Brand names: Zomig
Zomig relieves migraine headaches. It is effective whether or not the headache is preceded by an aura (visual disturbances such as halos and flickering lights). For most people Zomig provides relief within 2 hours, but it will not abort an attack or reduce the number of headaches you experience.
Migraines are thought to be caused by expansion and inflammation of blood vessels in the head. Zomig ends a migraine attack by constricting these blood vessels and reducing inflammation.
Zomig is for use only on common and classic migraine headaches. It should not be used for other types of headache, including certain unusual types of migraine. It has not been tested for cluster headaches, a type of severe headache more common among men.
Take Zomig as soon as your first symptoms appear. If the headache comes back after your first dose, you may take a second one 2 hours later. However, if the first dose has no effect at all, do not take a second one unless your doctor advises it, and never take more than 10 milligrams in a day. If taking an orally disintegrating Zomig ZMT tablet, do not remove it from the blister pack until just before use, then immediately place it on your tongue, where it will dissolve in the saliva. Do not break the tablet. Throw away any unused tablets already removed from the blister packaging.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Zomig.
You should not take Zomig if you have certain types of heart disease, including angina (chest pain), a history of heart attack, and certain heart irregularities. Also avoid the drug if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Do not use Zomig within 24 hours of taking an ergotamine-based migraine medication or a drug in the same class as Zomig.
Avoid using Zomig within 2 weeks of taking a drug classified as an MAO inhibitor, such as antidepressants.
If Zomig gives you an allergic reaction, do not take it again.
If the first dose of Zomig does not relieve your symptoms, ask your doctor to re-evaluate you; migraine may not be the problem.
Although the danger is very remote, this type of medication has been known to trigger serious and even life-threatening heart problems in people with heart disease. If you have a heart disorder, make sure the doctor knows about it. Do not take Zomig if you suffer from irregular heartbeat.
Very rarely, Zomig has caused serious intestinal problems. See your doctor immediately if you have bloody diarrhea or stomach pain.
If you have risk factors for heart disease, your doctor may ask you to take your first dose of Zomig in the office, and may want to monitor you carefully thereafter. Risk factors that signal the need for caution include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, excess weight, diabetes, and a strong family history of heart disease or hardening of the arteries. Heart disease is also more likely in postmenopausal women and men over 40.
Use Zomig with caution if you have liver or kidney disease. These conditions could alter the effect of the drug. If you have a history of seizures, make sure the doctor is aware of it. Also, if you develop any trouble with your eyes, alert your doctor. There is a possibility the problem could be related to Zomig.
If you experience pain or tightness in your chest or throat when using Zomig, tell your doctor. If the chest pain is severe or does not go away, seek medical attention immediately. These pains could be symptoms of a previously undetected heart condition.
If you develop shortness of breath, wheezing, a throbbing heartbeat, swelling of the eyelids, face, or lips, or a skin rash, skin lumps, or hives after taking Zomig, call your doctor immediately, and do not take any more of the drug without your doctor's approval.
If a headache feels different from your usual migraine, check with your doctor before using Zomig.
If you must avoid phenylalanine, do not use the orally disintegrating Zomig ZMT tablets, which contain this substance.
Remember that Zomig should never be combined with the following drugs (see "Why should Zolmitriptan not be prescribed?"):Ergotamine-type drugsMAO inhibitors such as antidepressant drugsSumatriptan
If Zomig is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either may be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Zomig with the following:AcetaminophenCimetidineFluoxetineFluvoxamineOral contraceptivesParoxetinePropranololSertraline
The effects of Zomig during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Although researchers have not confirmed it, Zomig may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. Check with your doctor before using Zomig while breastfeeding.
The recommended starting dose is no more than 2.5 milligrams. Higher doses have little additional effect, but tend to cause more side effects. If the headache returns, the dose may be repeated after 2 hours. Do not exceed 10 milligrams in a day.
If you have liver disease, your doctor will prescribe a lower dose and closely monitor your blood pressure.
CHILDREN AND OLDER ADULTS
The safety and effectiveness of Zomig have not been established in children and adults over 65.
The only known symptom of Zomig overdose is drowsiness. However, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.