you’ve taken an MAOI in the last 14 days. Examples of MAOIs include:

  • phenelzine (Nardil)
  • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • tranylcypromine (Parnate)

Ergot medications. Like sumatriptan, ergot medications are used to treat migraine. Taking sumatriptan with ergot drugs can increase your risk of serious side effects such as heart attack. Do not take sumatriptan oral tablets with an ergot medication. You also should not take sumatriptan if you’ve taken an ergot drug in the last 24 hours. Examples of ergot drugs include:

  • dihydroergotamine (Migranal)
  • ergotamine (Ergomar)
  • ergotamine/caffeine
  • methylergonovine (Methergine)

Triptan medications. Triptan medications, such as sumatriptan, are used to treat migraine. Taking sumatriptan with another triptan medication can increase your risk of serious side effects. Examples include heart attack and serotonin syndrome. Do not take sumatriptan oral tablets with another triptan medication. You should also avoid taking sumatriptan if you’ve taken another triptan in the last 24 hours. Examples of triptans include:

  • almotriptan
  • eletriptan (Relpax)
  • frovatriptan (Frova)
  • naratriptan (Amerge)
  • rizatriptan (Maxalt)
  • other forms of sumatriptan (Imitrex, Tosymra, Onzetra Xsail, Zembrace Symtouch)
  • sumatriptan/naproxen sodium (Treximet)
  • zolmitriptan (Zomig)

Other types of drugs that may interact with sumatriptan oral tablets

Certain antidepressants. Taking sumatriptan oral tablets with certain antidepressants can increase your risk of serotonin syndrome, which is dangerous. Examples of these antidepressants include:

Sumatriptan oral tablets and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with sumatriptan oral tablets. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking sumatriptan.

Sumatriptan oral tablets and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with sumatriptan oral tablets. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with sumatriptan, talk with your doctor.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about sumatriptan oral tablets.

Is sumatriptan a controlled or restricted substance?

No, sumatriptan isn’t a controlled or restricted substance. Controlled substances are drugs that have a high risk of misuse and dependence. Drug misuse is taking a drug for a use it hasn’t been approved for or in a way that hasn’t been prescribed by a doctor. Drug dependence is when your body becomes reliant on a drug.

Controlled substances have certain restrictions on how they can be prescribed and supplied. Sumatriptan doesn’t have a risk of misuse or dependence, so it doesn’t have these restrictions.

However, there are restrictions on who can use sumatriptan. This is because sumatriptan isn’t safe for people with certain conditions, in particular heart disease. To read more about these restrictions, see the “Sumatriptan oral tablet precautions” section below.

Is sumatriptan a narcotic?

No, sumatriptan isn’t a narcotic. A narcotic is a type of opioid drug. Examples include strong pain-relievers such as morphine and fentanyl.

Instead, sumatriptan is a triptan medication. Triptans relieve the pain of migraine headaches. But they don’t work for other types of pain.

Does sumatriptan have any long-term side effects?

Side effects of sumatriptan are usually mild and short-lived. However, some rare but serious side effects may have long-term consequences. For example, heart attack, stroke, or problems with blood circulation could lead to ongoing health problems.

You should take sumatriptan only when you need to treat a migraine headache. And you should not take it for more than 4 days in any 30-day period.

But occasionally taking sumatriptan to treat migraine headaches over a long period of time doesn’t increase your risk of having side effects. And it doesn’t cause any long-term side effects.

To read more about sumatriptan’s side effects, see the “Sumatriptan oral tablet side effects” section above.

Can sumatriptan make you feel ‘high’?

No, sumatriptan is unlikely to make you feel “high.” It doesn’t produce feelings of euphoria (happiness), calmness, relaxation, or energy that may be described as feeling “high.”

Some drugs that make you feel high work by increasing levels of certain chemicals, such as serotonin, noradrenaline, or dopamine, in your brain. These chemicals pass messages between nerve cells that affect your mood, feelings, and behavior.

Sumatriptan is a type of drug called a serotonin agonist. But it doesn’t increase serotonin levels in your brain. Instead, sumatriptan works by attaching to serotonin receptors (docking sites) on the blood vessels in your brain. It doesn’t affect your mood, feelings, or behavior.

Will I have any side effects if I stop taking sumatriptan?

You shouldn’t have any side effects when you stop taking sumatriptan, unless you take it too often. Taking sumatriptan too often can lead to medication overuse headache. This is a headache that happens when the effect of sumatriptan wears off.

Medication overuse headache can happen if you take pain relievers, including sumatriptan, to treat migraine for 10 or more days per month. It’s not known if it’s safe to use sumatriptan for more than 4 days in any 30-day period.

If you frequently need to take pain relievers to treat a headache, talk with your doctor.

Sumatriptan is used to treat migraine with or without aura.

What happens with migraine

Migraine is a neurological condition that causes severe, throbbing, long-lasting headaches. (“Neurological” means related to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves.) You may also have nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

Some people also experience an aura before or during a migraine headache. Auras typically cause changes in vision, such as seeing flashes of lights or zig-zag lines, or having blind spots. Auras can also cause tingling sensations and speech problems.

Migraine headache results from widening or swelling of the blood vessels in your brain. With this condition, you may also have increased activity in your trigeminal nerve. This is the nerve that allows you to feel sensation in your head and face.

What sumatriptan does

Sumatriptan belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin agonists. These are more commonly known as triptans.

The mechanism of action of triptans, including sumatriptan, involves serotonin receptors (docking sites) on blood vessels in your brain. (“Mechanism of action” refers to how a drug works.) Triptans attach to these receptors, which causes these blood vessels to narrow. They also attach to serotonin receptors on your trigeminal nerve, which reduces activity in this nerve.

This works to help relieve migraine headaches, as well as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

How long does it take to work?

Sumatriptan oral tablets typically start to work about 30 minutes after taking a dose. Most people find their migraine is much better within 2 hours.

How long does sumatriptan stay in your system?

Sumatriptan stays in your system for about 12 hours after you take a dose. But it will only work for the first few hours. Its effects gradually wear off as the drug leaves your system.

Before taking sumatriptan oral tablets, talk with your doctor about your health history. Sumatriptan oral tablets may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health.

Sumatriptan contraindications

Sumatriptan has several contraindications (conditions or factors that would prevent you from taking the medication). You should not take sumatriptan oral tablets if you have:

  • Coronary heart disease. Examples of this include a history of heart attack or angina (chest pain). Sumatriptan can increase your risk of having a heart attack, and this risk may be higher if you already have heart disease.
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) caused by problems with the electrical pathways in the heart. Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is an example of this type of arrhythmia. Sumatriptan can increase the risk of having life threatening arrhythmias. This risk may be higher if you already have this type of irregular heartbeat.
  • A history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (ministroke). Sumatriptancan increase the risk of having a stroke. This risk may be higher if you’ve had a stroke in the past.
  • Hemiplegic or basilar migraine. Hemiplegic migraine causes weakness on one side of the body. Basilar migraine causes aura that may involve dizziness, slurred speech, ringing in the ears, and double vision. These types of migraine increase your risk of having a stroke. Sumatriptan can also increase this risk. If you’re not sure what type of migraine you have, talk with your doctor.
  • Peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of the blood vessels in the arms, legs, stomach, or kidneys). An example of this is Raynaud’s disease. Sumatriptan works by narrowing blood vessels, so it could worsen peripheral vascular disease.
  • Ischemic bowel disease (reduced blood flow to your bowel). Sumatriptan works by narrowing blood vessels, so it could worsen this condition.
  • High blood pressure that isn’t well managed. Sumatriptan can increase blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, this can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Severe liver problems. Sumatriptan can build up in the body of a person who has severe liver problems. This can increase the risk of sumatriptan’s side effects.
  • A past allergic reaction to sumatriptan. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to sumatriptan in the past, you shouldn’t take sumatriptan oral tablets.

If you have any of these conditions, talk with your doctor about other migraine treatments that may be better options for you.

Other factors to consider before taking sumatriptan oral tablets include:

  • Heart disease risk factors. Sumatriptan can increase the risk of having a heart attack. This risk may be higher for someone who has risk factors for heart disease. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, older age, smoking, and a family history of heart disease. If you have several risk factors, your doctor will check your heart health to make sure sumatriptan is safe for you. You may need to take a test dose of sumatriptan in a clinic where your heart can be monitored with an electrocardiogram (EKG).
  • Seizures. Sumatriptan can sometimes cause seizures. If you’ve had seizures in the past, you could have a higher risk of seizures with sumatriptan. Talk with your doctor about whether sumatriptan is right for you.
  • Liver problems. Sumatriptan can build up in the body of a person whose liver doesn’t work well. This can increase the risk of side effects. If you have liver problems, your doctor may prescribe a dose of sumatriptan that’s lower than usual.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if sumatriptan is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Sumatriptan oral tablets and pregnancy” section below.
  • Breastfeeding. Sumatriptan passes into breast milk. It’s not known if it’s safe to take while breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Sumatriptan oral tablets and breastfeeding” section below.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of sumatriptan oral tablets, see the “Sumatriptan oral tablet side effects” section above.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as sumatriptan oral tablets to treat certain conditions. Sumatriptan oral tablets may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Sumatriptan oral tablets for migraine

Sumatriptan oral tablets are FDA-approved to treat migraine with or without aura in adults.

Migraine is a neurological condition that causes severe, long-lasting headaches. (“Neurological” means related to the brain, spinal cord, or nerves.)

These headaches tend to affect one side of the head and are described as throbbing or pounding. Many people with migraine also have nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

Some people also experience an aura before or during the headache. Auras can cause changes in vision, such as seeing flashes of lights or zig-zag lines, or having blind spots. Auras can also cause tingling sensations and speech problems.

A migraine headache can last for hours or even days. And it can leave a person feeling wiped out for a couple of days after the headache has gone.

Sumatriptan is a medication that helps relieve the symptoms of a migraine headache. It’s not used to prevent migraine headaches. It also helps relieve the nausea and sensitivity to light and sound associated with a migraine headache.

Effectiveness for migraine

The American Headache Society recommends sumatriptan oral tablets as an effective treatment for migraine headaches.

To find out how sumatriptan oral tablets performed in clinical studies, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Sumatriptan oral tablets and children

Sumatriptan oral tablets aren’t FDA-approved for use in children under 18 years old.

It may be possible for you to take sumatriptan oral tablets with certain other migraine medications. But you should only do so if your doctor recommends it.

For example, if you often have migraine headaches, your doctor may prescribe preventive medication that you take every day. This can help reduce the number and severity of migraine headaches you have.

It’s fine to take sumatriptan oral tablets to treat a migraine headache if you’re also taking a preventive medication. Examples of this type of medication include:

If you have troublesome nausea with your migraine headaches, your doctor may also prescribe antinausea medication to take with sumatriptan oral tablets. Examples include:

Finally, if the recommended dose of sumatriptan does not relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend taking certain other pain-relieving medications. Examples include:

  • over-the-counter pain relievers, such as:
    • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    • acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine (Excedrin Migraine)
    • aspirin
    • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
    • naproxen (Aleve)
  • prescription pain relievers, such as:
    • acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine (Trezix)
    • acetaminophen/codeine (Tylenol with codeine)
    • diclofenac
    • ketorolac

Note that taking pain relievers too often can lead to medication overuse headache. With this condition, you may have migraine-like headaches every day, or migraine headaches that happen more often than usual. If you need to use pain relievers for a headache 10 or more days per month, talk with your doctor.

There are some migraine medications that you should not take with sumatriptan oral tablets. For details, see the “Sumatriptan oral tablet interactions” section above.

Other drugs are available that can treat migraine. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to sumatriptan oral tablets, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat migraine include:

  • triptan medications other than sumatriptan, such as:
    • almotriptan
    • frovatriptan (Frova)
    • naratriptan (Amerge)
    • sumatriptan (Imitrex, Tosymra, Onzetra Xsail, Zembrace Symtouch)
    • zolmitriptan (Zomig)
  • ergot medications, such as:
    • dihydroergotamine (Migranal)
    • ergotamine (Ergomar)
    • ergotamine/caffeine
  • pain medications, such as:
    • acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine (Excedrin Migraine)
    • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    • acetaminophen/butalbital/caffeine (Fioricet with codeine)
    • aspirin
    • aspirin/butalbital/caffeine (Fiorinal with codeine)
    • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
    • naproxen (Aleve)
  • lasmiditan (Reyvow)
  • ubrogepant (Ubrelvy)

It’s not known if sumatriptan oral tablets are safe to take during pregnancy. They haven’t been studied in human pregnancy. But information from pregnancy registries and population studies does not suggest that sumatriptan increases the risk of fetal harm when used during pregnancy.

Pregnancy registries record details about the health of babies born to females* who take medication during pregnancy. And population studies compare information about differentgroups of people with common characteristics, such as age, sex, or health conditions.

In animal studies, sumatriptan was found to cause fetal harm when given to pregnant animals. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking sumatriptan.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

It’s not known if sumatriptan oral tablets are safe to take during pregnancy. If you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re taking sumatriptan.

For more information about taking sumatriptan oral tablets during pregnancy, see the “Sumatriptan oral tablets and pregnancy” section above.

Sumatriptan can pass into breast milk after taking sumatriptan oral tablets. But it’s not known if sumatriptan can affect a child who’s breastfed by someone taking the drug.

If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about whether sumatriptan oral tablets are right for you.

If you decide to take sumatriptan oral tablets, it’s best to avoid breastfeeding for 12 hours after taking a dose. This will minimize the amount of medication that the child is exposed to. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed the child during this time.

As with all medications, the cost of sumatriptan oral tablets can vary. To find current prices for sumatriptan oral tablets in your area, check out GoodRx.com.


The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of sumatriptan oral tablets. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for sumatriptan oral tablets, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for sumatriptan oral tablets, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

Financial assistance to help you pay for sumatriptan oral tablets may be available.

Medicine Assistance Tool and NeedyMeds are two websites offering resources that may help decrease the price you pay for sumatriptan oral tablets. They also offer tools to help you find low-cost healthcare, as well as educational resources. To learn more, visit their sites.

Mail-order pharmacies

Sumatriptan oral tablets may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of sumatriptan oral tablets, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Do not take more Sumatriptan oral tablets than your doctor recommends. For some drugs, doing so may lead to unwanted side effects or overdose.

What to do in case you take too many sumatriptan oral tablets

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

You should take sumatriptan oral tablets according to the instructions your doctor or a healthcare professional gives you.

When to take

You should only take sumatriptan oral tablets if you get a migraine headache. Don’t take this drug every day.

Take sumatriptan as soon as possible when you get symptoms of a migraine headache. Then do the following:

  • If your migraine headache does not go away fully, or gets better but then comes back, take a second dose. You should wait at least 2 hours after the first dose before taking a second dose.
  • If your migraine headache doesn’t improve at all with your first dose, don’t take another dose without speaking with your doctor first.

The maximum dosage for sumatriptan oral tablets is 200 mg in 24 hours.

Your doctor may sometimes prescribe sumatriptan oral tablet alongside a subcutaneous injection of sumatriptan. (“Subcutaneous” means under the skin.)

After the injection, if your migraine headache does not go away fully or gets better but then comes back, you can take sumatriptan tablets. If you switch to tablet doses, make sure you wait at least 2 hours after the injection to take a tablet. If needed, you may take another tablet after 2 hours.

The maximum dosage of sumatriptan oral tablets when used with a sumatriptan injection is 100 mg in 24 hours.

Taking sumatriptan oral tablets with food

You can take sumatriptan oral tablets either with or without food.

Can sumatriptan oral tablets be crushed, split, or chewed?

No, sumatriptan oral tablets should not be crushed, split, or chewed. Swallow the tablets whole. This is easier if you take them with a drink.

If you have trouble swallowing the tablets whole, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Other forms of sumatriptan are available that may be more suitable for you.

When you get sumatriptan oral tablets from a pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store sumatriptan oral tablets at a room temperature of 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) in a tightly sealed container away from light. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take sumatriptan oral tablets and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.