Rizatriptan is employed for the management of symptoms associated with migraine headaches, characterized by intense, pulsating pain often accompanied by nausea and heightened sensitivity to sound and light. Belonging to the class of medications known as selective serotonin receptor agonists, rizatriptan exerts its therapeutic effects by constricting blood vessels in the brain, thus interrupting the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
Uses and Dosage
Rizatriptan is available in two forms, a tablet, and an orally disintegrating tablet, both intended for oral administration. It is most effective when taken promptly at the onset of a migraine headache. Should your symptoms improve initially but reoccur after two hours or more, a second tablet may be taken. However, if there is no improvement after the initial dose, refrain from taking a second tablet until consulting your doctor.
Your healthcare provider will specify the maximum number of tablets permissible within a 24-hour duration. Strictly follow the prescribed dosage and refrain from exceeding or reducing the intake, as well as from increasing the frequency beyond what is directed by the package or your doctor.
For your initial dose, take rizatriptan under medical supervision, such as at a doctor’s office or a healthcare facility, to monitor any potential severe reactions.
When using the orally disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before peeling back the foil packaging. Place the tablet directly on your tongue, and it will dissolve rapidly, allowing you to swallow it with saliva, without requiring water. Avoid opening the foil packaging or removing the orally disintegrating tablet until you are prepared to take it.
If your headaches do not improve or occur more frequently despite taking rizatriptan, promptly contact your doctor.
Prolonged or excessive use of rizatriptan can lead to worsening or increased frequency of headaches. Do not exceed the recommended usage duration, limiting the intake of rizatriptan or any other headache medication to a maximum of ten days per month. In case you find the need to use rizatriptan for treating more than four headaches in a month, promptly get in touch with your doctor for further guidance.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- upset stomach
- muscle pain or cramps
- flushing (feeling of warmth)
- dry mouth
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness in the chest, throat, neck, or jaw
- rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- breaking out in a cold sweat
- slow or difficult speech
- weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
- sudden or severe stomach pain
- bloody diarrhea
- paleness or blue color of the fingers and toes
- pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- changes in vision
Prior to using rizatriptan, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any existing allergies, including potential reactions to the medication itself or to other substances present in the product. Inactive ingredients in the medication can also trigger allergic responses or other complications.
Before commencing the use of this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have experienced blood circulation issues in areas like your legs, arms/hands, or stomach, or if you have a history of specific types of headaches such as hemiplegic or basilar migraine. Mention any heart problems you may have encountered, such as chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or a previous heart attack, as well as any liver disease, seizures, or previous stroke or “mini-stroke” (transient ischemic attack).
Be aware that certain conditions can heighten the risk of heart problems. Inform your doctor if you have any of these conditions, which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a family history of heart disease, being overweight, smoking, being postmenopausal (for women), or being over 40 years old (for men).
Taking this medication may induce dizziness or drowsiness. Combining it with alcohol or marijuana can intensify these effects. Hence, avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in any activity that demands alertness until you can do so safely.
Note that this medication may contain aspartame. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that necessitates limiting or avoiding aspartame (or phenylalanine) in your diet, consult your doctor or pharmacist to ensure the safe use of this medication.
As age increases, the risk of heart disease, liver disease, and high blood pressure also rises. Older adults may be more susceptible to the drug’s side effects, particularly increased blood pressure and heart-related issues.
If you are pregnant, the use of this medication should only be considered when it is clearly needed. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor before proceeding.
Regarding breastfeeding, it is unknown whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding while taking this medication.
Form and Strength
Maxalt MLT is available in the following forms and strengths:
Maxalt MLT disintegrating tablet:
rizatriptan disintegrating table:
How long does Maxalt take to work?
Maxalt can relieve pain and other migraine symptoms within 30 minutes, but its effects might not last as long as other triptans because it’s shorter-acting.
Does Maxalt make you drowsy?
Yes, it’s possible for Maxalt to make you drowsy (sleepy). About 4-8% of people taking Maxalt reported drowsiness or fatigue as a side effect in clinical studies.