Zomig (Zolmitriptan) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Zomig
Zomig is used for the treatment of acute migraine in adult patients, with or without aura. Its generic name is Zolmitriptan, and it belongs to the therapeutic class of anti-migraine agents. This medicine is available in the form of oral tablets. It works by narrowing the blood vessels that surround the brain of the patient. It also reduces the release and flow of substances that trigger nausea, headache, sensitivity to sound and light, and other symptoms of migraine. Zomig is used only for treating a migraine attack that has already started. It cannot reduce the frequency or prevent such attacks from occuring. This drug should be used only if your doctor has confirmed that it is a migraine headache, and not a usual tension headache.
Side Effects for Zomig
Some patients taking Zomig commonly suffer from a dry mouth, drowsiness, pressure or pain in the throat or neck, weakness, upset stomach, and mild tingling under the skin. Most of these side effects can be easily managed, but if any of these become intolerable, you should contact your doctor. You should immediately seek medical help if you experience tightness or pain in neck, throat or jaw, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, balance problems, speech or vision problems, dizziness, severe stomach pain, blue colored appearance in the toes or fingers, hallucinations, fainting, or overactive reflexes. Also do not take Zomig if you are allergic to it. An allergic reaction to any drug can be identified by symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, swollen face, tongue, throat or lips, hives and rashes.
Do not buy Zomig if you have an allergy to it, or if you have blood circulation problems, coronary heart disease, angina, ischemic bowel disease, high blood pressure, or a heart disease. You should also inform your doctor if you have a history of stroke, mini strokes, or heart attack. This medicine is not meant for men over 40 years of age and women who have gone through a hysterectomy. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should take it only if extremely necessary. This is because it is not yet known whether Zomig is safe to be used in such situations or not. It is also not meant for children less than 18 years of age.
The lowest dose recommended to a patient can be Zomig 2.5mg. If your doctor has advised you to take an even lower dose, you can break the tablet into two halves. Take this tablet when you feel the onset of a migraine attack, with or without meals. If the attack does not subside after taking the tablet, you can take another tablet after 2 hours. You should not take more than Zomig 10mg in a period of 24 hours.
You should not buy Zomig if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. MAO inhibitors may include drugs such as isocarboxazid, rasagiline, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine or furazolidone. You should also not take Zomig with antidepressants such as duloxetine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, venlafaxine, sertraline, paroxetine or desvenlafaxine. Apart from these, you should tell your doctor about all the prescription and non-prescription drugs you are taking at present.
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What is a "Generic" medication/drug?
Generic drugs are medications that have comparable medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price. Nearly 1 in 3 drugs dispensed are "generic". They undergo testing to ensure that they are similar to their "brand" counterparts in:
- Active Ingredient (e.g. "Pravastatin" is the active ingredient in brand name Pravachol)
- Dosage (e.g. 10 mg of the active ingredient)
- Safety (e.g. same or similar side effects, drug interactions)
- Performance (e.g. 10 mg of a "generic" can be substituted for 10 mg of the "brand" and have the same therapeutic result)
- Intended use (e.g. both "generic" and "brand" would be prescribed for the same conditions)
What this means is that "generic" medications can be used as a substitute of their brand equivalents with the comparable therapeutic results. There are a few exceptions (examples are outlined at the end of this page) and as always you should consult your physician before switching from a brand name medications to a generic or vice versa.
What differences are there between generic and brand?
While generics and brand equivalent drugs contain the same active ingredients, they may be different in the following ways:
- Appearance (e.g. the scoring or markings)
The color, shape and size of the medication come from the fillers that are added to the active ingredients to make the drug. These fillers that are added to the drug have no medical use and do not to change the effectiveness of the final product. A generic drug must contain comparable active ingredients and must have a comparable strength and dosage as the original brand name equivalent. Generic drugs can be more cost effective than purchasing the brand name.
Why do generics cost less than the brand name equivalents?
When a new drug is "invented", the company that discovered it has a patent on it that gives them the exclusive production rights for this medication. Once the patent expires in a country, other companies can bring the product to market under their own name. This patent prevents other companies from copying the drug during that time so they can earn back their Research and Development costs through being the exclusive supplier of the product. After the patent expires however, other companies can develop a "generic" version of the product. These versions generally are offered at much lower prices because the companies do not have the same development costs as the original company who developed the medication.
The main thing to realize here though is that the two products are therapeutically equivalent. They may look different, and be called something different.
How are Generic drugs tested to ensure quality and efficacy?
Generally speaking, the two most generally accepted methods to prove the safety of a generic version of a drug are to either repeat most of the chemistry, animal and human studies originally done, or to show that the drug performs comparably with the original brand name drug. This second option is called a "comparative bioavailability" study. During this type of study, volunteers are given the original drug, and then separately later the generic drug. The rates at which the drug is delivered to the patient (into their blood stream or otherwise absorbed) are measured to ensure they are the same. Because the same active ingredient is used the major concern is just that it delivers the common chemical(s) at the same rate so that they have the same effect. Please note that the methods that the manufacturers use may vary from country to country.