For many people with migraine headaches, few medications are as effective as sumatriptan (sold under the brand name Imigran). The medicine quickly relieves symptoms of a migraine and can be used to treat a single attack. It is currently available only with a prescription, but a change to Schedule 3 and inclusion in Appendix M would bring Australia into harmonisation with New Zealand where the drug has been available without a prescription for some time.
It’s important to note that this medication can also make you feel weak or drowsy. If you experience this side effect, take a nap or rest and don’t attempt any dangerous activities until you feel well again. This is one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to keep a diary of your migraine symptoms. By doing this, you can find out whether there are any patterns and try to avoid triggers.
Another thing to remember is that you shouldn’t take sumatriptan more than 10 times a month. This can lead to a problem called medication overuse headache. Medication overuse headache occurs when you use pain-relieving medicines, such as sumatriptan, to treat a migraine headache for more than 10 days per month. This can cause the headaches to become more frequent and severe.
Sumatriptan is part of a group of medications called serotonin agonists. This class of drugs can help to relieve the pain of migraine headaches, but they don’t work for other types of pain. These drugs aren’t narcotics and don’t lead to addiction or dependence. They’re available as tablets, nasal sprays and injections.