- Side Effects
- Patient Information Leaflet
What is Zolmitriptan
Zolmitriptan is a prescription drug used to treat migraines, which are categorised as throbbing headaches with or without severe pain, as well as nausea and vomiting and/or sensitivity to sound and light in some cases. Zolmitriptan can be used for migraines that sometimes occur with an ‘aura’ which is described by sufferers as flashing lights, blind spots or wavy lines in their vision.
It is part of a group of medications called triptans. They work by narrowing blood vessels in the brain that have become enlarged and in doing so have caused a migraine attack. Zolmitriptan also helps to relieve related symptoms such as pain, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise.
Further information on migraines and Zolmitriptan can be found at NHS migraine.
Why choose Zolmitriptan?
Migraines can impact the quality of a sufferers life, interfering with work, relationships and general day-to-day tasks. Zolmitriptan provides relief from this cycle dealing with the pain and other common migraine symptoms quickly and effectively. It is also commonly used when over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol have been found to be ineffective.
Zolmitriptan is also the generic yet medically equivalent version of the branded migraine treatment Zomig, meaning it is just as effective but more affordable.
Can I buy Zolmitriptan online?
Zolmitriptan can be bought easily and confidentially online. It requires a prescription, so you will be asked to fill in a short questionnaire which will be assessed by one of our pharmacists, Jana Abelovska & Leonard Jones, who will ensure that this is the right medication for your headaches. Once you have completed the form, you can purchase a repeat order at any time without further assessment.
With your prescription, you can purchase your tablets online, and they will be sent out securely to you by next-day delivery where possible.
How effective is Zolmitriptan?
Zolmitriptan was approved in 1997 by the FDA, and whilst it does not reduce the number of migraines a sufferer may experience, nor prevent them, it is considered to be highly effective at relieving such headaches and the unpleasant side effects such as nausea. It does so by constricting the expanded blood vessels in the brain, which are believed to cause the onset of a migraine.
How does Zolmitriptan work?
Migraine headaches are thought to be caused by dilated blood vessels in the head. Zolmitriptan works by reversing this process of swelling. It is also believed to affect certain natural substances in the brain, which help to ease symptoms such as nausea, pain and sensitivity to noise and light, however, this medication does not prevent future migraines - it can only be used to relieve symptoms during an attack.
What dose should I choose?
Zolmitriptan comes in a tablet form, and you will be prescribed a certain dosage by our doctors depending on the severity and regularity of your migraines. The usual dosage for an adult is 2.5mg to be taken once the migraine has started rather than in anticipation of one. If the migraine returns at least 2 hours after your first dose, then a second 2.5mg dose can be taken.
If a patient finds that they are not getting relief with a 2.5mg dose, then this can be increased to 5mg upon approval by their Click Pharmacy doctor or GP.
It is still important to follow the directions on the prescription label and read the patient information leaflet upon receiving and taking the medication.
How should I take Zolmitriptan?
For best results, take one tablet with a glass of water as soon as you start experiencing a migraine attack. The tablet should be swallowed whole, and it can be taken with or without food. The medication is as effective when taken during an attack as when taken at the onset.
Is it safe to take Zolmitriptan whilst pregnant or breastfeeding?
There have been limited trials done on the safety of using this medication during pregnancy, though the results of studies done on other triptans have shown no adverse effects; but still, it is advised that you should speak to your doctor before going ahead. They can assess whether the risks of your migraines during pregnancy outweigh the risks of using Zolmitriptan and offer alternatives when necessary.
Studies of Zolmitriptan in animals showed that the drug was present in breastmilk, so it is advised that you use it with precaution and certainly speak to your GP or Click Pharmacy doctor before going ahead with the medication if you are breastfeeding.
Is it safe to drive or operate machinery after taking Zolmitriptan
When you first begin taking Zolmitriptan, it is possible that you may feel dizzy, and as such, it is recommended that you do not drive a car or operate machinery until you have tried it and know how it may affect you.
If you find that you do experience dizziness, ensure you speak to your GP or Click Pharmacy doctor, who can advise you as to whether you should try a different medication which may be more suitable for you.
How long does it take Zolmitriptan to work?
Typically, it takes about an hour for the effects of Zolmitriptan to kick in. Remember that Zolmitriptan is effective if you take it during a migraine attack. However, experts have strongly advised taking Zolmitriptan as soon as possible after the onset of migraine headaches.
Who can take Zolmitriptan?
Zolmitriptan is for those who have been diagnosed with migraine by a specialist. The drug does not work for any other sorts of headaches. To identify migraine headaches, keep an eye out for symptoms like throbbing and severe pain. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, and a strong dislike of natural and unnatural light (photophobia). While migraines tend to be on only one side of the head, that may not always be the case. Sometimes, people with migraines experience symptoms like flashing lights or other visual or sensory changes before the migraine appears.
People who experience such symptoms can take Zolmitriptan.
Is it safe to use Zolmitriptan whilst taking other medication
Mixing certain medications can at best, make them ineffective and, at worst, be highly dangerous. As such, it is crucial you tell your doctor about any other prescription and/or non-prescription medications, including vitamins and herbal supplements, before taking this drug. They will then be able to advise you as to whether this medication is appropriate to take alongside Zolmitriptan or if another type of treatment may be preferable.
What Alternatives are there to Zolmitriptan?
There are various alternatives to Zolmitriptan. Some are OTC (over-the-counter) medications, while others are other triptans.
You can consult your general physician regarding newer preventative treatments for migraines. For instance, monoclonal antibody therapies, such as erenumab, fremanezumab, and galcanezumab, along with magnetic and nerve stimulation techniques, are considered preventative methods for migraines. In addition, alternative therapies widely consist of acupuncture and numerous herbs.
As Zolmitriptan belongs to a group of medicines known as triptans, it should never be taken at the same time as other triptans unless your GP instructs you to.
What if Zolmitriptan is not working for me?
Usually, if the triptan does not work at all, then a second dose is considered unlikely to work. But, when it comes to Zolmitriptan (2.5 mg), a double dose is often tried after two hours. Please rely on the suggestions of your primary physician and update them regarding your situation. It is better to choose alternatives instead of experimenting with the same drug.
Who should not use Zolmitriptan?
If the following applies to you, you should not take the drug. Please discuss your existing conditions with your GP before taking Zolmitriptan. In addition, you should not take Zolmitriptan if you:
● Have or had a history of fits or seizures.
● Have or had severe liver or kidney disease.
● Are over 65 years old.
● Are a heavy smoker or a chain smoker
● Are a woman past the menopause period
● Have had a heart attack, stroke, or mini-strokes (TIAs).
● Have or had angina (heart pain during labour).
● Have or had problems with poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease).
● Have or had irregular heart rhythm or Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
● Have or had uncontrolled high blood pressure or hypertension.
Similarly, do not take Zolmitriptan if you have a known allergy to other triptans.
Alternate OTC (Over the Counter) Medication for Migraines
As Zolmitriptan is a prescription drug, it has a significantly stronger effect than over-the-counter medications. However, some over-the-counter pills can be used during the initial stages to try and combat migraine pain and nausea. Some alternate OTC products include:
● Acetaminophen or Paracetamol (Tylenol)
● Ibuprofen (Advil, Advil Migraine, Motrin)
● Naproxen (Aleve)
Warning to consider before taking Zolmitriptan
To ensure that you are using the appropriate product, you must check out the drug's warnings. If any of the following warnings apply to you, do not take Zolmitriptan. Consult your primary physician. Do not take Zolmitriptan:
● If you have a known allergy to Zolmitriptan, any triptan or any of the other ingredients listed in this medicine,
● If you have a history of high blood pressure or hypertension,
● If you have or previously had heart problems, like a heart attack, angina, shortness of breath or pressure in the chest,
● If you have or previously had a stroke,
● If you have short-lasting symptoms that resemble a stroke.
● If you are taking some other medicines for your migraine at the same time
It is important to tell your doctor about your medical history, medications you are currently on – especially if they are unprescribed, and your smoking and drinking habits. Let your doctor know if:
● You smoke regularly,
● You have high levels of cholesterol,
● You have diabetes,
● You have a family history of ischaemic heart disease,
● You have been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome,
● You have or previously had liver or kidney problems,
● You are taking any medication for the treatment of depression,
● You are taking any other drug for the treatment of migraines,
● You are taking herbal medicines which contain St John's Wort.
What is the difference between Zomig Tablets and Zolmitriptan Tablets?
While both Zomig and Zolmitriptan are used for the treatment of migraines, the main difference is branding. Zomig is the branded version of Zolmitriptan, making Zolmitriptan a cheaper alternative.
What is the active ingredient in Zolmitriptan Tablets?
The active ingredient in Zolmitriptan Tablets is zolmitriptan. This ingredient is effective at overcoming symptoms of migraines and cluster headaches.
Can I take Zolmitriptan Tablets on an empty stomach?
It is safe to take Zolmitriptan Tablets with or without a meal. However to prevent any nausea like symptoms it is advised to take your dose after a well balanced and healthy meal.
Can pregnant women use Zolmitriptan Tablets?
Although studies suggest Zolmitriptan Tablets cause no harm to the unborn baby, it is advised to consult with a GP, pharmacist or midwife before taking this medication.
Can breastfeeding mothers use Zolmitriptan Tablets?
Evidence suggests that Zolmitriptan Tablets are transferred into breastmilk. You should refrain from taking this medication if you are pregnant.
Does using Zolmitriptan Tablets affect my ability to drive or operate machinery safely?
After using Zolmitriptan you are likely to experience dizziness. In this case you should refrain from driving or operating machinery until you are fit again.
Can I drink alcohol while using Zolmitriptan Tablets?
It is advised to refrain from drinking alcohol while using Zolmitriptan Tablets. This is because the effects of alcohol have the potential to worsen side effects and symptoms.
Common side effects of Zolmitriptan include the following:
- Feeling sick/nausea
- A dry mouth
- Feeling weak
- Feeling tired
- Feeling dizzy
- Irregular blood pressure
If any of these side effects worsen, you should stop using Zolmitriptan Tablets and seek medical advice as soon as possible.