migraine suffererThere are many different migraine relief treatments on the market, but knowing which option is best for alleviating the crippling pain of your migraines can be tricky.

Let’s take a closer look at two of the more popular treatments, Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan.

How do Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan work?

Although the cause of migraines is not fully understood, it is thought that the symptoms may come from the widening of blood vessels in the brain.

Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan are both in the ‘triptan’ or 5HT class of drugs, used in the treatment of acute migraine attacks and cluster headaches. 5HT medicines stimulate the receptors of serotonin in the brain, causing blood vessels to narrow and pain to subside.

How long do Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan take to work?

Pain relief is typically faster with Rizatriptan than Sumatriptan. When taken in tablet form, Rizatriptan (10mg) can be expected to take effect in as little as 30 minutes. Sumatriptan (100mg) typically takes nearer to an hour to offer effective relief from migraine symptoms, with results peaking between two to for hours after the dose.

In roughly 80% of patients, both medications significantly reduce within two hours.

Both Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan should only be taken once the symptoms of migraine appear, and should not be used as a preventative measure against migraines.

Are there any side effects to either Sumatriptan or Rizatriptan?

Both Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan can cause similar side effects. The most commonly reported complaints are: mild headache (not a migraine), dry mouth, mild nausea, pressure or heavy feeling in any part of your body, dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling, and redness or mild tingling under the skin.

Should a migraine sufferer experience any other side affects after taking either of these medications, such as swelling of the face or lips, tightness of the chest or any blue tinges to the skin, it is important to stop taking the tablets and seek medical attention immediately.

How much do they cost?

Rizatriptan prices start from around £11 for 3 tablets of 5mg through Express Pharmacy, with prices varying depending on quantity and dosage. Sumatriptan starts at around £10 for 6 tablets of 50mg. Branded Sumatriptan (Imigran) is also offered as a nasal spray through Express Pharmacy, costing £27 for two 10mg sprays.

How effective are Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan?

Patient reviews state that both drugs are effective at reliving the symptoms of migraine. However, Rizatriptan is regarded as a faster-acting drug that achieves longer lasting results..

Express Head Pharmacist, Daman Bhamra, says: “Migraines are painful and debilitating for anyone, but some will suffer more than others. For those who find no relief from traditional painkillers such as paracetamol and ibruprofen, there are other treatments out there that are very effective.

“Both Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan are migraine specific treatments and are extremely effective at eliminating the symptoms of migraine. The treatments work most effectively when taken early, so its is recommended to have the medicine in your home ready for an attack, if you are a known sufferer of migraines.

“However, it’s important to remember that these medications only ease the symptoms, they do not treat the underlying cause of the migraine. If you are worried about any headaches you’ve been experiencing, or if they are new for you and accompanied by vomiting, changes to your vision or other suspicious symptoms, our pharmacists are able to offer helpful advice.”

If you want to find out more about which migraine treatment might be best for you, talk to one of our qualified pharmacists today, on 0208 123 0703, or visit our website to find out more www.expresspharmacy.co.uk.