Sumavel and Heart Problems
If you have heart problems or risk factors for heart problems, Sumavel (sumatriptan injection) may not be a safe medication choice for you. Clinical studies have shown that this drug can cause potentially serious side effects, such as a heart attack, changes in heart rhythm, or cardiac arrest. Before beginning treatment with Sumavel, you may need to be evaluated for risk factors for heart disease.
Does Sumavel Cause Heart Problems?Sumavel™ DosePro™ (sumatriptan injection) is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches and cluster headaches. It belongs to a class of drugs known as 5-HT agonists (or, more commonly, just "triptans").
Just like all medications, Sumavel can cause side effects, including serious ones, and heart problems are possible. For this reason, people with a history of heart problems should not take Sumavel. For those with risk factors for heart problems, Sumavel should be used with caution.
Heart Problems With Sumavel -- What's the Risk?In clinical studies that looked at both the benefits and risks of sumatriptan (the active ingredient in Sumavel), heart problems were seen only rarely. This risk, however, was greater in those with a history of heart disease or those with risk factors for it. Heart problems were often quite serious and, in some cases, even resulted in loss of life. These included:
- Temporary lack of oxygen to the heart (myocardial ischemia)
- A heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- Change in heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- The heart stopping (cardiac arrest).
It is thought that heart problems with Sumavel occur because the drug can cause the blood vessels of the heart (known as coronary arteries) to spasm. This narrows the blood vessels and decreases the amount of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood that is able to travel to the heart muscle.