Zolmitriptan is a generic medication for migraines designed to reverse the effects of a migraine on the brain. Zolmitriptan contains the active ingredient sumatriptan succinate.
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What is Zolmitriptan?
Zolmitriptan is a popular and effective treatment for migraine attacks. It contains the active ingredient sumatriptan succinate, which stimulates receptors in the brain called serotonin (or 5HT) receptors. This causes the blood vessels in the brain to contract. This narrowing of the blood vessels is thought to alleviate the pressure in the brain associated with migraines and so reduces the pain you may experience during a migraine.
Zolmitriptan belongs to a class of medications known as triptans (5-HT, receptor agonists). Triptans differ from painkillers as they aim to reverse the changes in the brain that are attributed to migraine attacks, rather than just masking the pain. This means that Zolmitriptan aims to treat a migraine attack at the source as well as reducing symptoms.
Zolmitriptan provides fast-acting relief for symptoms of even severe migraines, including nausea, stiffness in the neck and shoulders and sensitivity to light and sound. For those who have trouble taking tablets, it is also available as a nasal spray and in orodispersible form.
What’s the difference between Zolmitriptan and Imigran?
Imigran is a branded medication for migraine relief which also uses the active ingredient sumatriptan succinate. Zolmitriptan is medically equivalent to Imigran but represents a more affordable alternative with Express Pharmacy.
How to use Zolmitriptan
Zolmitriptan should be used by adults over the age of 18. It is not a preventative medication, and should therefore be taken as soon as symptoms occur, but not before. If using a weaker dose, four tablets can be taken a day. For stronger doses, two tablets can be taken a day. Two tablets should never be taken together.
When to use Zolmitriptan
Zolmitriptan can be taken with or without food. The maximum daily dosage is 10 milligrams, which is the equivalent of either 4 x 2.5mg tablets a day or 2x 5mg tablets a day. You should not exceed 10mg of Zolmitriptan within a 24-hour period.
An initial dose of Zolmitriptan should be taken as soon as the onset of symptoms occurs. If your symptoms are reduced but later return, a second dose may be taken after at least two hours. A second dose of Zolmitriptan should not be taken for the same migraine if the first dose has no effect.
Start initially with a lower strength of 2.5mg. If necessary, this dose may be doubled. If you feel that this dose is not sufficiently controlling your migraine symptoms, you may require the higher 5mg dose of Zolmitriptan.
If you are unsure which dose is right for you, contact the Patient Support Team on 0208 123 0703 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Side effects of zolmitriptan are unlikely to occur, and most people will be able to use the medication without any side effects occurring. However, in a small number of cases side effects can present themselves.
Some of the more common side effects of zolmitriptan include fatigue, dizziness, flushing, sensations of heaviness and short term increases in blood pressure (transient).
Consult the patient information leaflet for further information on the side effects of Zolmitriptan.
Consult your GP before taking Zolmitriptan if you are currently on any other prescription medication. You should also avoid drinking excess amounts of alcohol whilst using the medication, as alcohol can increase the likelihood of suffering side effects as a result of taking Zolmitriptan.
Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. You can find the information by searching for your treatment on Medicines.org.uk.
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