Sumatriptan (Absorbed through the skin)


Sumatriptan Succinate (soo-ma-TRIP-tan SUX-i-nate)

Treats migraine headaches. This medicine is a triptan.

Brand Name(s)

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Device Assisted Patch

  • Your doctor will tell you how many patches to use, where to apply them, and how often to apply them. Do not use more patches or apply them more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine is contained in a skin patch. The patch uses electricity to deliver the medicine through your skin.
  • The patches come in sealed pouches. Do not use this medicine if the pouch seal is broken or if the patch is cut, damaged, or changed in any way.
  • Choose a skin area for the patch. The patch should be applied clean, dry skin on your upper arm or thigh. Choose a place that does not have much hair and does not have a scar, tattoo, cut, burn, scratch, or other irritation. The patch should not be placed on skin that has been red or irritated in the past 3 days.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying a patch.
  • When you are ready to apply the patch, pull the 2 foil tabs. Rub each foil packet. Trace around the green arrow 3 times.
  • Unfold the orange flap. Lift open the package. Slowly peel the patch from the silver liner. Make sure the medicine pads are securely attached.
  • Apply the patch to your skin. Push the activation button. A red LED (light emitting diode) should turn on. The red light should blink and then turn solid red.
  • If the light does not stay solid red or turns off in the first 10 minutes, that means the patch is not working. Take the patch off and dispose of it. Start over with a new patch.
  • You might feel a little burning or tingling when the patch first starts working.
  • The patch must be applied and activated within 15 minutes after you remove the foil tabs.
  • You can tape the patch to your skin with medical tape if it starts to peel off.
  • Wear the patch for 4 hours or until the light turns off. Remove the patch slowly to avoid skin irritation. Clean the area gently with a mild soap and water to remove any medicine left on the skin.
  • Keep the patch dry. Do not bathe, shower, or swim while you are wearing a patch.
  • If your headache comes back or gets worse, you may apply a second patch to your other arm or thigh. However, you must wait at least 2 hours after the first patch was activated.
  • Do not use more than 2 patches within 24 hours.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the patches at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Fold the used patch in half with the sticky sides together. Throw any used patch away so that children or pets cannot get to it. You will also need to throw away old patches after the expiration date has passed. This patch contains lithium-manganese dioxide batteries. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to follow state and local laws when you throw away the patch.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicine for depression, such as amitriptyline, citalopram, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, sertraline, Cymbalta®, Effexor®, Elavil®, Lexapro®, or Pristiq®.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, high blood pressure, or epilepsy (seizures). Tell your doctor if you have a history of stomach or bowel bleeding, Raynaud disease, or other types of blood flow problems.
  • This medicine should be used only for classic or common migraine headaches. It will not work for any other kind of headache or pain.
  • Make sure your doctor knows about any heart or blood circulation problems you have. This medicine can cause heart problems, including heart attack. This is more likely to happen if you already have heart disease. Tell your doctor if you have any risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease. Men over 40 years old, women who are past menopause, and people who are overweight are also more likely to have heart disease.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any skin problems where the patch was placed. This includes blisters, burning, crusting, dryness, itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling. These could be symptoms of an allergic reaction.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have a tight feeling or pressure in your chest, jaw, or neck. Your doctor may need to find out if these are symptoms of a heart problem.
  • Tell your doctor if you have sudden or severe stomach pain or bloody diarrhea after you use this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have any changes in vision that are not part of your usual migraine.
  • This medicine may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome, when taken with certain medicines. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, confusion, mental changes, restlessness, fast heartbeat, muscle spasms, trouble walking, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • This patch contains metal parts. You must take it off before you have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Apply the patch carefully if you have a medical device on or in your body (such as a heart pacemaker, body-worn insulin pump,) or implantable deep brain stimulator).
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Do not use this medicine if your headache feels different from your usual migraine headache. Call your doctor if your headache is unusual or severe. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • You could make your migraine headaches worse if you take migraine medicine too often. Keep a headache diary to record your headache frequency.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, sweating, muscle spasms, twitching, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain, especially if it spreads to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing, unusual sweating, faintness
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Numbness, tingling, cramps, coldness, or unexplained pain
  • Numb, cold feeling and color changes in your fingers or toes
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever
  • Tightness or discomfort in your chest, neck, or jaw
  • Vision changes that are not part of a usual migraine

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild redness, pain, itching, tingling, or change in skin color where the patch is put on your skin

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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