The Mystery of Migraines: From Triggers to Treatment with Sumatriptan

The Mystery of Migraines: From Triggers to Treatment with Sumatriptan

24 / May

Migraine is a common yet debilitating condition that strikes with intense headaches, often paired with nausea, vomiting, and an overwhelming sensitivity to light or sound. They typically make their unwelcome entrance in early adulthood and are notably more common among women, affecting about 1 in 5 women compared to around 1 in 15 men. While migraines generally tend to diminish with age, some people might find them getting worse instead of better.

The experience of a migraine is highly personal, with symptoms and impacts varying widely from person to person. On one extreme end, migraines can occur multiple times a week, bringing severe pain, relentless nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound that can last for days. On the milder side, they might only appear occasionally, with months or even years between brief and less intense episodes. Clearly, migraines can dramatically impact your quality of life, sometimes even preventing you from working. It’s crucial to treat migraines effectively and implement preventative strategies to reduce their frequency, ensuring they don’t take over your life.

What are the causes of Migraines?

Migraines are caused by abnormal brain activity that affects nerve signals, neurotransmitters, and blood vessels within the brain. Several trigger factors have been proposed that can bring about a migraine. Let’s talk about some of these triggers:

  1. Stress

Stress can wreak havoc on your brain’s chemistry, setting off a chain reaction that can lead to migraines.

  1. Dietary Factors

Believe it or not, your diet can play a significant role in triggering migraines. Common culprits include alcohol, caffeine, aged cheeses, processed foods and dehydration.

  1. Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in women, can trigger migraines during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause.

  1. Sleep Patterns

Both too much and too little sleep can be problematic. Striving for a consistent sleep schedule can help keep migraines at bay.

  1. Medicinal triggers

Some sleeping tablets, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and some oral contraceptives might trigger Migraines.

  1. Environmental Factors

Bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, and changes in humidity or temperature can bring about a migraine.

What are the different treatment options for migraines?

Although migraines cannot be cured, various treatments aim to relieve symptoms and sometimes prevent the onset of migraines. Treatment options range from over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin to prescription medicine like Sumatriptan depending on the severity and frequency of symptoms.

What is Sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan tablets are a generic, lower-cost version of Imigran used to treat migraine. For Patients who do not benefit from over-the-counter painkillers, Triptans like Sumatriptan offer a beacon of hope. This medication is specifically designed to combat migraine symptoms and provide much-needed relief.

How does Sumatriptan work?

Sumatriptan works its magic by Stimulating Serotonin Receptors (5-HT) in the brain. This leads to constriction of blood vessels around the brain hence counteracting the dilation that causes migraine pain. It also helps stabilise the chemical changes that cause a migraine attack.

Side effects of sumatriptan

Although Sumatriptan is a powerful ally in the fight against migraines, like every medicine it too has side effects. These are some of the things you need to watch out for if you are taking Sumatriptan

  1. Dizziness or vertigo
  2. Flushing or warm sensation
  3. Pressure or tightness in the chest
  4. Nausea or vomiting
  5. Fatigue or drowsiness

Precautions and considerations

While generally considered safe, there are some precautions or things to consider before you start taking Sumatriptan

Heart condition

People with a history of heart disease or stroke should use Sumatriptan with caution

Interaction with other medications

Sumatriptan can interact with other drugs like antidepressants or other migraine medications. It is important to inform your doctor about all the medicines you are taking

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Since the safety of Sumatriptan during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been fully established it is best to let your doctor know in advance if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Migraines can be a real game-changer, disrupting your day and affecting your overall well-being. But there’s hope! By pinpointing your triggers and exploring effective treatments like Sumatriptan, you can take control and reduce the impact of migraines on your life. Keeping in mind that everyone’s migraine journey is different, we at Bolt Pharmacy offer a unique and convenient way to receive professional medical advice and specifically designed treatment plans from the comfort of your home. If prescribed, Sumatriptan can be delivered directly to your doorstep making it one less headache to worry about.

Common Questions about Migraines and Sumatriptan?


How do lifestyle changes impact migraine frequency and severity?

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and getting adequate sleep, can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

Are there any long-term health risks associated with frequent migraines?

Frequent migraines can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and other chronic conditions. It’s important to manage migraines effectively to reduce these risks.

What should I do if my migraine symptoms suddenly get worse?

If your migraine symptoms suddenly become more severe, or if you experience new symptoms such as weakness, vision changes, or difficulty speaking, seek medical attention immediately.

How does Sumatriptan work to relieve migraine symptoms?

Sumatriptan works by stimulating serotonin receptors in the brain, causing blood vessels to constrict, and reducing inflammation, which helps alleviate migraine symptoms.

What are the different forms of Sumatriptan available?

Sumatriptan is available in several forms, including tablets, nasal sprays, and injections, allowing for flexible treatment options based on patient preference and severity of symptoms.

How quickly does Sumatriptan start working?

Sumatriptan typically starts working within 30 minutes for tablets, providing rapid relief from migraine symptoms.

What is the recommended dosage for Sumatriptan?

The recommended dosage varies based on the form: tablets are usually 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg; nasal sprays are 5 mg or 20 mg; and injections are typically 6 mg.

Can I take Sumatriptan with other migraine medications?

It’s important to consult your doctor before combining Sumatriptan with other migraine medications, as interactions can occur. Your doctor can provide guidance on safe combinations.

How can I differentiate between a migraine and a regular headache?

Migraines often come with additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and light or sound sensitivity, and the pain is usually more severe, and debilitating compared to a regular headache.

Can Sumatriptan be used for other types of headaches?

Sumatriptan is specifically designed for migraines and cluster headaches. It is not typically used for other types of headaches.

Who should avoid taking Sumatriptan?

People with a history of heart disease, stroke, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or severe liver impairment should avoid Sumatriptan. Always consult your doctor before starting any new medication.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Sumatriptan?

Sumatriptan is taken as needed at the onset of a migraine, so missing a dose is not typically a concern. Do not take an extra dose if a migraine subsides; instead, wait until the next migraine occurrence.

How do I store Sumatriptan properly?

Store Sumatriptan at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep it in its original packaging and out of reach of children and pets.

What should I discuss with my doctor before starting Sumatriptan?

Discuss your full medical history, including any heart conditions, allergies, other medications you are taking, and any previous reactions to migraine treatments. This will help your doctor determine if Sumatriptan is a safe and effective option for you.