Choosing between medicines that have similar use can make you stumble upon confusion, just as below.

Zolmitriptan and sumatriptan are two medicines that are used to treat migraine. Here we will discuss these medicines similarities, differences, side effects, and interactions to help you get the best possible medication choice and eliminate the migraine pain. First Some details about the migraine.

Migraine is a complex neurological disorder that can disturb your health by causing severe headaches. Migraines are headaches that affect one side of the head, and these pains are pulsating and usually last for about 2 to 72 hours. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to different senses, including light, sound and smell.

Migraine pains are usually triggered by stress, changes in sleep patterns, and change in estrogen levels during menstrual periods. Two classes typically treat migraine headaches of medications, namely ergots and triptans. Here we will discuss two types of triptans. Now, let's jot down all the details to make it easy for you to compare Zolmitriptan and Sumatriptan.

Similarities Between Sumatriptan And Zolmitriptan

Despite being named differently, these two drugs are similar in their mode of action and availability. Let's discuss the similarities in detail.

• Firstly, both have the exact mechanism of action. To understand that, we must know the basic pathophysiology of migraine. During migraine, the trigeminal nerve in the brain becomes activated and causes the release of neuropeptides which include VIP, substance P and CGRP. 

These substances cause inflammation. Both Zolmitriptan and sumatriptan have agonistic action with selective serotonin receptors.

These receptors are HT1B and HT1D receptors. Both these drugs activate these receptors and decrease or inhibit neuropeptide release. So there will be less vasodilation or, in other words, narrowing of vessels. They also inhibit the release of certain substances that cause pain and inflammation. Hence the mechanism is quite similar in both the medicines.

• Secondly, both are available in oral tablets and nasal sprays. Injections are also available for both of these triptans. However, some triptans are available in either tablet form or nasal sprays.

The Actual Difference Between Sumatriptan And Zolmitriptan

As already discussed, these two drugs have the same mode of action. The only difference that makes Zolmitriptan take the lead over sumatriptan is its efficacy. Zolmitriptan is more effective than sumatriptan, as proved by various experiments. It is more effective in headache responses at 2 and 4 hours than sumatriptan.

When comparable doses of both Zolmitriptan and Sumatriptan were given to migraine patients at different stages of migraine, Zolmitriptan was found more proficient in treating the patients. It must be kept or memorized in mind that these drugs do not eradicate migraine from your life; instead, they relieve the symptoms occurring due to a migraine attack.

Since we are discussing the differences, there are also slight changes in the chemical formula of these drugs, but this difference is not feasible for count. 

The Proof Center

An experiment was done when 1445 outpatients with migraine were made to take Zolmitriptan, 2.5 mg or 5 mg, or Sumatriptan about 25 mg or 50 mg. If necessary, patients took one tablet for migraine and a second tablet for recurrent headaches 4 to 24 hours after the first one. Up to six attacks were treated during six months.

The immediate result was a headache 2 hours after the initial dose. Secondary were 1-hour and 4-hour headache response and pain relief over 24 hours. The results were that a headache response at 2 hours was noted in 67.1% of patients taking Zolmitriptan 2.5 mg, and 64.8% of those taking Zolmitriptan5 mg, versus 59.6% of patients taking sumatriptan 25 mg, and 63.8% of those taking sumatriptan 50 mg.

At 2 and 4 hours, the differences between Zolmitriptan (2.5 mg), and sumatriptan (25 mg) were statistically significant. At 1 hour post-dose, the headache response rate for Zolmitriptan (2.5 mg), was numerically higher than response rates for sumatriptan 25 mg. Differences between Zolmitriptan (5 mg) and sumatriptan (25 mg), were statistically significant at 1, 2, and 4 hours and 1 and 4 hours versus sumatriptan (50 mg). At 2 hours more patients responded to Zolmitriptan (5 mg) than to Sumatriptan (50 mg).

Result: Patients taking Zolmitriptan recovered earlier than those having sumatriptan. So, Zolmitriptan is more effective than sumatriptan.

(Gallagher RM, Dennish G, Spierings EL, Chitra R. A)

Which Would Be Better For Migraine In Between Sumatriptan And Zolmitriptan?

Most people opt for Zolmitriptan for several reasons. The main reason is already discussed. Zolmitriptan is highly effective and is significantly more effective than sumatriptan. Another reason Zolmitriptan is superior to sumatriptan is that Zolmitriptan has fewer side effects. So, all in all, Zolmitriptan would be the best option for your fight against migraine.


What Is The Dosage As Compared Between Zolmitriptan And Sumatriptan? 

Let's now talk about the dosage of these two drugs


Zolmitriptan is available in two dosage forms. It Is available as 2.5 mg and 5 mg oral tablets,2.5 mg and 5 mg ODT, and 5mg nasal spray. The maximum dosage that you can have in a day is 10 mg. This drug is not a preventative medication so take the first dose when the symptoms start appearing. If the first dose is inadequate, take another amount with a 2-hour window between the two quantities.


This drug is available in 6 mg SC injection and 25,50,100 mg oral tablets. The maximum dosage per day is 300 mg. This is also not a preventive drug so take the first dose after symptoms appear and if not recovered, take another dose with at least a 2-hour gap.
According to the triptan interchange program, 25 mg of sumatriptan is equivalent to 2.5 mg of Zolmitriptan, and 50 mg is equal to 5 mg of Zolmitriptan.

Side Effects Of The Drug

The side effects of sumatriptan are as follows
• Drowsiness
• Tiredness
• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Increase in blood pressure

The adverse effects of Zolmitriptan are less potent than sumatriptans.
These are
• Fatigue
• Flushing
• Dizziness

List Of Interactions Between Sumatriptan Vs Zolmitriptan

A drug interaction occurs when the mechanism of action of a drug is disturbed by the administration of some other drug, food, or another item. The list of interactions of both is similar since they belong to the same class of triptans below are some medicine working classes that can interact .

• 5 HT1D agonists/ ergots
• 5HT1D agonists/MAO inhibitors
• Serotonergic agents/dapoxetine
• Zolmitriptan/ cimetidine
• Rasagiline/ 5 HT1D agonists


Online or Over the counter sumatriptan is available at best prices through prescription as compared with Zolmitriptan online prices. Several telehealth websites provides good deals over medicines and are easy, secured to buy medicines online.

Also, Read


Through this discussion, we've concluded that migraine is a fatal disease that can almost cease your daily activities. It would be best if you had to get the treatment before the situation worsens for you. 

Medicines are prescribed as per the suitability and examination of the body. Here, we have compared the significant triptans for you. In comparison, Zolmitriptan was found to be more effective than Sumatriptan , you must choose the proper treatment without any scruples in your mind. For a better treatment medicines are also combined with each other just as sumatriptan and naproxen for migraine.


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