Sumatriptan vs Zolmitriptan: How to Choose the Right Migraine Treatment?
When you have a migraine, it is hard to focus on anything except making it go away. In addition to intense head pain, migraines often bring along a whole host of other symptoms like vision disturbances, nausea, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smells. So which medication should you reach for when you are struck down by a migraine?
How Sumatriptan Works
Sumatriptan belongs to a class of medications called triptans that are used to treat migraines. The tablets cause the blood vessels in the brain to contract, which is thought to relieve an acute migraine attack as soon as 30 minutes. Sumatriptan also reverses some of the chemical changes that happen in the brain when a migraine is occurring.
This medication only works for a migraine that is already happening and doesn’t have any other therapeutic uses. It also won’t prevent future migraines.
Side Effects of Sumatriptan
Whilst extremely effective for the debilitating symptoms of migraines, some users of Sumatriptan have reported mild side effects. These include:
- Feeling hot or cold
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty breathing
- Temporary rise in blood pressure
How Rizatriptan Works
A triptan medication, Rizatriptan narrows the blood vessels around the brain and reduces the chemicals in the body thought to cause migraines and migraine symptoms. It won’t prevent migraines and only works on an active migraine.
Rizatriptan Side Effects
Some of those taking Rizatriptan for migraines experience side effects. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Sensation of heat, numbness, or tingling
- Chest pain or tightness
How Zolmitriptan Works
Zolmitriptan is another triptan medication used to treat migraines and its symptoms. The tablets cause the brain’s blood vessels to contract, thereby reducing the severity of the migraine. Zolmitriptan is also thought to affect certain nerves in the brain, further relieving pain.
Within an hour of taking Zolmitriptan, migraine symptoms like nausea, light sensitivity, and headache pain should reduce or disappear completely. It won’t prevent future migraines.
Side Effects of Zolmitriptan
One in ten people who used Zolmitriptan will experience mild, temporary side effects. Some of the side effects reported were:
- Feeling hot or cold
- Dry mouth