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Maxalt is an antimigraine medication used to treat migraine headaches and their symptoms.

Rizatriptan is a serotonin receptor agonist that relieves symptoms of migraine headaches by binding to select receptors on intracranial blood vessels and sensory nerves. These inhibitory actions allow Maxalt to provide a pain-free state while reducing nausea, light sensitivity, and other symptoms.

This migraine medication is a well-tolerated treatment for mild to severe migraines with a low incidence of adverse effects. Maxalt has proven to be more effective at reducing migraines pain and symptoms than other triptan drugs.

Uses and Dosage

The dose of Maxalt prescribed will vary depending on the individual and the severity of their migraines being treated. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully.

  • Swallow tablet whole with a full glass of water
  • Take with or without food
  • Take as soon as migraine symptoms develop
  • Most adults start by taking 5 or 10mg
  • If symptoms do not improve or come back within 2 hours, take another dose
  • Do not take more than 30mg in 24 hours
  • Contact your doctor before taking more Maxalt if symptoms do not completely disappear
  • Consult your doctor if you have four headaches in one month
  • Do not take Maxalt for longer than 10 days each month
  • Your blood pressure may need to be checked more frequently when taking Maxalt
  • Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat

Side Effects

Maxalt may cause some side effects to develop while it affects the blood vessels around your brain. Speak with your doctor for more specific information regarding symptoms you may encounter when taking rizatriptan.

Common Maxalt side effects:

  • Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness
  • Pain or pressure in throat or chest

Serious Side Effects

Some more serious adverse reactions may occur when taking rizatriptan. Stop using Maxalt and contact your doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea
  • Cold or numb feet and hands
  • Heart attack symptoms (chest pain or pressure, pain spreading from jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating)
  • High serotonin levels (agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting)
  • Signs of a stroke (sudden numbness or weakness especially on one side of your body, sudden severe headache, slurred speech, vision or balance problems)
  • Dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure)

Allergic Reactions

Do not take Maxalt if you are allergic to rizatriptan. If you notice signs of an allergic reaction, stop taking this migraine medication and call your doctor.

Maxalt allergy symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat


Maxalt is not designed to help prevent headaches or reduce their frequency. Only use this migraine medication to treat symptoms for a headache that has already begun.

Do not take Maxalt 24 hours before or after using another migraine medication such as other triptan medicines or ergot medicine. Consult with your doctor before taking Maxalt to ensure there is no overlap with these medicines.

Do not take Maxalt if you have used an MAO inhibitor within the last 14 days. These inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine and others.

Maxalt may cause your reactions to be impaired, avoid driving or performing any tasks that require alertness until you know how this migraine medication will affect you.

Do not use Maxalt if you have any of the following:

  • Severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Past or present heart problems
  • History of coronary artery disease, angina, heart attack, or stroke
  • Blood vessel disorder or circulation problems causing a lack of blood supply
  • Headaches that seem different from your usual migraines

Tell your doctor if you take an antidepressant such as citalopram, dulexetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, or paroxetine to ensure you avoid drug reactions.

To ensure your safety in taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • High blood pressure, heart rhythm disorder
  • A condition requiring propranolol for treatment
  • Coronary heart disease or risk factors for the disease

Some other drugs may interact with rizatriptan and cause adverse reactions. Tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including over the counter medicine, vitamins, and herbal products, but especially any of the following:

  • Medicine for depression
  • Medicine to treat psychiatric disorders
  • Opioid medication
  • Anti-nausea and vomiting medication

Rizatriptan’s effects on unborn babies are unclear; consult with your doctor before using Maxalt while pregnant.

Rizatriptan may or may not pass into breast milk, causing harm to a nursing baby. Discuss with your doctor before breastfeeding a baby while taking Maxalt.

Maxalt is not an approved treatment for anyone under the age of 6.

Form and Strength

This antimigraine medication is available in tablet form.

Maxalt tablet strengths:

  • 5mg
  • 10mg

The 5mg Maxalt tablets are available in quantities of 6 and 12 while the 10mg ones are available in quantities of 8, 12, and 24.


How does Maxalt work?

Maxalt uses rizatriptan to reduce pain and symptoms related to migraine headaches by constricting blood vessels around the brain. The medication does this by binding to receptors in the brain that block pain messages to provide a pain-free state.

How long does it take for Maxalt to work?

Maxalt should start reducing your migraine symptoms within 30 minutes of taking a dose. After 2 hours, most patients should reach a pain-free state with minimal migraine symptoms. If pain returns after 2 hours, take another tablet. If your pain does not improve within this time, contact your doctor.



Additional information

Brand Name:


Scientific Name:


Other Names:

Maxalt, Rizact


5mg, 10mg

Quantities Available:

3, 6, 12