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- What is zolmitriptan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for zolmitriptan?
- Is zolmitriptan available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for zolmitriptan?
- What are the side effects of zolmitriptan?
- What is the dosage for zolmitriptan?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with zolmitriptan?
- Is zolmitriptan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about zolmitriptan?
What is zolmitriptan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Zolmitriptan is a drug for treating migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are believed to result from dilation of the blood vessels in the brain. Zolmitriptan causes constriction of the blood vessels and thereby relieves the pain of a migraine headache. While zolmitriptan is very effective in relieving migraine headaches, it does not prevent or reduce the number of headaches if taken prophylactically. Its mechanism of action and effectiveness are similar to those of sumatriptan (Imitrex). Zolmitriptan was approved by the FDA in November of 1997.
What are the side effects of zolmitriptan?
Side effects are generally transient. Some common side effects include:
- pain or tightness in the chest or throat,
- tingling sensations,
- abdominal discomfort, and
Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment
What is the dosage for zolmitriptan?
Dosing: The initial dose is 2.5 mg or less. The dose can be repeated after 2 hours if symptoms persist. The maximum dose is 10 mg per day. Doses less than 2.5 mg can be achieved by splitting the 2.5 mg tablet. Zolmitriptan may be taken with or without food.
Which drugs or supplements interact with zolmitriptan?
Zolmitriptan directly stimulates serotonin receptors on nerves. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that are used for treating depression, for example, fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft), enhance the effects of serotonin by preventing its uptake by nerves. Therefore, the combination of zolmitriptan and an SSRI may lead to exaggerated effects of serotonin, and has been reported to cause weakness, increased reflexes, and loss of coordination.
Ergots, like dihydroergotamine (DHE) and ergotamine tartrate (Cafergot) that often are used to treat migraine headaches, can cause blood vessels to go into spasm. It is possible that the combination of ergots and zolmitriptan will result in exaggerated spasm of the vessels. Therefore, it is not recommended that zolmitriptan and ergots be used within 24 hours of each other.
Is zolmitriptan safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Safe use in pregnancy has not been established.
Safe use in nursing mothers has not been established.
What else should I know about zolmitriptan?
What preparations of zolmitriptan are available?
Tablet: 2.5 and 5 mg. Tablet (orally disintegrating): 2.5 and 5 mg.
How should I keep zolmitriptan stored?
Zolmitriptan should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and light. It should be kept out of the reach of children.
Zolmitriptan (Zomig, Zomig-ZMT) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of migraine headaches. Side effects, drug interactions, pregnancy information, dosing, and patient information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top zolmitriptan Related Articles
Chronic PainChronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, chronic pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments.
Cluster HeadachesCluster headache is a type of headache that recurs over a period of time. There are episodes that last one to three times a day during a period of time, which may last from 2 weeks to 3 months. There are three main types of treatment, 1) abortive medications, 2) preventive medications, or 3) surgery which involves blocking the trigeminal nerve.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
eletriptanEletriptan (Relpax) is a triptan drug that is prescribed to treat migraine headaches. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
HeadacheHeadaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
MigraineMigraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known.
Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping.
Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
Pain ManagementPain management and treatment can be simple or complex, according to its cause. There are two basic types of pain, nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain. Some causes of neuropathic pain include:
- complex regional pain syndrome,
- interstitial cystitis,
- and irritable bowel syndrome.
sumatriptanSumatriptan (Imitrex, Alsuma, Imitrex STATdose System, Sumavel DosePro) is in a class of drugs referred to as selective serotonin receptor agonists, and is prescribed for the treatment of migraine and cluster headaches. Side effects, warnings and precautions, and drug interaction information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.