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Zolmitriptan (nasal)

Generic name: zolmitriptan (nasal) [ ZOL-mi-TRIP-tan ]
Brand name: Zomig
Dosage form: nasal spray (2.5 mg; 5 mg)
Drug class: Antimigraine agents

Medically reviewed by on Sep 18, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is zolmitriptan nasal?

Zolmitriptan is a headache medicine that narrows blood vessels around the brain. Zolmitriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms.

Zolmitriptan nasal (for use in the nose) is used to treat migraine headaches in adults and children who are at least 12 years old.

Zolmitriptan will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.

Zolmitriptan should not be used to treat a common tension headache, a headache that causes loss of movement on one side of your body, or any headache that seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches. Use this medication only if your condition has been confirmed by a doctor as migraine headaches.

Zolmitriptan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Zolmitriptan nasal side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

zolmitriptan may cause serious side effects. Stop using zolmitriptan and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • feeling of pain or tightness in your jaw, neck, or throat;

  • sudden and severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea;

  • bowel problems, weight loss, fever, stomach pain after meals;

  • cramps or pain in your legs or hips;

  • numbness, tingling, burning pain, coldness, and a pale or blue-colored appearance in your fingers or toes;

  • irregular heartbeats;

  • heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance; or

  • high levels of serotonin in the body--agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting.

Common side effects of zolmitriptan may include:

  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth;

  • numbness;

  • dizziness; or

  • skin being more sensitive than usual.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


You should not use this medicine if you have blood circulation problems, coronary heart disease, angina, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a lack of blood supply to the heart, uncontrolled high blood pressure, ischemic bowel disease, a history of heart attack, or if you have ever had a stroke (including a TIA or "mini-stroke"). Do not use zolmitriptan nasal if your headache seems to be different from your usual migraines.

Do not use zolmitriptan nasal if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Do not use zolmitriptan nasal within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use zolmitriptan if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • coronary heart disease, angina (chest pain), blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart;

  • a history of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke, including "mini-stroke";

  • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome;

  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

  • ischemic bowel disease; or

  • a headache that seems different from your usual migraines.

Do not use zolmitriptan if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

To make sure zolmitriptan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • liver disease;

  • a condition for which you take cimetidine (Tagamet); or

  • coronary heart disease (or risk factors such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).

It is not known whether zolmitriptan will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether zolmitriptan nasal passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Zolmitriptan nasal is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.

How should I use zolmitriptan nasal?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Never use more than your recommended dose. Overuse of migraine headache medicine can make headaches worse. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your migraine attacks.

Use zolmitriptan as soon as you notice headache symptoms, or after an attack has already begun. The usual dose of zolmitriptan is a single spray into one nostril. Follow your doctor's instructions.

To use the nasal spray:

  • Blow your nose gently before using the nasal spray. Remove the protective cap from the nasal spray device.

  • Tilt your head back slightly and insert the tip of the bottle into one nostril. Press your other nostril closed with your finger. Breathe in quickly and press the plunger on the device to spray the medicine into your nose.

  • Breathe in gently through your nose for 5 to 10 seconds, keeping your head tilted back.

  • If the spray gets in your eyes or mouth or on your skin, rinse with water.

There is only one spray in each zolmitriptan spray device. Do not use this medicine in both nostrils.

After using the nasal spray: If your headache goes away and comes back, use a second dose two (2) hours after the first. Do not use more than 10 mg of zolmitriptan in 24 hours. If your headache does not completely go away, call your doctor before using a second dose of zolmitriptan.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Call your doctor if you have more than four headaches in one month (30 days).

If you use zolmitriptan long-term, your doctor may want to check your heart function using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG), a machine that measures electrical activity of the heart. This will help your doctor determine if it is still safe for you to use this medicine.

Store unused zolmitriptan nasal at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Throw away the single-use nasal spray device after one use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since zolmitriptan is used as needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule. Call your doctor promptly if your symptoms do not improve after using zolmitriptan.

After using zolmitriptan, you must wait two (2) hours before using it a second time. Do not use more than 10 mg of zolmitriptan in 24 hours.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using zolmitriptan nasal?

Do not use zolmitriptan within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine, including:

  • zolmitriptan tablets, almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT), or sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet); or

  • ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot, Migergot), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal), or methylergonovine (Methergine).

Zolmitriptan may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

What other drugs will affect zolmitriptan nasal?

Using zolmitriptan while you are using certain other medicines can cause high levels of serotonin to build up in your body, a condition called "serotonin syndrome," which can be fatal. Tell your doctor if you also use:

  • medicine to treat depression;

  • medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder;

  • a narcotic (opioid) medication; or

  • medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with zolmitriptan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Popular FAQ

Zomig starts to work quickly, and most people who respond with a single dose will have responded within 1 hour. Some people may take up to 2 hours to experience a decrease in their headache pain. Continue reading

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.