Zolmitriptan is a prescription drug used to treat migraine headaches. It can be used for headaches that occur with or without aura (flashing lights, blind spots or wavy lines in vision). It is part of a group of medications called triptans, which work by narrowing blood vessels in the brain that have become enlarged during a migraine attack, helping to relieve symptoms such as pain, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise.
How does Zolmitriptan Work?
Migraine headaches are thought to be caused by dilated blood vessels in the head. Zolmitriptan works by reversing this process of swelling. It is also believed to affect certain natural substances in the brain to help ease symptoms such as nausea, pain and sensitivity to noise and light.
However, bear in mind that this medication does not prevent future migraines; it can only be used to relieve symptoms during an attack.
What is a Migraine?
Migraines are intense, sometimes debilitating headaches. The most common types of migraine are those with aura (classical migraines) and those without aura (common migraines).
Common side effects of Zolmitriptan include dizziness, muscle aches and pain, warm or tingling sensations, nausea, stomach pain, dry mouth, drowsiness, weakness and heaviness or tightness in the chest or throat. These side effects are usually temporary and should improve with time. The medication may also cause some more serious side effects, although this is very rare.
Over the counter pain-killers such as paracetamol, aspirin or nurofen may help to reduce the symptoms of migraines.
They are most effective when taken as soon as the migraine starts.
Triptans are medications that can help to reverse the changes in the brain that may cause migraines.
Patient Information Leaflet
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
Patient information can be found here.