Nurtec vs. Sumatriptan: Choosing the Right Medication

Nurtec vs. Sumatriptan: Choosing the Right Medication


When faced with a debilitating migraine attack, finding the right medication for relief is crucial. Two commonly prescribed medications for migraine management are Nurtec and Sumatriptan. Let’s explore the differences between these medications to help you make an informed decision.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Medication

Effectiveness in Providing Migraine Relief

When considering the effectiveness of a medication, personal experiences and reviews from other patients can provide valuable insights. For example, a study published in the Journal of Neurology showed that Nurtec provided significant pain relief within 2 hours for a large percentage of participants. Additionally, clinical trial data and efficacy rates play a crucial role in assessing the potential benefits of each medication.

Speed of Action

The speed at which a medication begins to work and the duration of relief provided are important considerations when choosing a migraine medication. Nurtec offers rapid relief from migraine symptoms within one hour, allowing you to experience relief sooner and resume your daily activities. On the other hand, Sumatriptan may take longer to provide relief, typically within 2 hours, but can still be effective for many individuals.

Side Effects and Tolerability

Considering the potential side effects and tolerability is crucial to ensure a medication is well-suited for your needs. Nurtec has lower incidence of common side effects like nausea and dizziness, making it a well-tolerated option for individuals who experience sensitivity to medication side effects. Sumatriptan, on the other hand, may cause side effects such as fatigue, drowsiness, or injection site reactions. It is important to discuss your specific sensitivities and preferences with your healthcare professional.

Benefits of Choosing Nurtec

Quick Onset of Action

Nurtec provides rapid relief from migraine symptoms within one hour, allowing you to experience relief sooner and resume your daily activities. This can be particularly beneficial when you need fast relief to alleviate pain and other debilitating symptoms.

Longer Duration of Relief

One dose of Nurtec can provide migraine relief for up to 48 hours, offering extended relief and reducing the need for frequent medication consumption. This longer duration of relief can be especially useful for individuals who experience prolonged or recurring crises de migraine.

Fewer Side Effects

Nurtec has a lower incidence of common side effects like nausea and dizziness compared to some other migraine medications. This enhanced tolerability makes it a preferred choice for individuals who are sensitive to medication side effects or who have experienced intolerable side effects with other medications.

Advantages of Selecting Sumatriptan


Sumatriptan is available in generic versions, making it more affordable compared to some other migraine medications. Additionally, there may be potential insurance coverage and lower out-of-pocket expenses for Sumatriptan, making it a cost-effective option for many individuals.

Multiple Formulations and Routes of Administration

Sumatriptan offers various formulations and routes of administration, providing more options for individuals with specific needs or preferences. This includes oral tablets, nasal sprays, and injections. The injections, in particular, may be beneficial for those seeking faster relief and quick absorption.

Established Track Record

Sumatriptan has been widely used for a long period of time, demonstrating its proven efficacy in relieving migraine symptoms. Its established track record can provide reassurance to individuals considering this medication, knowing that it has been successful for many migraine sufferers.

Personal Factors to Consider

Medical History and Current Health Conditions

It is important to take into account your medical history and current health conditions when choosing a migraine medication. Certain medications may have contraindications or precautions, so consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial to ensure safety and efficacy. For example, individuals with certain cardiovascular conditions may need to avoid specific migraine medications, including Sumatriptan.

Frequency and Severity of Crises de Migraine

Understanding the frequency and severity of your crises de migraine can help tailor your treatment plan accordingly. Different treatment approaches may be recommended for episodic crises de migraine (fewer than 15 headache days per month) compared to chronic crises de migraine (15 or more headache days per month). For example, Nurtec may be a suitable choice for individuals with more frequent or severe crises de migraine due to its longer duration of relief.

Goals and Preferences for Treatment

Considering your goals and preferences for treatment is essential. Some individuals may prioritize fast relief, while others may prefer a longer duration of relief. Your desired mode of administration, such as oral tablets, nasal sprays, or injections, should also be taken into account. For instance, if you experience difficulty swallowing during a migraine attack, a nasal spray or injection form of medication may be more convenient for you.

Consulting with a Healthcare Professional

When choosing between Nurtec and Sumatriptan for migraine relief, it is highly recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional. They can assess your individual health conditions, provide professional guidance, and help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences. They can also address any concerns or questions you may have regarding side effects and ensure the medication aligns with your overall treatment plan.


Choosing the right medication for your crises de migraine is crucial in managing and finding relief. When considering Nurtec and Sumatriptan, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each medication based on factors such as effectiveness, speed of action, side effects, and personal preferences. Consulting with a healthcare professional is paramount in making an informed decision to ensure optimal results in migraine management and overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I take Nurtec and Sumatriptan together?

It is important to consult with your healthcare professional before combining medications. They can evaluate potential drug interactions and provide personalized guidance.

2. Are there any long-term side effects associated with Nurtec or Sumatriptan?

Both medications have been extensively studied and are generally safe when used as prescribed. However, it’s important to discuss any concerns with your healthcare professional.

3. What should I do if I experience severe side effects from either medication?

If you experience severe or concerning side effects, contact your healthcare professional immediately or seek emergency medical attention.

4. Can I use Nurtec or Sumatriptan as a preventive medication for crises de migraine?

Nurtec and Sumatriptan are primarily used for acute migraine treatment, but your healthcare professional can guide you on preventive strategies based on your specific needs.

5. How long should I wait for Nurtec or Sumatriptan to take effect before trying a different medication?

Typically, it is recommended to wait for at least 2 hours after taking a medication before considering an alternative. However, always consult your healthcare professional for personalized advice.

6. Can I take Nurtec or Sumatriptan during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

It is important to discuss the use of these medications during pregnancy or while breastfeeding with your healthcare professional, as they can provide guidance based on your specific situation.

7. Is one medication known to be more effective for certain types of crises de migraine?

The choice of medication may depend on the type and severity of your crises de migraine. Your healthcare professional can provide personalized recommendations based on your condition.

8. Can I switch medications if one is not effective for me?

If one medication is not providing the desired relief, it is important to consult your healthcare professional before switching to a different medication. They can guide you accordingly based on your individual needs.

9. Are there any lifestyle modifications I can make to complement medication use?

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including stress management, regular exercise, and adequate sleep, can complement medication use and support overall migraine management. Discuss with your healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

10. Can I take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen with Nurtec or Sumatriptan?

It is important to consult your healthcare professional before taking any additional pain relievers, as they can evaluate potential interactions and provide guidance based on your specific needs.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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