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Brand names: Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT
Drug class: antimigraine agents

What is Maxalt?

Maxalt is an anti-headache medicine that narrows blood vessels in the area of the brain. Rizatriptan reduces the substances in your body that cause headache pain, nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. Maxalt can be used to treat headaches. Maxalt can only be used to treat headaches that have already started. Maxalt will not reduce headaches or prevent them. Maxalt is not recommended for treating a tension headache or a headache causing loss of motion on one side. It should also be avoided if the headache seems different from migraine headaches. This medicine should only be used if a doctor has confirmed that your condition is migraine headaches.


Maxalt should not be used if you suffer from uncontrolled high blood tension, heart problems, have a history of heart attack, stroke or circulation issues that lead to a lack in blood supply. Maxalt shouldn't be taken 24 hours prior to or after certain migraine headache medications. You should consult your pharmacist if you plan to take Maxalt along with any of these medications. If you've taken an MAO-inhibitor in the last 14 days (such as isocarboxazid or linezolid), phenelzine rasagiline selegiline or tranylcypromine, do not take this medication.

Tell your doctor if other antidepressants are being taken, such as citalopram, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, Paxil, Pexeva, trazodone, Oleptro, venlafaxine, Effexor, or vilazodone. Maxalt can only be used to treat headaches that have already started. Maxalt will not reduce headaches or prevent them. You must wait at least two (2) hours after taking the first Maxalt tablet before you take a second one. Take no more than 30mg of rizatriptan within 24 hours.

Before you take this drug.

Maxalt should not be used if:

  • Heart problems, past or present
  • A history of coronary arterial disease, angina, heart attack or stroke (including "mini-stroke");
  • A blood vessel disorder, or circulation problems which cause a lack in blood supply to the body (such ischemic bowel diseases);
  • A headache that is different from the usual migraine headaches.

Maxalt should not be used if MAO inhibitors have been taken in the last 14 days. It is possible that a dangerous drug interaction will occur. MAO inhibitors are isocarboxazid (linezolid), phenelzine (rasgiline), selegiline (tranylcypromine), methylene-blue injection, and others. You should not take Maxalt if you are taking a medication that is similar to Maxalt or containing ergot (examples: dihydroergotamine, methysergide).

Tell your doctor about any of the following to ensure that Maxalt will be safe for you:

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • High blood pressure is a disorder of the heart rhythm;
  • Propranolol is prescribed for a specific condition (Hemangeol Inderal InnoPran).
  • Coronary heart disease (or other risk factors, such as menopause or diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, a family history, older age, male gender, and having had a hysterectomy).

Maxalt disintegrating tablets may contain phenylalanine. If you suffer from phenylketonuria, consult your doctor before taking this form of Rizatriptan.This medicine is not known to harm an unborn child. Inform your doctor if pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is unknown if rizatriptan can pass into breast milk, or if it will harm a baby who is nursing. Inform your doctor if a child is breastfed .Maxalt is not FDA approved for anyone under the age of 6 years.

How to take Maxalt?

Maxalt should be taken exactly as directed by your doctor. You may be prescribed Maxalt by your doctor in a hospital or clinic to treat any side effects.Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts, or for longer than recommended. Take this medication only as prescribed. Do not exceed the recommended dosage or take it for longer.As soon as you experience migraine symptoms, take Maxalt.The regular tablet should be taken whole, with a glass of water. Maxalt can be taken with food or without.Take the Maxalt-MLT tablet orally:

  • Keep the blister pack in which you received your tablet until it is time to use it. Peel back the foil and open the package. You may damage your tablet if you push the tablet through the foil.
  • Remove the tablet with dry hands and place it into your mouth.
  • The tablet should not be swallowed whole. Do not chew the tablet. You can drink liquids to help you swallow the tablet.

Take a second tablet two hours after taking the first tablet. If you still have a headache or it returns, then take another tablet. Take no more than 30mg of rizatriptan within 24 hours. Contact your doctor if your symptoms do not improve before taking more tablets.If you have a headache after taking a tablet for children aged 6-17, and it does not go away completely, or if the headache goes away but then comes back again, consult your doctor.If your headache persists after taking Maxalt, call your doctor.Do not exceed the recommended dosage. Migraine headache medication can worsen headaches if taken in excess.

If you experience more than four headaches within a month (30 days), contact your doctor. Take migraine headache medicine no more than 10 days a month. Inform your doctor if your medication does not seem to be working as well at treating migraine attacks.

Maxalt can cause dangerously high blood pressure. You may need to check your blood pressure frequently while taking this medication. You may need an ECG or electrocardiograph (also called EKG) to check your heart function if you are using Maxalt for a long time.Store away from heat and moisture at room temperature.

Details on dosage.

Use the usual adult dose for migraine:Only use after a migraine diagnosis has been madeInitial dose: 10 mg or 5 mg orally once If migraines return, you can administer a second dose at least two hours after the first one if there was a positive response. Maximum dose: 30 mg in a 24-hour period

The 10 mg dose could provide a greater effect but there is a higher risk of side effects.
This drug should not treat basilar or paraplegic headaches, as these patients have a higher risk of stroke.The safety of treating 4 migraine attacks or more in a 30 day period has not yet been proven. In placebo-controlled studies, the effectiveness of second or subsequent doses was not established.

Use: To treat acute migraines with or without aura. Use the usual pediatric dose for migraine: Only use after a migraine diagnosis has been made Weight less than 40 kg for 6 year olds and older
Initial dose: 5 mg once orally Six years old or older, and weighing 40 kg or more:
Initial dose: 10 mg once orally Maximum 1 dose per 24-hour period
This drug should not treat basilar or paraplegic headaches, as these patients have a higher risk of stroke. The safety and effectiveness of taking more than one dose in 24 hours have not been proven.
Use: To treat acute migraines with or without aura, in patients aged 6 years and older.

What happens if I miss the dose?

Maxalt does not require a schedule of daily dosages because it is only used when needed. If your symptoms don't improve after taking Maxalt, call your doctor immediately.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 for Poison Help or seek immediate medical attention.

What should be avoided?

  • Take Maxalt at least 24 hours after taking another migraine headache medication, such as:
  • Medicines like rizatriptan include almotriptan (also known as eletriptan), frovatriptan (also known as naratriptan), sumatriptan (also called zolmitriptan), and others.
  • ergot medicine - dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, ergonovine, methylergonovine.
  • Maxalt can impair your reactions or thinking. You should be careful when driving or doing anything else that requires alertness.

Side effects of Maxalt

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: difficulty breathing, swelling of your lips, face, tongue or throat, hives, etc., seek emergency medical attention.

If you experience:

  • Cold feeling in the feet or hands;
  • Heart attack symptoms include chest pain, pressure or pain that spreads to the jaw or shoulder area, nausea and sweating.
  • Serotonin levels are high in the body and can cause agitation, hallucinations (including a fever), overactive reflexes (such as nausea), vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of coordination.
  • Signs of stroke: sudden numbness, weakness, or headache (especially one side), slurred or distorted speech, or problems with vision, balance, or coordination;
  • Seizures, chest pain, dizziness, confusion, anxiety and high blood pressure symptoms include: headaches, blurred vision, buzzing ears, anxiety, confusion.
  • Dizziness, fatigue, or drowsiness
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or throat.

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. FDA can be contacted at 1-800-FDA-1088 to report side effects.

Interaction with other drugs.

Taken together with certain other medications, Maxalt can lead to a buildup of serotonin in the body. This situation is known as serotonin syndrome and it can be very dangerous. Tell your doctor if:

  • Medicine to treat depression
  • Medicine to treat a mental disorder
  • A narcotic medication (opioid);
  • Medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting

This list is incomplete. Other drugs, such as prescription and over-the counter medicines, vitamins and herbal products, may interact with Rizatriptan. This medication guide does not list all possible interactions.