Zomig nasal spray contains the active ingredient zolmitriptan, which is a type of medicine called a serotonin (or 5HT) agonist. This type of medicine is also commonly known as a 'triptan'. It is a painkiller specifically used to relieve migraine attacks.
Although the cause of migraine attacks is not fully understood, it is thought that widening of blood vessels in the brain causes the throbbing pain of migraine headaches. Zolmitriptan relieves this pain by causing the blood vessels in the brain to narrow.
Zolmitriptan works by stimulating receptors called serotonin (or 5HT) receptors that are found in the brain. A natural substance called serotonin normally acts on these receptors, causing 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.
Zomig nasal spray is administered into one nostril to relieve a migraine attack. The medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream through the blood vessels lining the nose and starts to work within about 15 minutes. It may be particularly useful for people who feel sick or vomit during their migraine attack, as it is not taken by mouth.
Each box contains 6 single prefilled nasal spray devices. Each single use device contains 5mg of zolmitriptan. One box of 6 devices can be used to treat 3 to 6 migraine attacks. Follow the instructions provided in your patient information leaflet.
If your migraine symptoms persist or return after one dose, a second dose can be effective. If you need a second dose, you should NOT take it within two hours of the first dose. Do not exceed the recommended dose. The maximum recommended dose in 24 hours is two sprays (10mg), unless you have liver problems, or are taking certain other medicines. Discuss this with your doctor.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with Zomig nasal spray:
- Taste disturbance.
- Discomfort in the nasal cavity.
- Sensation of tightness, pressure, tingling, heaviness, heat or pain in any part of the body, including the chest and throat (see warning above).
- Dry mouth.
- Muscle pain and weakness.
- Abnormal sensations or disturbance of sensation, eg pins and needles.
- Sleepiness (somnolence).
- Weakness or loss of strength (asthenia).
- Increased heart rate (tachycardia).
- Awareness of your heart beat (palpitations).
- Swelling of the face, lips or tongue (angioedema).
- Increases in blood pressure.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Zomig nasal spray should be used with caution in:
- Decreased liver function.
- High blood pressure.
- People with risk factors for coronary heart disease, such as smoking, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, obesity, or a family history of heart disease.
Zomig nasal spray should NOT be used in:
- People who have had a heart attack.
- Heart disease caused by inadequate blood flow to the heart (ischaemic heart disease), e.g. angina.
- A severe form of angina pectoris, not caused by exertion (Prinzmetal's angina).
- Uncontrolled or moderate to severe high blood pressure (hypertension).
- People who have had a stroke.
- History of small temporary strokes (transient ischaemic attacks).
- A form of migraine associated with temporary paralysis of one side of the body (hemiplegic migraine).
- A type of migraine where there is a disturbance in brain function which initially presents with total blindness followed by dizziness, speech disturbances, ringing in the ears and double vision (basilar migraine).
- This medicine is not recommended for people aged under 18 or over 65 years, as there is no information available regarding its safety and effectiveness in these age groups.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
The patient information leaflet (PIL) is a leaflet containing specific information about medical conditions, doses and side effects. You can download a copy of the PIL here:
Patient Info Leaflet