|Type of medicine||5HT1-receptor agonist (also known as a 'triptan')|
|Used for||Treatment of migraine|
Orodispersible (melt-in-the-mouth) tablets
It is not clear what causes migraine. It is thought that some chemicals in the brain increase in activity, and as a result parts of the brain then send out confused signals which result in the symptoms of migraine.
It is also not clear why people with migraine should develop these chemical changes and most migraine attacks occur for no apparent reason. In some people however, there may be things which trigger an attack, like certain foods or drinks.
Zolmitriptan works by stimulating the receptors of a chemical in the brain, called serotonin (or 5HT). This improves the symptoms felt during a migraine.
Before taking zolmitriptan
Before taking zolmitriptan make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are aged over 65 years or under 18 years old.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have heart or heart rhythm problems.
- If you have recently had a heart attack.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have liver problems.
- If you have ever had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (also referred to as a TIA or 'mini-stroke').
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take zolmitriptan
- Take zolmitriptan exactly as your doctor has told you.
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Make sure you know how to administer the preparation you have been given.
- If you have been supplied tablets: take one dose as soon as possible at the first sign of an attack. If your migraine improves but then returns, you may take one further dose, providing it is at least two hours after the initial dose. Do not take more than two doses in any 24-hour period.
- To use Zomig® Rapimelt tablets, peel open the foil blister and remove the tablet. Place it on your tongue and allow it to dissolve before you swallow.
- If you have been supplied a nasal spray: spray one puff into one nostril at the first sign of an attack. If your migraine improves but then returns, one further spray can be used in one nostril, providing it is at least two hours after your first dose. Do not administer more than two sprays in any 24-hour period.
- To use the nasal spray, remove the protective cover and block one nostril by pressing on it with your finger. Insert the spray into the other nostril and breathe in through your nose as you squeeze the plunger to release one dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Zolmitriptan is used to treat a migraine once it has started, but there are other medicines that are available that may help to prevent you having migraines. If you have migraines frequently, discuss this with your doctor.
- Do not take other migraine treatments (such as other 'triptans' or ergotamine) as well as zolmitriptan.
- If you find that zolmitriptan does not relieve your migraine, make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor, as an alternative preparation may prove to be more effective for you.
- If you buy any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with your pharmacist which medicines are safe for you to take alongside zolmitriptan.
Can zolmitriptan cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum or sugar-free sweets|
|Feeling or being sick, stomach pain||Stick to simple foods|
|Feeling sleepy, dizzy or weak||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Pressure or tightness in any part of the body, including the throat or chest||If these feelings continue or become intense, stop taking zolmitriptan and contact your doctor as soon as possible|
|Tingling feelings, headache, feeling hot or flushed, an uneven heartbeat, muscle weakness||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your pharmacist or doctor.
How to store zolmitriptan
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Zomig® Tablets 2.5 mg; Manufacturer's PIL, Zomig® Tablets 2.5 mg, AstraZeneca UK Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Zomig® Rapimelt 2.5 mg; Manufacturer's PIL, Zomig® Rapimelt 2.5 mg, AstraZeneca UK Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Zomig® 5 mg Nasal Spray; Manufacturer's PIL, Zomig® 5 mg Nasal Spray, AstraZeneca UK Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Adrian Bonsall|
|Last Checked: 15/12/2011||Document ID: 1520 Version: 27||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.