Uses Of Zolmitriptan

Zolmitriptan treats the symptoms of migraine headaches, which often include nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. It is a selective serotonin receptor agonist, meaning that it narrows blood vessels to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. This blocks the release of substances that cause pain, nausea, and other  migraine symptoms. Zolmitriptan neither prevents migraines nor reduces the number of headaches you may suffer.

Side Effects Of Zolmitriptan

Zolmitriptan may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or occur regularly:

  • dizziness/faintness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • feeling unusually warm (including sweating) or cold
  • heartburn
  • nausea

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms may require immediate treatment:

  • bloody diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • difficulty speaking
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • loss of voice
  • pain or tingling in hands or feet
  • pain, tightness, or heaviness in the chest, throat, neck, or jaw
  • paleness or blue color of fingers and toes
  • rash/hives
  • sudden or severe stomach pain
  • swelling of eyes, face, lips, throat, or tongue
  • weakness/numbness in arms or legs

Warnings & Precautions

Before taking zolmitriptan:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any medications (zolmitriptan included) or any of the ingredients in zolmitriptan tablets. (Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients in zolmitriptan if you are unsure.)
  • do not take zolmitriptan if you have taken any of the following medications in the past 24 hours: ergot-type medications [e.g., bromocriptine (Parlodel), cabergoline , dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), ergoloid mesylates (Hydergine), ergonovine (Ergotrate), ergotamine (Cafergot, Ergomar, Wigraine), methylergonovine (Methergine), methysergide (Sansert), pergolide (Permax)] or other selective serotonin receptor agonists [e.g., almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex, in Treximet)] or .
  • do not take zolmitriptan if you are taking a monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) inhibitor [e.g., isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Parnate), tranylcypromine (Nardil)] or if you have taken an MAO-A inhibitor in the past 14 days.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist about any medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements you are taking. The following are particularly important to mention: acetaminophen (Tylenol); antidepressants [e.g., amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), trimipramine (Surmontil)]; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) [e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)]; cimetidine (Tagamet); oral contraceptives; propranolol (Inderal); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) [e.g., citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, in Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft)]; and selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) [e.g., desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), sibutramine (Meridia), venlafaxine (Effexor)].
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease, angina (chest pain), irregular heartbeat, a heart attack, a stroke/’mini-stroke’, or circulation problems (e.g. blood clots in the legs, varicose veins, Raynaud’s disease, or ischemic bowel disease).
  • tell your doctor if you smoke or are overweight; if you have or have had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or liver or kidney disease; if you have experienced menopause; or if any of your family members have or have had heart disease or stroke.
  • tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breast-feeding. (Consult with your doctor about effective methods of birth control if you plan to be sexually active while taking zomitriptan.) Immediately call your doctor if you become pregnant while on this medication.
  • zolmitriptan may make you drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how zolmitriptan may affect you.
  • talk to your doctor about your headache symptoms to ensure that they are caused by migraines. Zolmitriptan is not mean to treat hemiplegic or basilar migraine headaches or other types of headaches (e.g., cluster headaches).
  • if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, an inherited condition in which mental retardation may develop if a special diet is not followed), be aware that orally disintegrating Zolmitriptan tablets contain aspartame that forms phenylalanine.

Dosage Of Zolmitriptan

Zolmitriptan in both a standard tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet. Both are to be taken by mouth at the first sign of a migraine headache. A second tablet may be taken if symptoms improve but recur after 2 or more hours. Your doctor will tell you the maximum number of either type of tablet you may take in a 24-hour period. Be sure to take zolmitriptan exactly as directed.

You may be required to take your first dose of zolmitriptan in a medical facilities where you can be monitored for serious reactions.

If you have been prescribed a dose lower than 2.5 mg, you may use your fingers to break a 2.5-mg tablet in half. However, you should never split an orally disintegrating tablet.

To take an orally disintegrating zomitriptan tablet, use dry hands to remove a tablet from the packaging and place it on your tongue. The tablet will immediately being to dissolve, after which the residue can be swallowed. No water is needed to take an orally disintegrating tablet.

Call your doctor if your headaches do not improve or occur more frequently after you start taking zolmitriptan.

Headaches may worsen or occur more frequently if you take do not take zolmitriptan exactly as directed. You should not take zolmitriptan or any other headache medication on more than 10 days in a month. Call your doctor if you have to take zolmitriptan to treat more than 3 headaches in a 1-month period.

Your pharmacist or doctor can provide you with a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.


Keep all appointments with your doctor, as your blood pressure needs to be checked regularly.

Keep a headache diary detailing when you have headaches and when you take zolmitriptan.

It is illegal to allow someone else to take your prescription medication.

Ask your pharmacist if any questions you have about refilling your prescription.