1 What is Maxalt?

Brand: Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT

Generic: Rizatriptan

Maxalt is used in the treatment of migraine headaches with or without aura (flashing lights, wavy lines, dark spots, and sensitivity to sound) in adults and children 6 years of age and older. It is not helpful in preventing migraines and it does not relieve any other type of pain.

Rizatriptan is a serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonist ("triptan"). It works by dilating blood vessels in the brain, relieving migraine headaches. It is available in the tablet and disintegrated tablet form only with your doctor’s prescription.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Your doctor will inform you of what you need to know before using Maxalt.


Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any food, preservatives, dyes, or had an allergic reaction when you used this drug before.


There are no adequate studies done which prove Rizatriptan has harmful effects in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established for children younger than 6 years of age.


This medicine does not cause any different side effects or problem than it does in younger adults. However, it should be used with caution if there are kidney or heart problems.


It is a category C drug. It is not safe to use in pregnancy. It can cause harm to an unborn baby. If you are using Rizatriptan during pregnancy, discuss it with your doctor for possible risk factors.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies which prove that Rizatriptan passes into breast milk. If you are using Rizatriptan while nursing, discuss it with your doctor for possible risk factors.

Drug Interactions

Rizatriptan may interact with other drugs. Your doctor should be informed of any other medicines which you are taking. He may want to change the dosage or drug.

Some of them are listed below,

  • MAOIs (phenelzine)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (fluoxetine)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) (venlafaxine)
  • Sibutramine
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline)
  • Ergot alkaloids (ergotamine)
  • Propranolol as they may increase the risk of rizatriptan's side effects.

Other Medical Conditions

Several other conditions may reduce its effectiveness.

Make sure you inform your doctor of conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney diseases
  • Liver diseases
  • Heart problem (angina, heart attack)
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Ischemic bowel disease (decreased blood supply to bowels)
  • Peripheral vascular disease (clogged arteries)
  • Stroke, Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • A basilar migraine (a migraine with vision and hearing problems).
  • Raynaud's syndrome
  • Phenylketonuria

3 Proper Usage

To use Maxalt properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Read the medication guide carefully. Ask your pharmacist if you have any queries. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.

Take this medicine after your headache starts. Do not take it even when you receive warning signs such as aura, unless a headache begins. Take it by mouth with plenty of fluids.

If after taking Rizatriptan you get relieve from symptoms but after sometimes symptoms returns, take a second dose as directed by your doctor. For adults, there should be a gap of 2 hours between two doses. Adults should not take more than two doses in 24 hours. However, it is not recommended to take more than 1 dose in 24 hours by children.

Inform your doctor if after taking Rizatriptan symptoms do not improve. Do not take the second dose for the same attack.

Do not use this medicine for more than 10 days in any 30 day period, unless your doctor tells you to.

If you are using a disintegrated form of a tablet, make sure that your hands are dry. With dry hands peel open the blister to remove the tablet. Put the tablet on your tongue. The tablet will dissolve itself on your tongue. There is no need to drink water to swallow the dissolved tablet.


It is different for different patients. Dosage mentioned below is an average dose. You must follow your doctor’s command.

Children 6 years of age and older who are 40 kilograms (kg) or more

The dose is usually10 milligram (mg) per day. Do not take more than one dose in 24 hour period.

Children 6 years of age and older who’s weight is below 40 kg

The dose is usually10 milligram (mg) per day. Do not take more than one dose in 24 hour period.


5 or 10 milligrams (mg) as a single dose. Do not take more than 30 mg in 24 hour period.


Store it at room temperature. Keep it away from children.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Maxalt, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Your doctor should check your daily progress at regular visits.

Do not take Rizatriptan if you have already taken any other triptan and ergot-type medicine within 24 hours. Some triptan and ergot medicines are:

Do not take Rizatriptan within 2 weeks after taking MAO inhibitor.

Serious heart problems (a heart attack, angina, irregular heartbeat or stroke) have been reported within a few hours of using Rizatriptan.

Contact your doctor at once if:

  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • chest, jaw, or neck pain or numbness
  • numbness of an arm or leg
  • severe stomach pain
  • bloody diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • fainting
  • vision changes confusion
  • the difficulty with speaking
  • double vision
  • headaches occur

Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Do not use this medicine alone or in combination with other medicines for 10 days or more as it may lead to worsening of a headache.

Inform your doctor immediately if have difficulty in reading, blurred vision while using it. He/she may refer you to an eye specialist.

It is known to cause a serious life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome if taken with other medicines such as MAOIs, SNRIs, SSRIs.

Inform your doctor immediately if you have symptoms such as:

Avoid alcohol as it may make your headache worse or cause a new headache to occur.

Rizatriptan may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Rizatriptan with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.

Do not use Rizatriptan if you have a headache but it is different from your usual migraine headache.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Maxalt. Some people may experience none or minor side effects. Consult with your doctor if they become problematic or frequent.

More common are:

  • Chest pain
  • Heaviness, tightness, or pressure in the chest and/or neck
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • The sensation of burning, warmth, heat, numbness, tightness, or tingling
  • Shortness of breath

Less common are:

  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pain, tightness, or pressure in the neck, jaw, or throat
  • Slow heartbeat

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.