- Medicine works at the source
- Treats migraines
- Easy to use
Zolmitriptan is a pain-killing medication used for the treatment of acute migraine headaches. The headache medicine works only on headaches that currently exist and not as migraine prevention.
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What is Zolmitriptan?
Zolmitriptan is a pain-killing medication used for the treatment of acute migraine headaches among sufferers. The headache medicine works only on headaches that are existing and it will not prevent pain from recurring migraine attacks or minimise in any way its occurrence.
It also helps other migraine symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Prompt treatment minimises the effects of migraines and allows you to return to your normal routine promptly.
However, Zolmitriptan does not prevent future migraines or lessen how frequently you get migraines.
How Does Zolmitriptan Work?
The active ingredient in Zolmitriptan tablets is zolmitriptan.
Zolmitriptan belongs to a class of drugs known as triptans or serotonin agonists. Triptans affect a certain natural substance within the body — in this case, serotonin — that causes the narrowing of blood vessels in the brain. By releasing serotonin in the brain, the medication reduces inflammation and constricts blood vessels.
As typical throbbing pain associated with migraine is thought to be caused by a widening of these blood vessels in the brain, this is an effective means of relieving migraine pain.
Zolmitriptan vs Sumatriptan
Sumatriptan (often sold under the brand name Imitrex) is a medication used to treat migraine headaches and cluster headaches. It is typically taken by ingestion through the mouth, in the nose, or by injection under the skin. Effects of pain relief generally occur within three hours.
Studies have shown that Zolmitriptan, in a 2.5 mg dosage, may be significantly more effective than Sumatriptan, in a 50 mg dosage, in terms of headache response at two and four hours.
Patients taking Zolmitriptan have also been shown to be significantly more likely to experience pain relief over 24 hours than those taking Sumatriptan.
Zolmitriptan vs Rizatriptan
Rizatriptan (often sold under the brand name Maxalt) is a medication used for the treatment of migraine headaches. It is taken orally with some common side effects including chest pain, dizziness, dry mouth, and tingling.
In studies comparing the two, Rizatriptan tended to provide freedom from pain sooner than Zolmitriptan, acting within 60 min following dosing.
More patients were pain-free after two hours on Rizatriptan than on Zolmitriptan, while headache relief at 2 hours was similar.
Is Zolmitriptan Safe During Pregnancy?
As an expecting parent, you may be concerned about the impact Zolmitriptan could have on you and your baby.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice first before taking this medicine.
Not enough is known about the risks of using Zolmitriptan in pregnancy as there are currently no adequate and well-controlled studies on pregnant women.
Zolmitriptan should only be taken during pregnancy if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. Consult your GP for alternative reliefs for migraines.
Zolmitriptan reviews from real users are largely positive, with patients praising the product for:
- Immediate pain relief for frequent migraine sufferers
- Impact on common and long-standing infections
- Affordable pricing
However, some reviews are common on minor side effects, such as drowsiness. Nevertheless, the general consensus shows that this affordable medication is fast reacting and has the ability to quickly relieve headache pain for migraine sufferers.
Can I Buy Zolmitriptan Over the Counter?
Zolmitriptan is a prescription-only medicine. You cannot buy Zolmitriptan over the counter in the UK.
You can safely buy Zolmitriptan online at Cloud Pharmacy. You will first need to have an online consultation with our medical team before your order will be confirmed.
After you’ve completed a short online consultation form and we’ve checked that Zolmitriptan is the right treatment for you, we can issue your prescription.
If your order is approved before 3:30pm on weekdays, our UK-registered pharmacy can dispatch your item the same day via a discreet, next-day delivery service.
How to Take Zolmitriptan
Zolmitriptan is currently available as a nasal spray, an orodispersible tablet, and a plain tablet that can be swallowed. It is available in doses of 2.5 mg and 5 mg.
Zolmitriptan is taken orally as a disintegrating tablet. It is generally taken at the first sign of a migraine headache.
In the event your symptoms improve after taking one Zolmitriptan but return after two or more hours, you can take a second tablet. However, if your symptoms do not improve, do not take another tablet and consult your doctor. Your doctor will inform you of your maximum daily dosage.
Follow the directions on your prescription carefully and ask your GP or pharmacist to explain the details to you if you don’t understand.
To take the orodispersible tablet, use dry hands to peel back the foil packaging. The tablet will quickly dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva. No water is needed.
Extended periods of taking Zolmitriptan can make your headaches worse or cause them to occur more frequently. Avoid taking Zolmitriptan or any other headache medication for more than 10 days per month.
The recommended Zolmitriptan dosage to treat a migraine attack is 3.5 mg.
If symptoms return within 24 hours, you may take a second dose of Zolmitriptan. The second dose should not be taken within two hours of your first Zolmitriptan dose.
If you take a 2.5 mg dose of Zolmitriptan and experience no relief or do not receive satisfactory relief, consult your doctor. They may consider increasing your dose to 5 mg per attack.
However, it is worth noting that you are more likely to suffer Zolmitriptan side effects with a higher dose.
Do not take more than 2 doses of Zolmitriptan a day. The maximum daily dose is 10 mg.
How Long Does It Take for Zolmitriptan to Work?
Significant efficiency and relief are typically found in patients approximately one hour after taking a dosage of Zolmitriptan.
To relieve your migraine symptoms as soon as possible, it is best to take Zolmitriptan as soon as any headache or pain begins.
Zolmitriptan Side Effects
Like any medicine, Zolmitriptan may also cause some unwanted side effects along with the desired impact.
Common Zolmitriptan side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) include:
- Increased sensitivity to touch
- Tingling, pins and needles, a warm sensation
- An irregular heart rhythm or missed beats
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling sick or vomiting
- A dry mouth
- Muscle weakness or muscle pain; general weakness
- A feeling of heaviness, tightness or pressure in the throat, neck, limbs or chest
It is best to check with your doctor if any of these side effects occur.
Serious Zolmitriptan Side Effects
Although not all of these side effects may occur, symptoms of them may require medical attention.
Call your doctor immediately if any of the following occur after taking Zolmitriptan:
- Severe chest pain
- Tightness or pressure in the chest or neck
- A burning sensation, accompanied by warmth, heat, numbness, tightness or tingling
- Abdominal pain
- Stomach pain
- Change in facial skin colour
- A persistent cough or hoarseness
- A fast or irregular heartbeat
- Fever or chills
- Hives, itching or skin rash
- Loss of appetite
- Lower back pain
- Side pain
- Difficulty urinating, including pain
- Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids
- Face and lip swelling
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- Difficulty breathing
- Weakness and fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent strong or increased urge to urinate (occasionally followed by an increased volume of pale, dilute
- Pounding in the ears
- Severe numbness, especially on one side of the face or body
- A slow heartbeat
These potential side effects should always be considered before taking Zolmitriptan, especially if you have an underlying health condition, are recovering from an illness or are planning to drive a vehicle/operate machinery.
You may want to follow a number of particular precautions before taking Zolmitriptan to ensure the best results and avoid the possibility of potentially hazardous or irritating side effects.
Here are a few special precautions we recommend patients take:
Speak to your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Zolmitriptan, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Zolmitriptan tablets or orally disintegrating tablets. If you’re unsure or don’t recognise any ingredients, speak to your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
Do not take Zolmitriptan if you have taken any of the following medications in the past 24 hours:
- Selective serotonin receptor agonists such as almotriptan (Axert)
- Eletriptan (Relpax)
- Frovatriptan (Frova)
- Naratriptan (Amerge)
- Rizatriptan (Maxalt)
- Sumatriptan (Imitrex, in Treximet)
Also consult your doctor if you have taken ergot-type medications such as:
- Bromocriptine (Parlodel)
- Dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal
- Ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine)
- Ergonovine (Ergotrate)
- Ergotamine (Cafergot, Ergomar, Wigraine)
- Eethylergonovine (Methergine)
- Methysergide (Sansert)
- Pergolide (Permax)
Zolmitriptan should also be avoided if you are taking a monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Parnate), or tranylcypromine (Nardil) or if you were on a schedule of taking one of these medications in the past 2 weeks.
Consult your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, or herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Ensure you mention any of the following antidepressants, as they might interfere with Zolmitriptan:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Amoxapine (Asendin)
- Alomipramine (Anafranil)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor)
- Protriptyline (Vivactil)
- Trimipramine (Surmontil)
You should also consult your doctor for information regarding Zolmitriptan and any of the following common pain relief medications, oral contraceptives and serotonin intake inhibitors.
Be sure to outline previous health conditions to your doctor, including:
- Heart disease
- A heart attack
- Angina (chest pain)
- Irregular heartbeats
- A stroke or 'mini-stroke'
- Circulation problems such as varicose veins, blood clots in the legs, Raynaud's disease (problems with blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears, and nose)
- Ischemic bowel disease (bloody diarrhoea and stomach pains)
Your doctor may tell you not to take Zolmitriptan if you have suffered from any of these in the past.
Your doctor should also be informed if you smoke or are overweight. Also consult them about high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or liver or kidney disease, if you have gone through menopause, or there is a history of heart disease within your family.
Pregnant patients, those planning to become pregnant and people breastfeeding should also speak to their doctor about the potential hazards of Zolmitriptan.
If you are sexually active or plan to be while you are taking this medication, talk to your doctor about effective methods of any birth control you may be using. In the event that you become pregnant while taking Zolmitriptan, call your doctor immediately.
Patient Information Leaflet
Zolmitriptan Patient Information Leaflet
For more information on Zolmitriptan, take a look at the patient information leaflet below:
What is A Migraine?
Migraines generally start as a dull ache and then develop into a throbbing and pulsating constant pain that you will likely feel at the temples as well as the front or back of both sides of your head. The pain usually comes with bouts of nausea, vomiting and hypersensitivity to light and sound. Prior to a migraine attack, some people will experience something called an aura (about 25% of people who suffer from migraines).
What Causes Migraines?
The cause of mingraines is stilll somewhat ambiguous however it is believed to be caused by a chemical reaction in the brain which leads to constriction of certain vessels, triggering the headache. There is thought to be both environmental and genetic factors which influence who gets migraine as well as susceptibility to migraine attacks.
How Do I Treat Migraines?
Migraines can be treated using a variety of techniques, however unfortunately, there is no cure for migraines. The most common way to deal with migraines is to use a particular class of medcations known as triptans. Triptans are used to treat the acute migraine symptoms. However there are some prophylactic/preventative treatments that can be take for the treatment of migraine such as propranolo and topiramate.
What is A Migraine Aura?
Around 20-25% of people who suffer from Migraine will likely have an aura prior to the migraine itself. An aura can be described as varying intensities of certain neurological symptoms that act as a 'warning sign' to tell you that you are about to have a migraine. An aura can manifest as you seeing wavy or jagged lines, dots or flashing lights- this often described as a chemical or electrical wave that moves accross the visual cortex. Auras can also lead to you having tunnel vision or blind spots in one or both eyes. There are other symptoms associated with a migraine aura such as auditory/visual hallucinations, changes in small (phantom smells), numbness, pins and needles or speech disturbances.
Can The Weather Affect Migraines?
For some people, weather changes can cause an imbalance in neurotransmitters and chmicals in the brain such a sereotning (5-HT), which can lead to more frequent migraines. Bright sunshine as well as hot and humid conditions may lead to your migraines being triggered. Some studies have shown that low barometric pressure can act as a trigger for migraines for some people.
What is A Migraine Trigger?
Migraine triggers vary person to person; something that affects one person may not affect the other. Surveys, diary studies and clinical trials have inidicated that stress, menstrual cycle changes, weather changes, sleep disturbances, alcohol, and other foods are among the most common factors mentioned when it comes to triggering a migraine. To help prevent migraines it is important to keep a diary of when you have a migraine attack. This allows for you to pin-point what may be causing your migraine and therefore drastically reducing your chance of getting a migraine.
Am I More Likely to Get A Stroke if I Suffer From Migraine?
Migraines are generally considered a relatively benign neurological condition. However, research has shown an association between migraines and stroke, and especially between migraine with aura and ischaemic stroke. Patients can also suffer from migrainous infarction (blood clot), a subset of ischaemic stroke that often occurs in the posterior circulation of younger women. The exact origina of migrainous associated infarction is not known, but it is theorised that the duration and local neuronal energy level from cortical spreading depression may be a prime factor.
Is There A Link Between Hormonal Changes and Migraine?
Horomones are proteins that are responsible for the regulation and overall biochemical function of our body to allow for complete balance and homeostasis as your environment changes. If you have a hormonal imbalance in your body during menopause, pregnancy or mestruation it can lead to a migraine attack.
What Medications Can Be Used to Treat The Acute Symptoms of Migraine?
Acute medications are used to treat the pain of the headache after the migraine has started. Examples of acute migraine medications are some NSAIDS (ibuprofen/diclofenac/naproxen), ergots (ergotamine) and triptans (sumatriptan/rizrtriptan/zolmitriptan)
How Can I learn More About Migraines?
There are a variety of resources available to learn about migraines online. We have summarised the most reliable sources on our cloud pharmacy blog: Migraines: More Than Just A Headache
Stop using Zolmitriptan if you have allergies to medication, or if you have:
- Blood circulation problem
- Extremely high blood pressure
- History of heart attack
- Blood circulation related problems
- Coronary heart ailment
- Lack blood supply to your heart
- Wolff Parkinson White disease
- Experienced stroke even if its mild stroke
- Blood vessel problem
- Headache that is different from your migraine
Zolmitriptan in a dissolvable tablet may contain Aspartame. Anyone who is sensitive to the ingredient must avoid the medicine and especially patients who have Phenylketonuria. Always talk to your doctor if you are suffering from any existing medical condition to avoid any health issues.
Children below the age of twelve years old are ordered to refrain from using the drug. There is no medical study indicating the efficacy and safety of the tablet among pediatric patients. Use of the medication by children is thus strongly prohibited.
Zolmitriptan is also not suitable for patients over 65 years of age. Again, there is no medical study conducted that points to the safety as well as efficiency of the drug among patients over 65 years old. Hence, the use of the medication among old patients is not recommended.