FDA approves lower dose Sumavel (sumatriptan) needless injection.

The approval of the lower dose Sumavel device is a good opportunity to again remind migraine sufferers about the benefits of injectable sumatriptan. Many doctors do not even mention to their patients that sumatriptan is available in an injection that is easy to self-administer. Obviously, if a tablet of sumatriptan (Imitrex) or another triptan works quickly and prevents the headache from becoming disabling, there is no need for an injection. However, when the tablet does not work fast or well enough or if nausea makes it difficult to swallow tablets, injection can be a life saver. Injections of sumatriptan are available in a variety of devices. One of them is Sumavel, an injection without a needle. This device propels the medicine through the skin as a very thin jet of fluid. It is perfect for those with needle phobia. It also has the advantage of not having to worry about the proper disposal of needles. Having a choice of a 4 mg or a 6 mg dose allows patients with frequent cluster headaches to take 3 4 mg doses in 24 hours (maximum recommended dose is 12 mg). The 4 mg dose is also useful for people who get side effects from 6 mg, since 4 mg may be sufficiently effective without causing side effects.

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