zolmitriptan, Zomig, Zomig-ZMT

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

A Guide to Migraine Headaches

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 brand names are available for zolmitriptan?

Zomig, Zomig-ZMT

Is zolmitriptan available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for zolmitriptan?

Yes

What are the side effects of zolmitriptan?

Side effects are generally transient. Some common side effects include:

Rarely, allergic reactions (even shock) have been reported though usually in individuals who are highly allergic to many substances.

Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

Migraine 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?

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane)) may exaggerate the effects of 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.

Cimetidine (Tagamet) may double the concentration of zolmitriptan in the blood by interfering with its elimination. Potentially, this may lead to zolmitriptan toxicity.

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.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

Migraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

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See more info: zolmitriptan on RxList
Reviewed on 5/18/2015
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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