Also known as Imigran, Imitrex, NP101, Sumatran, Sumatriptan Succinate, Sumatriptanum, Sumatriptán, Sumax, triptan

A sulfonamide triptan with vasoconstrictor activity. Sumatriptan selectively binds to and activates serotonin 5-HT1D receptors in the central nervous system (CNS), thereby constricting cerebral blood vessels. This may lead to a relief in pain from vascular headaches. Sumatriptan may also relieve vascular headaches by decreasing the release of vasoactive neuropeptides from perivascular trigeminal axons in the dura mater during a migraine, by reducing extravasation of plasma proteins, and by decreasing the release of other mediators of inflammation from the trigeminal nerve.

Originator: NCI Thesaurus | Source: The website of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov)

Can I take Sumatriptan while breastfeeding?

Because of the low levels of sumatriptan in breastmilk, amounts ingested by the infant are small. It also has poor oral bioavailability, further decreasing infant exposure to the drug. Some authors have suggested that withholding breastfeeding for 8 hours after a single subcutaneous injection would virtually eliminate infant exposure to the drug.[1] This maneuver might be helpful in extreme cases, such as in the mother of a preterm infant, but sumatriptan would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in most breastfed infants. One anecdotal report of lactation ceasing after a single injection of sumatriptan has not been verified.

Drug levels

Maternal Levels. Five women who had been breastfeeding for 11 to 28 weeks received a single dose of sumatriptan 6 mg by subcutaneous injection. The peak milk level averaged 87.2 mcg/L (range 62 to 113 mcg/L) and it occurred 2.5 hours (range 1.7 to 3.5 hours) after the dose. The mean half-life in milk was 2.2 hours (range 1.2 to 3.1 hours). The authors calculated that an exclusively breastfed infant would receive 14.4 mcg in breastmilk with this dose, which is 3.5% of the weight-adjusted dosage.[1]

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in breastfed infants

Maternal Levels. Five women who had been breastfeeding for 11 to 28 weeks received a single dose of sumatriptan 6 mg by subcutaneous injection. The peak milk level averaged 87.2 mcg/L (range 62 to 113 mcg/L) and it occurred 2.5 hours (range 1.7 to 3.5 hours) after the dose. The mean half-life in milk was 2.2 hours (range 1.2 to 3.1 hours). The authors calculated that an exclusively breastfed infant would receive 14.4 mcg in breastmilk with this dose, which is 3.5% of the weight-adjusted dosage.[1]

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Possible effects on lactation

One author reported correspondence with the drug’s manufacturer stating that 1 woman who used a single injection of sumatriptan (dose unspecified) during breastfeeding had a cessation of lactation.[2]

Alternate drugs to consider

Eletriptan

References

1. Wojnar-Horton RE, Hackett LP, Yapp P et al. Distribution and excretion of sumatriptan in human milk. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1996;41:217-21. PMID: 8866921

2. Kristensen J. Sumatriptan and breastfeeding. Aust J Hosp Pharm. 1996;26:460. Letter.

Last Revision Date

20160401

Disclaimer:Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Source: LactMed – National Library of Medicine (NLM)

3D Model of the Sumatriptan molecule

MolView – data visualization platform