Migraine relief now available without prescription at Pharmacies nationwide

  • Half a million people suffer from migraine in Ireland1
  • Consult your pharmacist for expert advice on how to better manage your migraine

22  October 2018: From today (22 October) Irish people who suffer from migraine will, for the first time, be able to access a highly effective treatment, without prescription, directly from their pharmacy. This follows a reclassification of the medication sumatriptan which now allows it to be made available without prescription, a change which had long been called for by migraine sufferers and by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU).

Welcoming the move, President of the IPU Daragh Connolly said, “Migraine is a severe neurological condition that affects 15% of the world’s population1. It is estimated that as many as half a million Irish people suffer from migraine2. The symptoms can be extremely debilitating for those who suffer from migraine and we warmly welcome the fact that pharmacists will now be able to help sufferers get relief by providing this highly effective medication.

“Treating migraine as soon as it appears is often the key to effectively managing a migraine. When sumatriptan was prescription only, people were often unable to obtain it when it was most needed. Pharmacies are the most accessible component of our healthcare system and making sumatriptan directly available from pharmacists will greatly increase our patients’ abilities to get the treatment they need when they need it.”

The Irish Pharmacy Union is urging anyone who is concerned that they may be experiencing the early symptoms of a migraine to visit their local community pharmacy for advice.

The Migraine Association of Ireland has also welcomed the decision. CEO, Patrick Little, said, “The increased access to appropriate migraine medication and advice will be a significant benefit to migraine patients in Ireland. As a migraine can strike at practically any time, it is reassuring to know that there is now a treatment available without prescription, from community pharmacies nationwide. If people do feel they are suffering from migraine, then they should consult with their GP or community pharmacist in the first instance to ensure they identify their triggers and they are receiving appropriate and effective medication. For advice and support on managing your migraines we would encourage people to call our Information and Support Line on 1850 200 378.”


[1] Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016


2 http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32154-2/fulltext

About sumatriptan

  • Sumatriptan is used for the acute treatment of migraine attacks with or without aura, in patients who have a stable well established pattern of symptoms.
  • Sumatriptan can only be obtained without prescription from pharmacies where there has been a previous diagnosis of migraine by a doctor.

For further information contact: Sinéad Fennell, Press and Communications Manager, Tel: +353 (87) 7751510