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This section provides a summary of adverse reactions reported in subjects in clinical studies conducted with ALSUMA and sumatriptan injection. Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to the rates in the clinical trials of another drug, and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Serious cardiac reactions, including myocardial infarction, have occurred following the use of sumatriptan. These reactions are extremely rare and most have been reported in patients with risk factors predictive of CAD. Reactions reported have included coronary artery vasospasm, transient myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Significant hypertensive episodes, including hypertensive crises, have been reported on rare occasions in patients with or without a history of hypertension. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

The following other adverse reactions are discussed in more detail in other sections of labeling:

Sensations of Chest Pain and Tightness [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Cerebrovascular Events and Fatalities [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Other Vasospam related Events including Peripheral Vascular Ischemia and Colonic Ischemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Serotonin Syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Among patients in clinical trials of subcutaneous sumatriptan succinate injection (n=6,218), up to 3.5% of patients withdrew for reasons related to adverse reactions.

Controlled Clinical Trials in Patients with Migraine Headache

Table 1 lists adverse reactions that occurred in 2 large placebo-controlled clinical trials in migraine patients following either a single 6 mg sumatriptan injection or placebo. Only adverse reactions that occurred at a frequency of 2% or more in groups treated with sumatriptan injection 6 mg and occurred at a frequency greater than in the placebo group are included in Table 1.

Table 1: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions Incidence in 2 Large, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials in Patients with Migraine: Events Reported by at Least 2% of Patients Treated with Sumatriptan Injection 6 mg*

Adverse Reactions Percent of Patients Reporting
Sumatriptan 6 mg SC
(n = 547)
(n = 370)
Atypical sensations 42 9
  Tingling 14 3
  Warm/hot sensation 11 4
  Burning sensation 7 < 1
  Feeling of heaviness 7 1
  Pressure sensation 7 2
  Feeling of tightness 5 < 1
  Numbness 5 2
  Feeling strange 2 < 1
  Tight feeling in head 2 < 1
  Flushing 7 2
  Chest Discomfort 5 1
  Tightness in chest 3 < 1
  Discomfort: nasal cavity/sinuses 2 < 1
  Injection site reaction 59 24
  Jaw discomfort 2 0
  Weakness 5 < 1
  Neck pain/stiffness 5 < 1
  Myalgia 2 < 1
  Dizziness/vertigo 12 4
  Drowsiness/sedation 3 2
  Headache 2 < 1
* The sum of the percentages cited is greater than 100% because patients could have experienced more than 1 type of adverse event. Only events that occurred at a frequency of 2% or more in groups treated with sumatriptan injection and that occurred at a frequency greater than that in the placebo group are included.

The incidence of adverse reactions in controlled clinical trials was not affected by gender or age of the patients. There were insufficient data to assess the impact of race on the incidence of adverse events.

Controlled Clinical Trials in Patients with Cluster Headache

In the controlled clinical trials assessing sumatriptan injection as a treatment for cluster headache, no new significant adverse reactions associated with the use of sumatriptan were detected that had not already been identified in association with the drug's use in migraine.

Overall, the frequency of adverse events reported in studies of cluster headache was generally lower. Exceptions include reports of paresthesia (5% sumatriptan, 0% placebo), nausea and vomiting (4% sumatriptan, 0% placebo), and bronchospasm (1% sumatriptan, 0% placebo).

Other Adverse Reactions Observed in Association with the Administration of Sumatriptan Injection

The frequencies of less commonly reported adverse clinical reactions are presented. Because the reports include events observed in open and uncontrolled studies, the role of sumatriptan injection in their causation cannot be reliably determined. Furthermore, variability associated with adverse reactions reporting, the terminology used to describe adverse reactions limits the value of the quantitative frequency estimates provided.

Adverse reactions frequencies are calculated as the number of patients reporting an event divided by the total number of patients (N = 6,218) exposed to subcutaneous sumatriptan. All reported adverse reactions are included except those already listed in the previous table, those too general to be informative, and those not reasonably associated with the use of the drug. Adverse reactions are further classified within body system categories and enumerated in order of decreasing frequency using the following definitions: frequent adverse reactions are defined as those occurring in at least 1/100 patients, infrequent adverse reactions are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1,000 patients, and rare adverse reactions are those occurring in fewer than 1/1,000 patients.

Cardiovascular: Infrequent were hypertension, hypotension, bradycardia, tachycardia, palpitations, pulsating sensations, various transient ECG changes (nonspecific ST or T-wave changes, prolongation of PR or QTc intervals, sinus arrhythmia, nonsustained ventricular premature beats, isolated junctional ectopic beats, atrial ectopic beats, delayed activation of the right ventricle), and syncope. Rare were pallor, arrhythmia, abnormal pulse, vasodilation, and Raynaud syndrome.

Endocrine and Metabolic: Infrequent was thirst. Rare were polydipsia and dehydration.

Eye: Frequent were vision alterations. Infrequent was irritation of the eye.

Gastrointestinal: Frequent were abdominal discomfort and dysphagia. Infrequent were gastroesophageal reflux and diarrhea. Rare were peptic ulcer, retching, flatulence/eructation, and gallstones.

Musculoskeletal: Frequent were muscle cramps. Infrequent were various joint disturbances (pain, stiffness, swelling, ache). Rare were muscle stiffness, need to flex calf muscles, backache, muscle tiredness, and swelling of the extremities.

Neurological: Frequent was anxiety. Infrequent were mental confusion, euphoria, agitation, relaxation, chills, sensation of lightness, tremor, shivering, disturbances of taste, prickling sensations, paresthesia, stinging sensations, facial pain, photophobia, and lacrimation. Rare were transient hemiplegia, hysteria, globus hystericus, intoxication, depression, myoclonia, monoplegia/diplegia, sleep disturbance, difficulties in concentration, disturbances of smell, hyperesthesia, dysesthesia, simultaneous hot and cold sensations, tickling sensations, dysarthria, yawning, reduced appetite, hunger, and dystonia.

Respiratory: Infrequent was dyspnea. Rare were influenza, diseases of the lower respiratory tract, and hiccoughs.

Skin: Infrequent were erythema, pruritus, and skin rashes and eruptions. Rare was skin tenderness.

Urogenital: Rare were dysuria, frequency, dysmenorrhea, and renal calculus.

Miscellaneous: Infrequent were miscellaneous laboratory abnormalities, including minor disturbances in liver function tests, “serotonin agonist effect,” and hypersensitivity to various agents. Rare was fever.

Other Adverse Reactions Observed in the Clinical Development of Sumatriptan

The following adverse reactions occurred in clinical trials with sumatriptan tablets and sumatriptan nasal spray. Because the reports include events observed in open and uncontrolled studies, the role of sumatriptan in their causation cannot be reliably determined. All reported events are included except those already listed, those too general to be informative, and those not reasonably associated with the use of the drug.

Breasts: Breast swelling, cysts, disorder of breasts, lumps, masses of breasts, nipple discharge, primary malignant breast neoplasm, and tenderness.

Cardiovascular: Abdominal aortic aneurysm, angina, atherosclerosis, cerebral ischemia, cerebrovascular lesion, heart block, peripheral cyanosis, phlebitis, thrombosis, and transient myocardial ischemia.

Ear, Nose, and Throat: Allergic rhinitis; disorder of nasal cavity/sinuses; ear, nose, and throat hemorrhage; ear infection; external otitis; feeling of fullness in the ear(s); hearing disturbances; hearing loss; Meniere disease; nasal inflammation; otalgia; sensitivity to noise; sinusitis; tinnitus; and upper respiratory inflammation.

Endocrine and Metabolic: Elevated thyrotropin stimulating hormone (TSH) levels; endocrine cysts, lumps, and masses; fluid disturbances; galactorrhea; hyperglycemia; hypoglycemia; hypothyroidism; weight gain; and weight loss.

Eye: Accommodation disorders, blindness and low vision, conjunctivitis, disorders of sclera, external ocular muscle disorders, eye edema and swelling, eye hemorrhage, eye itching, eye pain, keratitis, mydriasis, and visual disturbances.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, colitis, constipation, dental pain, dyspeptic symptoms, feelings of gastrointestinal pressure, gastric symptoms, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal bleeding, gastrointestinal pain, hematemesis, hypersalivation, hyposalivation, intestinal obstruction, melena, nausea and/or vomiting, oral itching and irritation, pancreatitis, salivary gland swelling, and swallowing disorders.

Hematological Disorders: Anemia.

Mouth and Teeth: Disorder of mouth and tongue (e.g., burning of tongue, numbness of tongue, dry mouth).

Musculoskeletal: Acquired musculoskeletal deformity, arthralgia and articular rheumatitis, arthritis, intervertebral disc disorder, muscle atrophy, muscle tightness and rigidity, musculoskeletal inflammation, and tetany.

Neurological: Apathy, aggressiveness, bad/unusual taste, bradylogia, cluster headache, convulsions, depressive disorders, detachment, disturbance of emotions, drug abuse, facial paralysis, hallucinations, heat sensitivity, incoordination, increased alertness, memory disturbance, migraine, motor dysfunction, neoplasm of pituitary, neuralgia, neurotic disorders, paralysis, personality change, phobia, phonophobia, psychomotor disorders, radiculopathy, raised intracranial pressure, rigidity, stress, syncope, suicide, and twitching.

Respiratory: Asthma, breathing disorders, bronchitis, cough, and lower respiratory tract infection.

Skin: Dry/scaly skin, eczema, herpes, seborrheic dermatitis, skin nodules, tightness of skin, and wrinkling of skin.

Urogenital: Abnormal menstrual cycle, abortion, bladder inflammation, endometriosis, hematuria, increased urination, inflammation of fallopian tubes, intermenstrual bleeding, menstruation symptoms, micturition disorders, urethritis, and urinary infections.

Miscellaneous: Contusions, difficulty in walking, edema, hematoma, hypersensitivity, fever, fluid retention, lymphadenopathy, overdose, speech disturbance, swelling of extremities, swelling of face, and voice disturbances.

Pain and Other Pressure Sensations: Chest pain and/or heaviness, neck/throat/jaw pain/tightness/pressure, and pain (location specified).

Postmarketing Experience (Reports for Subcutaneous or Oral Sumatriptan)

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of Sumatriptan. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. However, systemic reactions following sumatriptan use are likely to be similar regardless of route of administration.

Blood: Hemolytic anemia, pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia.

Cardiovascular: Atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, colonic ischemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], Prinzmetal variant angina, pulmonary embolism, shock, thrombophlebitis.

Ear, Nose, and Throat: Deafness.

Eye: Ischemic optic neuropathy, retinal artery occlusion, retinal vein thrombosis, loss of vision.

Gastrointestinal: Ischemic colitis with rectal bleeding [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], xerostomia.

Hepatic: Elevated liver function tests.

Neurological: Central nervous system vasculitis, cerebrovascular accident, dysphasia, serotonin syndrome, subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Non-Site Specific: Angioneurotic edema, cyanosis, death [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], temporal arteritis.

Psychiatry: Panic disorder.

Respiratory: Bronchospasm in patients with and without a history of asthma.

Skin: Exacerbation of sunburn, hypersensitivity reactions (allergic vasculitis, erythema, pruritus, rash, shortness of breath, urticaria; in addition, severe anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reactions have been reported [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], photosensitivity. Following subcutaneous administration of sumatriptan, pain, redness, stinging, induration, swelling, contusion, subcutaneous bleeding, and, on rare occasions, lipoatrophy (depression in the skin) or lipohypertrophy (enlargement or thickening of tissue) has been reported.

Urogenital: Acute renal failure.

Adverse Reactions Observed In Association With The Administration of ALSUMA

The safety of ALSUMA was evaluated in an open-label clinical trial evaluating the usability of ALSUMA during a migraine attack. Adverse reactions that occurred at a frequency of 5% or higher were injection site bruising (16%), injection site pain (6%), and injection site hemorrhage (6%).

Read the Alsuma (sumatriptan injection) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

MAO-A inhibitors reduce sumatriptan clearance, significantly increasing systemic exposure. Therefore, the use of sumatriptan in patients receiving MAO-A inhibitors is not ordinarily recommended. If the clinical situation warrants the combined use of sumatriptan and an MAOI, the dose of sumatriptan employed should be reduced. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]

5-HT1B/1D agonists (e.g. triptans)

Concomitant use of other 5-HT1B/1D agonists within 24 hours of sumatriptan treatment is not recommended. [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]

Ergot-Containing Drugs

Ergot-containing drugs have been reported to cause prolonged vasospastic reactions. Since these effects may be additive, use of ergotamine containing or ergot-type medications (like dihydroergotamine or methysergide) and sumatriptan within 24 hours of each other should be avoided. [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors/Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors and Serotonin Syndrome

Cases of life-threatening serotonin syndrome have been reported during combined use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and triptans. If concomitant treatment with sumatriptan injection is clinically warranted, careful observation of the patient is advised, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Read the Alsuma Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/26/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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