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Sumatriptan oral tablet side effects: A detailed guide

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More common side effectsMild side effectsSerious side effectsFAQsCouponSide effects in detailWarningsAsk your doctor
Sumatriptan oral tablet is prescribed for migraine with or without aura in adults. It’s a triptan drug that may cause mild or serious side effects, including chest pain and fatigue (low energy).
Medically reviewed by Elizabeth Scheffel, PharmD
Updated on June 9, 2023

This article describes possible side effects of sumatriptan oral tablet. You’ll also find information on cost savings and coupon options for sumatriptan. You can explore this overview article to learn more about sumatriptan oral tablet, including the drug’s uses, dosage, ways to save on cost, and more.

Sumatriptan oral tablet is a generic version of the brand-name drug Imitrex. Sumatriptan also comes in an injectable form and a nasal spray, but these forms aren’t described in this article. To learn more, talk with your doctor.

More common side effects of sumatriptan

Sumatriptan oral tablet may cause mild or serious side effects. Below are some of the more common side effects of this medication.

Commonly reported side effects of sumatriptan oral tablet include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of sumatriptan in detail” section below.

Mild side effects of sumatriptan

Sumatriptan may cause certain mild side effects. Usually, mild side effects are temporary and can be easily managed. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have side effects that don’t go away or become bothersome.

Mild side effects of sumatriptan oral tablet that occurred in studies include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of sumatriptan in detail” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible with sumatriptan oral tablet. But it wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

Sumatriptan oral tablet may cause more mild side effects than those listed above. For details, see the drug’s prescribing information.

Serious side effects of sumatriptan

Sumatriptan may cause certain serious side effects. If you have any serious side effects from sumatriptan oral tablet, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency or your side effects feel life threatening, take immediate action. Call 911, or a local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.

After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. Visit MedWatch’s website if you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with sumatriptan oral tablet.

Serious side effects of sumatriptan oral tablet that occurred in studies include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of sumatriptan in detail” section below.
† An allergic reaction is possible with sumatriptan oral tablet. But it wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

Common questions about side effects of sumatriptan

Here are answers to some common questions about side effects of sumatriptan oral tablet. If you have other questions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Will sumatriptan 50 mg cause fewer side effects than sumatriptan 100 mg?

It depends. In studies, people taking the 50-milligram (mg) strength experienced certain side effects less often than people taking the 100-mg strength. These include:

  • feeling warmer or colder than usual
  • pain or pressure in the jaw, throat, or neck
  • fatigue (low energy)
  • vertigo*

However, the 50-mg strength of sumatriptan caused numbness or tingling* more often than the 100-mg strength. This side effect occurred in the arms, hands, legs, and feet.

If you have questions about your risk of side effects with either strength of sumatriptan, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects of sumatriptan in detail” section below.

How long do side effects of sumatriptan usually last?

If you notice a side effect from sumatriptan, it will usually last for a day or so. This is because it takes about 12 hours for sumatriptan to leave your body after you take a dose.

It’s important to note that side effects from sumatriptan can vary from person to person. And some of sumatriptan’s side effects are more serious and may take longer to go away. To learn more, see “Does sumatriptan cause long-term side effects?” just below. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Does sumatriptan cause long-term side effects?

Yes, in some cases sumatriptan oral tablet may cause long-term side effects. Examples include:

  • heart attack or other serious heart problems
  • stroke
  • decreased blood flow to the arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • decreased blood flow to the abdomen

These side effects can last for a while after you’ve stopped taking the drug.

Talk with your doctor to learn more about these side effects and how to best manage them. You can ask your doctor about how long they may last.

Coupon for sumatriptan

Visit this page to access Optum Perks coupons and get price estimates for sumatriptan when you use the coupons. These coupons can provide significant savings on your prescription costs. 

Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.

Side effects of sumatriptan in detail

Below you’ll find details on some of the side effects of sumatriptan oral tablet.

Vertigo

In studies, vertigo was a common side effect seen in people taking sumatriptan oral tablet. This side effect is usually mild.

With vertigo, you experience dizziness or feel as if you’re spinning. Symptoms may include:

Certain factors can increase the risk of vertigo with sumatriptan oral tablet. These include standing up too quickly after sitting, leaning over, or changing the position of your head. They also include certain types of exercises such as yoga or weightlifting.

Having a migraine episode can also worsen vertigo. (Sumatriptan is used to treat migraine.)

Ways to manage

If you experience symptoms of vertigo, tell your doctor. They’ll likely recommend lying in a quiet, dark room until the vertigo passes. They may also offer other tips or recommend medication to manage this side effect.

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Numbness or tingling

In studies, paresthesia (numbness or tingling) was common in people taking sumatriptan oral tablet. This side effect is usually mild.

With paresthesia, you have numbness or tingling in your hands, arms, legs, or feet. It may feel like itching, burning, or having “pins and needles.”

Certain factors can increase the risk of paresthesia with sumatriptan oral tablet. These include:

  • sitting for too long
  • crossing your legs while sitting
  • staying in one position for too long
  • repeated motions with your hands, such as typing

Ways to manage

If you have concerns about paresthesia, tell your doctor. They’ll likely recommend exercise or physical therapy. They may also recommend taking certain medications for this side effect.

Medication overuse headache

In studies, medication overuse headache was rare in people taking sumatriptan oral tablet. This side effect may be serious.

With medication overuse headache, your migraine headaches worsen after taking a medication. This happens if you take sumatriptan more often than your doctor recommends.

Symptoms may include:

  • having more migraine episodes than usual
  • daily headaches that start when you first wake up
  • headaches that come back after your medication wears off
  • memory problems
  • anxiety
  • nausea

Certain factors can increase the risk of medication overuse headache with sumatriptan oral tablet. This includes taking more than one type of drug to treat migraine. It may also include taking your migraine medication more than 10 days per month.

Ways to manage

If you experience symptoms of medication overuse headache, tell your doctor. They may recommend a daily medication to help prevent migraine and decrease your use of sumatriptan. These medications include amitriptyline (Elavil) or topiramate (Topamax).

Allergic reaction

For some people, sumatriptan oral tablet can cause an allergic reaction. But this side effect wasn’t reported in the drug’s studies.

Symptoms can be mild or serious, and they may include:

  • itchiness
  • skin rash
  • swelling under the skin, usually affecting eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

Ways to manage

For mild allergic reaction symptoms, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may recommend treatments to help manage your symptoms. They’ll also let you know if you should keep taking the medication.

For severe allergic reaction symptoms, such as swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms require immediate medical care because they can become life threatening. If you’ve had a serious allergic reaction to sumatriptan oral tablet, your doctor may recommend taking a different medication instead.

Warnings for sumatriptan

Below are some factors you may want to discuss with your doctor before taking sumatriptan oral tablet.

Warnings

It may not be safe for you to take sumatriptan oral tablet if you have specific health conditions. These are sometimes called drug-condition interactions. Other things may also affect whether sumatriptan oral tablet is a safe treatment option for you.

Before taking sumatriptan oral tablet, tell your doctor about your health and medications you take. Things to consider include:

Sumatriptan and pregnancy

It’s not known whether sumatriptan oral tablet should be taken during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking this medication.

Sumatriptan and breastfeeding

It’s not known whether sumatriptan oral tablet should be taken while breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before taking this medication. They may recommend waiting 12 hours after taking a dose to breastfeed. This is to help lower your child’s risk of exposure to sumatriptan.

Sumatriptan and alcohol

Sumatriptan oral tablet is not known to interact with alcohol. However, drinking alcohol can cause a migraine episode. Alcohol can also worsen certain migraine symptoms, such as dizziness and nausea.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe to consume it during your treatment with sumatriptan oral tablet.

What to ask your doctor

This article describes common and serious side effects of sumatriptan oral tablet. If your doctor prescribes this medication, they can discuss possible side effects with you. Let your doctor know if you have concerns or questions about treatment with this medication.

Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Is my risk of vertigo higher when I first start treatment with sumatriptan?
  • Does my risk of chest pain depend on the dosage of sumatriptan you prescribe?
  • Can taking sumatriptan tablets cause weight gain?

Disclaimer: Optum Perks 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.

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