Balancing the Pros and Cons of Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan

Balancing the Pros and Cons of Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan


Living with migraines can be debilitating, and finding the right medication for effective relief is crucial. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of two commonly used migraine treatments: Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan.

Understanding the benefits and limitations of these medications can help you make an informed decision and work with your healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Understanding Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan

Brief Introduction to Ubrelvy

Ubrelvy is an FDA-approved medication specifically designed to treat acute migraine attacks. It belongs to a class of drugs called CGRP antagonists and works by blocking certain receptors in the brain that are involved in migraine pathophysiology.

  • Mechanism of action: Ubrelvy inhibits the CGRP receptor, which reduces inflammation and alleviates pain associated with migraines.
  • FDA approval and recommended dosage: Ubrelvy has been approved by the FDA for the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura in adults. The recommended dosage is 50mg or 100mg, depending on the severity of the attack.
  • Efficacy in clinical trials: Clinical trials have shown that Ubrelvy has significant efficacy in relieving pain and other migraine-associated symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light or sound.

For example, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving over 1,400 patients, Ubrelvy demonstrated a greater percentage of patients achieving pain freedom and absence of most bothersome symptoms at two hours compared to the placebo group. This indicates its effectiveness in providing rapid relief to migraine sufferers.

Brief Introduction to Sumatriptan

Sumatriptan is a well-established medication for the treatment of migraines. It belongs to a class of drugs called triptans and works by narrowing blood vessels in the brain, relieving the throbbing pain and other migraine symptoms.

  • Mechanism of action: Sumatriptan activates serotonin receptors in the brain, causing vasoconstriction and reducing inflammation associated with migraines.
  • Different formulations: Sumatriptan is available in various formulations, including tablets, nasal spray, and injections, allowing patients to choose the most suitable option based on their preferences and needs.
  • Long history of use and proven efficacy: Sumatriptan has been used for many years and has demonstrated effective relief of migraine symptoms in numerous clinical studies.

For instance, a study comparing subcutaneous Sumatriptan with a placebo found that a significantly higher percentage of patients experienced pain relief and reduction in associated symptoms within two hours after treatment with Sumatriptan.

Pros and Cons of Ubrelvy


  • Rapid onset of action: Ubrelvy has been shown to provide relief within two hours of administration, allowing patients to resume their daily activities more quickly.
  • High efficacy in relieving pain and associated symptoms: Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of Ubrelvy in alleviating not just the pain, but also the nausea and sensitivity to light or sound that often accompany migraines.
  • Fewer reported side effects compared to other medications: Ubrelvy has a relatively favorable side effect profile, with the most commonly reported side effects being nausea and somnolence, which are generally mild and transient.

For example, in a clinical study, 70% of the patients who took Ubrelvy achieved pain freedom at two hours, and 19% achieved relief from their most bothersome symptom, which was often nausea or sensitivity to light.


  • Cost considerations and insurance coverage: As a newer medication, Ubrelvy may be more expensive compared to other migraine treatments. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine coverage and potential out-of-pocket costs.
  • Potential for drug interactions or contraindications: Like any medication, Ubrelvy may interact with other drugs or have contraindications for certain individuals. It is essential to discuss your medical history and current medications with your healthcare provider to ensure its safety and efficacy.
  • Limited long-term safety data: Due to its recent approval, the long-term safety of Ubrelvy is still being studied. While early data shows promising results, it is important to monitor for any potential concerns as more information becomes available.

Pros and Cons of Sumatriptan


  • Established effectiveness and long-standing use: Sumatriptan has been widely used for many years and has been proven effective in relieving migraine symptoms in numerous clinical trials and real-world scenarios.
  • Different formulations for various needs and preferences: Sumatriptan offers different administration options, such as tablets, nasal sprays, and injections, providing flexibility and catering to individual preferences.
  • Generic versions available, potentially lowering cost: Generic forms of Sumatriptan are available, which can be more affordable than brand-name medications.

For instance, a study comparing the efficacy of Sumatriptan tablets and placebo found that a significantly greater number of patients experienced pain relief at two hours after taking Sumatriptan tablets compared to the placebo group.


  • Reported side effects: Sumatriptan can cause side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and tingling sensations. These side effects are usually mild and transient but should be monitored and reported to your healthcare provider if they persist or worsen.
  • Heart-related concerns in certain individuals: Sumatriptan may have vasoconstrictive effects, which can potentially affect individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. It is important to discuss your medical history, especially related to heart health, with your healthcare provider prior to starting Sumatriptan.
  • Overuse or rebound headaches with frequent use: There have been reports of medication overuse headaches or rebound headaches associated with frequent use of Sumatriptan. It is essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and avoid exceeding the prescribed dosage.

Factors to Consider in Choosing Between Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan

When deciding between Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan, several factors should be taken into consideration:

  • Severity and frequency of migraines: If you experience severe or frequent migraine attacks, a medication with rapid onset and high efficacy, such as Ubrelvy, may be more suitable.
  • Personal response to previous treatments: If you have had success with Sumatriptan or other triptans in the past and have not experienced significant side effects, it may be a viable option.
  • Medical history and potential contraindications: Your medical history, particularly any cardiovascular conditions, should be carefully considered when choosing between the two medications.
  • Cost and insurance coverage: Affordability can play a role, especially if insurance coverage is limited. Discussing cost considerations with your healthcare provider and exploring generic options may be beneficial.
  • Preferences for administration method: Some individuals may prefer the convenience of oral tablets, while others may find nasal sprays or injections more suitable. Consider your personal preference when weighing your options.

It is important to have an open and thorough discussion with your healthcare provider to understand which medication aligns best with your specific needs and circumstances. Their expertise and guidance can help guide your decision-making process.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan?

Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan are both migraine medications, but they belong to different drug classes and have different mechanisms of action. Ubrelvy is a CGRP antagonist that inhibits specific receptors in the brain related to migraines, while Sumatriptan is a triptan that constricts blood vessels and reduces inflammation.

2. Which medication has a faster onset of action?

Ubrelvy has been shown to provide rapid relief, with a significant percentage of patients experiencing pain freedom within two hours of administration. Sumatriptan also acts relatively quickly, but the onset of action may vary depending on the formulation used.

3. Are there any differences in side effects between Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan?

While both medications may have side effects, Ubrelvy has been reported to have fewer side effects compared to other medications. The most commonly reported side effects of Ubrelvy include nausea and somnolence. Sumatriptan can also cause side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and tingling sensations.

4. Can I take Ubrelvy or Sumatriptan if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

It is important to discuss your medical history, including any pre-existing conditions, with your healthcare provider. Certain conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, may require special consideration when choosing between Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan.

5. Which medication is more cost-effective?

The cost of medication can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage, generic options, and drug pricing. It is advisable to discuss cost considerations with your healthcare provider and explore available options to determine the most cost-effective choice for you.

6. Can I switch between Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan if one is not effective?

Your healthcare provider will be able to guide you on the best course of action if one medication is not effective for you. They may suggest trying different formulations or adjusting the dosage before considering a switch to a different medication.

7. Can Ubrelvy or Sumatriptan be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

It is important to consult with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. They can provide guidance on the safety and potential risks associated with using these medications during these periods.

8. Can I use Ubrelvy or Sumatriptan for prodromal symptoms?

Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan are typically used for acute migraine attacks and may not be as effective for prodromal symptoms. However, your healthcare provider can recommend appropriate treatment options based on your specific symptoms and needs.

9. Are there any interactions between Ubrelvy or Sumatriptan and other medications?

Both Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan may interact with other medications. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are currently taking to avoid potential drug interactions.

10. Is it possible to use Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan together?

Using Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan together is generally not recommended unless prescribed by your healthcare provider. Combining these medications may increase the risk of side effects or drug interactions. Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding medication use.


Choosing between Ubrelvy and Sumatriptan requires careful consideration of the pros and cons of each medication. While Ubrelvy offers rapid relief and fewer reported side effects, Sumatriptan has a long history of use and offers different formulations.

Personalized treatment plans, based on factors such as severity of migraines, medical history, and personal preferences, are essential in finding the right medication to effectively manage migraine attacks and improve your quality of life.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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