Active Ingredient History
Sumatriptan is a serotonin (5-HT1B/1D) receptor agonist indicated for acute treatment of migraine with or without aura in adults. Sumatriptan is structurally similar to serotonin (5-HT), and is a 5-HT receptor (types 5-HT1D and 5-HT1B) agonist. The specific receptor subtypes it activates are present on the cranial arteries and veins. Acting as an agonist at these receptors, sumatriptan reduces the vascular inflammation associated with migraines. The specific receptor subtype it activates is present in the cranial and basilar arteries. Activation of these receptors causes vasoconstriction of those dilated arteries. Sumatriptan is also shown to decrease the activity of the trigeminal nerve, which presumably accounts for sumatriptan's efficacy in treating cluster headaches. The injectable form of the drug has been shown to abort a cluster headache within 30 minutes in 77% of cases. Sumatriptan is effective for ending or relieving the intensity of migraine and cluster headaches. It is most effective taken early after the start of the pain. Injected sumatriptan is more effective than other formulations. Large doses of sumatriptan can cause sulfhemoglobinemia, a rare condition in which the blood changes from red to greenish-black, due to the integration of sulfur into the hemoglobin molecule. Serious cardiac events, including some that have been fatal, have occurred following the use of sumatriptan injection or tablets. Events reported have included coronary artery vasospasm, transient myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation (V-Fib). NCATS
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