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What Is Sumatriptan Used For?

Using Sumatriptan for Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are known for their extreme pain and their pattern of occurring in "clusters," usually at the same time(s) of the day for several weeks.
Cluster headaches may begin as a minor pain or pressure around one eye or temple. They may also begin as a burning sensation on the nose. The pain quickly intensifies over several minutes, eventually spreading to that side of the face. A cluster headache is often described as constant, deep, excruciating pain, although occasionally it may be pulsing and throbbing. The pain is always on one side of the head.
The intense pain of a cluster headache often compels the victim to pace the floor or rock in a chair. This differs from a migraine attack, where the person wants to curl up into bed and be still.
  • Stuffed and runny nose
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Sweating forehead
  • Pale appearance
  • Red, tearing eye
  • Nausea.
The injectable forms of sumatriptan (Imitrex injection, Alsuma, and Sumavel) are approved to treat (but not prevent) cluster headaches.

Sumatriptan Use in Children

Sumatriptan has not been adequately studied in people less than 18 years of age. Talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using sumatriptan to treat migraines in children.

Off-Label Sumatriptan Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend sumatriptan for something other than the condition(s) discussed above. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, one off-label sumatriptan use (for the nasal spray, patch, and tablets) is the treatment of cluster headaches.
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Sumatriptan (Imitrex)

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