What condition does Zolmitriptan treat?

Zolmitriptan is a type of medicine called serotonin agonist or 5HT that is used for the treatment of migraines. It is a repeated type of headache that causes moderate to severe pain that is pulsing or throbbing. The pain is frequently on one side of your head. This medication helps relieve pain, headache, and other migraine symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

This medicine is classified as a triptan that is believed to lessen the pain of migraines by relieving swelling by narrowing blood vessels.

How does Zolmitriptan work?

This medicine works by stimulating receptors called serotonin receptors that are found in the brain. A natural substance called serotonin usually acts on these receptors. It causes blood vessels in the brain to narrow. Zolmitriptan mimics this action of serotonin by directly stimulating the serotonin receptors in the brain. This narrows the blood vessels and so relieves the pain of migraine headaches.

The dose of Zolmitriptan should be taken as early as possible after the migraine headache has started. Though, it is also effective if taken at a later stage during the migraine attack. This drug usually provides significant relief from the migraine within an hour of taking them. 

How to use Zolmitriptan?

Zolmitriptan comes as a tablet for oral use. This is to be taken by mouth usually at the first sign of a migraine headache. If your symptoms return after 2 hours or longer, you may take another dose. If your condition or symptoms does not improve do not take the second tablet without calling your doctor. Your doctor will tell you the maximum number of tablets you may take in 24 hours. 

Follow the instructions carefully on your prescription label and ask your doctor to explain any part you don’t understand. Take Zolmitriptan exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. If you take Zolmitriptan more often or for longer than the recommended period, your headaches may get worse or may occur more frequently. You should not take this drug or any other headache medication for more than 10 days per month. If you need to take this medicine to treat more than three headaches in 1 month, call your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of Zolmitriptan?

Common side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

Stop using the medicine and call your doctor if you have the following side effects:

  • Feeling tightness in your jaw
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Bloody diarrhea 
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain

What are the precautions in taking Zolmitriptan?

  • Inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking. 
  • Consult your doctor first before taking a dose if you are pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • If you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug, let your doctor know. 
  • This drug might make you feel dizzy or drowsy. Avoid using any machinery or driving until you know how the drug affects you. 
  • This is not recommended for use in people aged 65 years and older.