Rizatriptan vs Sumatriptan: Difference and Comparison

There are several migraine therapy options. Both Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan are ‘triptan’ or 5HT1 medications used to treat acute migraine symptoms and cluster headaches.

5HT1 medications cause blood vessels to constrict and pain to diminish by stimulating serotonin receptors in the brain.

This constriction, in particular, prevents pain from transmitting through the sensory neurons that feed the skin and facial tissues.

Key Takeaways

  1. Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan are triptan medications for migraines and cluster headaches.
  2. Rizatriptan tends to have a faster onset of action and may provide quicker relief than Sumatriptan.
  3. Although both medications have similar side effects, some patients may respond better to one triptan.

Rizatriptan vs Sumatriptan

The difference between rizatriptan and Sumatriptan is that compared to Sumatriptan, rizatriptan takes a significantly shorter time to reach the bloodstream and become accessible to the tissues. Compared to Sumatriptan, which takes roughly 2-2.5 hours, rizatriptan is accessible within an hour. Even when provided, rizatriptan has a higher availability of medication molecules.

Rizatriptan vs Sumatriptan

Rizatriptan is a prescription medicine used to relieve migraine headaches once they have begun.

Rizatriptan belongs to a class of serotonin-receptor agonists, or “triptans,” that work by restricting blood arteries surrounding the brain to reduce pain.

This drug is available in two forms: regular tablets and orally disintegrating tablets.

Migraines are treated with Sumatriptan. It relieves headaches, discomfort, and other migraine symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and light or sound sensitivity.

Triptans are a kind of medication that includes Sumatriptan. It may also help to reduce pain by influencing particular brain nerves.

Sumatriptan does not reduce the frequency of migraine attacks or prevent future headaches.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonRizatriptanSumatriptan
Chemical structureDoes not contain sulphur.Contains sulphur.
Forms of availabilityPills and orally disintegrating tablets.  Pills, injections and nasal sprays.
Dosage10mg.50 or 100 mg.
ActionIt takes more time to act in comparison to rizatriptan.Does not provide more prolonged effects in comparison to razipatran.
EffectProvides longer-lasting effects.Does not provide longer effects in comparison to razipatran.

What is Rizatriptan?

In adults and children aged 6 to 17, rizatriptan treats migraine symptoms with or without aura. Rizatriptan is available as a tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet.

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It is given as soon as a migraine headache appears. The individual suffering from pain may take a second pill if symptoms improve after taking rizatriptan but return after 2 hours or longer.

If the symptoms do not improve after taking rizatriptan, it is advised to see the doctor before taking another pill. The doctor will determine the maximum amount of drugs one can take in 24 hours.

Rizatriptan should be taken precisely as prescribed. Please do not take more or less of it or more frequently than the package label or your doctor recommends.

Flushing, tingling, numbness, prickling, feeling heat, weariness, weakness, sleepiness, or dizziness are all possible side effects.

Consulting the doctor or pharmacist immediately if any of these side effects continue or worsen. 

The patient should tell the doctor or pharmacist about anything that they are allergic to, rizatriptan, or if they have any other allergies before taking it.

This product may include inactive chemicals, causing allergic reactions or other issues.

Rizatriptan raises levels of a beneficial molecule known as serotonin, which is low in migraine sufferers.

Low levels of this chemical, which also transmits messages in the brain, are the primary cause of intense pain in migraine occurrences. This drug gives pain relief by controlling its levels.

What is Sumatriptan?

Migraine headaches are treated with Sumatriptan. Sumatriptan is sometimes used in conjunction with other medications. Sumatriptan is a kind of medication known as a serotonin-1 receptor agonist.

A drug class is a set of pharmaceuticals that all operate similarly. These medicines are frequently used to treat illnesses that are similar to each other.

Sumatriptan is available in tablet, nasal spray, and injectable form. Migraines and cluster headaches are treated with a nasal spray and injection. The medications are solely intended to treat migraines.

On prescription, sumatriptan pills, nasal sprays, and injections are available.

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An individual may also purchase packs of two 50mg pills without a prescription from a drugstore, but only if they have already been diagnosed with migraines.

The pills take 30 to 60 minutes to act. Sprays and injections are more efficient. Feeling nauseous, drowsy or dizzy are all common side effects.

Most individuals who suffer from migraines can use Sumatriptan pills or injections. However, the nasal spray is only licensed for adults under the age of 65.

Sumatriptan’s safety and effectiveness in youngsters have not been established.

It is recommended not to be used by anyone under 18. When using this medication, always follow the doctor’s directions.  As soon as the pain begins, the first dose should be taken. 

Do not take the medication before the migraine starts or at the warning stage. This results in some people experiencing “aura” symptoms.

sumatriptan

Main Differences Between Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan

  1. Rizatriptan lacks the sulphur group found in Sumatriptan’s fundamental chemical structure.
  2. Sumatriptan can be used as pills, injections, or nasal sprays. Rizatriptan can be used as pills or as orally disintegrating tablets.
  3. A rizatriptan dose of 10 mg is far more effective than a sumatriptan dose of 50 or 100 mg.
  4. Rizatriptan relieves pain more quickly than Sumatriptan. A 10mg Rizatriptan dose taken as a pill might take action within a short time, such as 30 minutes. The Sumatriptan dose is significantly higher at 100mg, and it takes more than an hour to relieve good migraine.
  5. Compared to Sumatriptan, rizatriptan is a quicker and better medication with longer-lasting effects.
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References
  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/594291
  2. https://headachejournal.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1526-4610.1998.3810748.x

Last Updated : 01 July, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Rizatriptan vs Sumatriptan: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This is an impressive piece of content. I was looking for a comprehensive breakdown of Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan and this was everything I needed and more.

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  2. The details outlining the differences between Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan are easily understandable and helpful. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. The content shows a clear understanding of migraine therapy treatment options. The article is a great resource.

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