Is zolmitriptan as effective as Rizatriptan?

I have been using Rizatriptan for about 6 years however when I picked up a repeat prescription recently I noticed my surgery had changed my meds to zolmitriptan. When I queried this I was advised that it is a cheaper option and should be as effective as the Rizatriptan, however I am reluctant to fix what is not broken and take a chance on this new medication having the same effect. Has anyone else experienced this kind of cost cutting exercise or now taking zolmitriptan instead of Rizatriptan?

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  • I had also been on rizatripton for many years and for me I found that zolmitripton wasn't as effective. Everyone is different tho. A lot of people swear by zolmitripton and find it is their most effective abortive medication even after trying all the other triptans.

    Either go back to the doctors and ask them to change it back, or wait till your next migraine and give it try.

  • I find if I take zomig as soon as throbbing head pain starts it works quickly. I do find that with all the triptans the head pain clears then comes back the next day though

  • That sounds really frustrating for you, and strange that they have just changed it like that (though money seems to be a big factor in prescribing these days). I saw a GP recently about trying medication for migraine and she said that the different triptans suit people differently, so it seems odd that they've changed something that's been helping you.

    I'd make an appointment and go and find out what's going on!

  • I have actually been back to the surgery and spoken to the pharmacist, it was she who advised that it had been changed due to cost. I do appreciate that my Rizatriptan costs a lot especially as I have the wafers rather than the tablets as I get terribly sick with migraine and therefore vomit the tablet, the wafer works better as it doesn't just sit in the stomach. Had to have special permission from the gp just for that and was told that I am one of only two people at our surgery that has been prescribed the wafers due to the cost. That aside the pharmacist did offer to change the zolmitriptan back to the Rizatriptan if I would rather. I didn't want to be in a position where I was trying the zolmitriptan finding it didn't work then having to call out a doctor to give me morphine, which has happened in the past. All this leads to anxiety which can lead to migraine. And on it goes. Hopefully they will now continue to prescribe the Rizatriptan although the have not given me a repeat prescription sheet so I am just hoping that I won't have this issue now each time I collect my meds.

  • Goodness, I had no idea that rizatriptan was so expensive. I was prescribed this about 6 weeks ago but the experience of feeling the wafer melting whilst I was already nauseas made the nausea much worse. To top it all I nearly fell asleep on my feet because I was out Christmas shopping when I got the migraine and had a nightmare trying ot get home again. So back to the GP 2 weeks ago and they changed the rizatriptan back to naratriptan with some domperidone to see if that helps with the nausea and absorption in the stomach. Cost was never mentioned. It seemed a terrible waste to have only taken one rizatriptan tablet in the first place.Makes me think that there is a postcode lottery when it comes to prescribing.

    I haven't yet needed the new combination as I am on atenolol and it seems to be preventing migraines very well. I have thought it was maybe a bit silly to go and get the prescription "cashed in" straight away because I now have tablets that maybe I won't need (I can dream). But like you I feel I need them as a security blanket. There is nothing worse than being caught out without them.

    Hope you get what you need. Good luck.

  • I find after iv been on a certain medication for few years it becomes less effective. I was on zolmitriptan for years but it stopped being as effective so i switcted to rizatriptan. I just get annoyed as i dont want the wafers!i keep requesting the pills but still end up with the wafers.

  • I experienced this cost cutting exercise last year. When collecting my my prescription I noticed that the box for my migraine tablets Maxalt Melt 10 mg had changed. In fact it was a generic tablet which made me very sick indeed and did not stop the migraine. My chemist requested I go back to the doctor as he could only give me what was marked on the prescription. So in the few days I had to wait to see the doctor, I discovered that he generic tablet cost 65p and the Maxalt £2.65. Also in the generic tablet were 2 additives, one a red dye, which I was seemingly allergic to. Normally when medication you have been taking for a long time, like I have, the doctor MUST inform you of the change to generic. The chemist as well. I managed to get my original tablets back, after a long discussion with the doctor, who informed me that people like me are bankrupting the nhs!!

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