"Most of us get headaches from time to time. Some are mild. Others cause throbbing pain. They can last for minutes or days. There are many different types of headaches. How you treat yours depends on which kind you have.
Myocardial Ischemia, Myocardial Infarction, And Prinzmetal's Angina
ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with ischemic or vasospastic CAD. There have been rare reports of serious cardiac adverse reactions, including acute myocardial infarction, occurring within a few hours following administration of sumatriptan. Some of these reactions occurred in patients without known CAD. ALSUMA may cause coronary artery vasospasm (Prinzmetal's angina), even in patients without a history of CAD.
Perform a cardiovascular evaluation in triptan-naive patients who have multiple cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., increased age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, strong family history of CAD) prior to receiving ALSUMA. If there is evidence of CAD or coronary artery vasospasm, ALSUMA is contraindicated. For patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors who have a negative cardiovascular evaluation, consider administering the first dose of ALSUMA in a medically supervised setting and performing an electrocardiogram (ECG) immediately following ALSUMA. For such patients, consider periodic cardiovascular evaluation in intermittent long-term users of ALSUMA.
Life-threatening disturbances of cardiac rhythm, including ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation leading to death, have been reported within a few hours following the administration of 5-HT1 agonists. Discontinue ALSUMA if these disturbances occur. ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with WolffParkinson-White syndrome or arrhythmias associated with other cardiac accessory conduction pathway disorders.
Chest, Throat, Neck And/Or Jaw Pain/Tightness/Pressure
Sensations of tightness, pain, pressure, and heaviness in the precordium, throat, neck, and jaw commonly occur after treatment with ALSUMA and are usually non-cardiac in origin. However, perform a cardiac evaluation if these patients are at high cardiac risk. The use of ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients shown to have CAD and those with Prinzmetal's variant angina.
Cerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and stroke have occurred in patients treated with 5-HT1 agonists, and some have resulted in fatalities. In a number of cases, it appears possible that the cerebrovascular events were primary, the 5-HT1 agonists having been administered in the incorrect belief that the symptoms experienced were a consequence of migraine when they were not. Also, patients with migraine may be at increased risk of certain cerebrovascular events (e.g., stroke, hemorrhage, TIA). Discontinue ALSUMA if a cerebrovascular event occurs.
Before treating headaches in patients not previously diagnosed as migraineurs, and in migraineurs who present with atypical symptoms, exclude other potentially serious neurological conditions. ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with a history of stroke or TIA.
Other Vasospasm Reactions
ALSUMA may cause non-coronary vasospastic reactions, such as peripheral vascular ischemia, gastrointestinal vascular ischemia and infarction (presenting with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea), splenic infarction, and Raynaud's syndrome. In patients who experience symptoms or signs suggestive of non-coronary vasospasm reaction following the use of any 5-HT1 agonist, rule out a vasospastic reaction before receiving additional ALSUMA doses.
Reports of transient and permanent blindness and significant partial vision loss have been reported with the use of 5-HT1 agonists. Since visual disorders may be part of a migraine attack, a causal relationship between these events and the use of 5-HT1 agonists have not been clearly established.
Medication Overuse Headache
Overuse of acute migraine drugs (e.g., ergotamine, triptans, opioids, or combination of these drugs for 10 or more days per month) may lead to exacerbation of headache (medication overuse headache). Medication overuse headache may present as migraine-like daily headaches or as a marked increase in frequency of migraine attacks. Detoxification of patients, including withdrawal of the overused drugs and treatment of withdrawal symptoms (which often includes a transient worsening of headache) may be necessary.
Serotonin syndrome may occur with ALSUMA, particularly during co-administration with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and MAO inhibitors [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). The onset of symptoms usually occurs within minutes to hours of receiving a new or a greater dose of a serotonergic medication. Discontinue ALSUMA if serotonin syndrome is suspected.
Increase In Blood Pressure
Significant elevation in blood pressure, including hypertensive crisis with acute impairment of organ systems, has been reported on rare occasions in patients treated with 5-HT1 agonists, including patients without a history of hypertension. Monitor blood pressure in patients treated with ALSUMA. ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.
There have been reports of anaphylactic, anaphylactoid, and hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema in patients receiving ALSUMA. Such reactions can be life threatening or fatal. In general, anaphylactic reactions to drugs are more likely to occur in individuals with a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens. ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity reaction to ALSUMA.
Seizures have been reported following administration of ALSUMA. Some have occurred in patients with either a history of seizures or concurrent conditions predisposing to seizures. There are also reports in patients where no such predisposing factors are apparent. ALSUMA should be used with caution in patients with a history of epilepsy or conditions associated with a lowered seizure threshold.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION and Instructions for Use).
Risk of Myocardial Ischemia and/or Infarction, Prinzmetal's Angina, Other Vasospasm-Related Events, Arrhythmias, and Cerebrovascular Events
Inform patients that ALSUMA may cause serious cardiovascular side effects such as myocardial infarction or stroke. Although serious cardiovascular events can occur without warning symptoms, patients should be alert for the signs and symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, significant rise in blood pressure, weakness, and slurring of speech and should ask for medical advice when observing any indicative sign or symptoms. Patients should be apprised of the importance of this follow-up [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Inform patients that anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving sumatriptan injection. Such reactions can be life threatening or fatal. In general, anaphylactic reactions to drugs are more likely to occur in individuals with a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Patients should be cautioned about the risk of serotonin syndrome with the use of ALSUMA or other triptans, particularly during combined use with SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, and MAO inhibitors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Medication Overuse Headache
Inform patients that use of acute migraine drugs for 10 or more days per month may lead to an exacerbation of headache and encourage patients to record headache frequency and drug use (e.g., by keeping a headache diary) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Inform patients that ALSUMA should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus [see Use In Specific Populations].
Advise patients to notify their healthcare provider if they are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed [see Use in Specific Populations].
Ability to Perform Complex Tasks
Since migraines or treatment with ALSUMA may cause somnolence and dizziness, instruct patients to evaluate their ability to perform complex tasks during migraine attacks and after administration of ALSUMA.
How to Use ALSUMA
ALSUMA is a pre-filled, fully-assembled, single-use device intended to deliver a 6 mg dose of sumatriptan.
Provide patients instruction on the proper use of ALSUMA if they are able to self-administer ALSUMA in a medically unsupervised situation.
Inform patients that the injection is only intended to be given subcutaneously. Intramuscular or intravascular delivery should be avoided. Instruct patients to use injection sites with an adequate skin and subcutaneous thickness to accommodate the length of the needle (e.g. lateral thigh or upper arms).
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
In carcinogenicity studies in mouse and rat, sumatriptan was administered orally for 78 and 104 weeks, respectively, at doses up to 160 mg/kg/day (the high dose in rat was reduced from 360 mg/kg/day during week 21). There was no evidence in either species of an increase in tumors related to sumatriptan administration.
Sumatriptan was negative in in vitro (bacterial reverse mutation [Ames], gene cell mutation in Chinese hamster V79/HGPRT, chromosomal aberration in human lymphocytes) assay and in vivo (rat micronucleus) assays.
Impairment of Fertility
When sumatriptan (5, 50, 500 mg/kg/day) was administered orally to male and female rats prior to and throughout the mating period, there was a treatment-related decrease in fertility secondary to a decrease in mating in animals treated with doses greater than 5 mg/kg/day. It is not clear whether this finding was due to an effect on males or females or both.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled trials of sumatriptan injection in pregnant women. In developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits, oral administration of sumatriptan to pregnant animals was associated with embryolethality, fetal abnormalities, and pup mortality. When administered by the intravenous route to pregnant rabbits, sumatriptan was embryolethal. ALSUMA should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Oral administration of sumatriptan to pregnant rats during the period of organogenesis resulted in an increased incidence of fetal blood vessel (cervicothoracic and umbilical) abnormalities. The highest no-effect dose for embryofetal developmental toxicity in rats was 60 mg/kg/day. Oral administration of sumatriptan to pregnant rabbits during the period of organogenesis resulted in increased incidences of embryolethality and fetal cervicothoracic vascular and skeletal abnormalities. Intravenous administration of sumatriptan to pregnant rabbits during the period of organogenesis resulted in an increased incidence of embryolethality. The highest oral and intravenous no-effect doses for developmental toxicity in rabbits were 15 and 0.75 mg/kg/day, respectively.
Oral administration of sumatriptan to rats prior to and throughout gestation resulted in embryofetal toxicity (decreased body weight, decreased ossification, increased incidence of skeletal abnormalities). The highest no-effect dose was 50 mg/kg/day. In offspring of pregnant rats treated orally with sumatriptan during organogenesis, there was a decrease in pup survival. The highest no-effect dose for this effect was 60 mg/kg/day. Oral treatment of pregnant rats with sumatriptan during the latter part of gestation and throughout lactation resulted in a decrease in pup survival. The highest no-effect dose for this effect was 100 mg/kg/day.
Sumatriptan is excreted in human milk following subcutaneous administration. Infant exposure to sumatriptan can be minimized by avoiding breastfeeding for 12 hours after treatment with ALSUMA.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. ALSUMA is not recommended for use in patients younger than 18 years of age.
Two controlled clinical trials evaluated sumatriptan nasal spray (5 to 20 mg) in 1,248 adolescent migraineurs aged 12 to 17 years who treated a single attack. The trials did not establish the efficacy of sumatriptan nasal spray compared with placebo in the treatment of migraine in adolescents. Adverse reactions observed in these clinical trials were similar in nature to those reported in clinical trials in adults.
Five controlled clinical trials (2 single-attack trials, 3 multiple-attack trials) evaluating oral sumatriptan (25 to 100 mg) in pediatric subjects aged 12 to 17 years enrolled a total of 701 adolescent migraineurs. These trials did not establish the efficacy of oral sumatriptan compared with placebo in the treatment of migraine in adolescents. Adverse reactions observed in these clinical trials were similar in nature to those reported in clinical trials in adults. The frequency of all adverse reactions in these subjects appeared to be both dose-and age-dependent, with younger subjects reporting reactions more commonly than older adolescents.
Postmarketing experience documents that serious adverse reactions have occurred in the pediatric population after use of subcutaneous, oral, and/or intranasal sumatriptan. These reports include reactions similar in nature to those reported rarely in adults, including stroke, visual loss, and death. A myocardial infarction has been reported in a 14-year-old male following the use of oral sumatriptan; clinical signs occurred within 1 day of drug administration. Clinical data to determine the frequency of serious adverse reactions in pediatric patients who might receive subcutaneous, oral, or intranasal sumatriptan are not presently available.
Clinical trials of sumatriptan injection did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
A cardiovascular evaluation is recommended for geriatric patients who have other cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, strong family history of CAD) prior to receiving ALSUMA [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/23/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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