Maxalt (Rizatriptan)

(℞) Prescription Required - Rizatriptan is the Generic Equivalent of Maxalt

    Maxalt (Rizatriptan) Dosage and Side Effects

    MAXALT is intended to relieve your migraine headache and other associated symptoms of a migraine attack in adults.  Migraine headache is believed to be caused by a widening of the blood vessels in the head. MAXALT narrows the vessels and relieves the pain and other symptoms of migraine headache.

    Proper Use of this medication


    This medicine was prescribed only for YOU. Only a physician knows who can use it safely. Never give it to someone else. It may harm them, even if their symptoms are the same as yours.

    Usual dose:

    For adults, the usual dosage is 5 or 10 mg, as recommended by your physician. The dose should be taken as soon as your migraine appears, but it may be taken at any time during your migraine headache.

    If you are taking a tablet, swallow your dose with water.

    If you are using MAXALT RPD, leave the wafer in its package until you are ready to take it. Remove the blister from the foil pouch. Do not push the wafer through the blister; rather, peel open the blister pack with dry hands and place the wafer on your tongue. The wafer will dissolve rapidly and be swallowed with your saliva. No liquid is needed to take the wafer.

    A second dose may be taken if your headache returns. Repeat doses cannot be taken any sooner than 2 hours following the first dose. Do not take more than 20 mg in any 24-hour period.

    For any attack where you have no response to the first dose, do not take a second dose without first consulting your physician.


    In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.

    Side Effects

    Although the vast majority of MAXALT users have not experienced any significant problems, you should be aware of the following side effects:

    Common side effects:

    • sensations of pain, pressure or tightness in the chest, neck, throat, jaw or arms. If this happens to you, then discuss it with your physician before using any more MAXALT. If the chest pain is severe (may resemble an angina attack) or does not go away, stop taking drug and call your physician immediately.

    • tingling, heat, heaviness or pressure, dizziness, tiredness, or feeling sick. Tell your physician if you have any of these symptoms.

    • drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you are sure that you are not drowsy.

    • irregular or rapid heartbeats. If this happens to you, stop taking drug and then discuss it with your physician before using any moreMAXALT.

    Uncommon side effects:

    • Rapid onset of numbness or weakness on one side of the body (often beginning in one arm). If this occurs, stop taking drug and call your physician immediately.

    • Muscle pain. If this occurs, stop taking drug and call your physician immediately.

    Rare side effects:

    • shortness of breath, wheeziness, heart throbbing, swelling of the eyelids, face, tongue or lips; or a skin rash or skin lumps or hives or spasms of blood vessels of the extremities including coldness and numbness of the hands and feet. These effects happen rarely, but if any do occur, do not take any more MAXALT and contact your physician immediately.

    • sudden or severe abdominal pain. If this occurs, stop taking drug and call you physician immediately.

    Very rare side effects:

    • There have been very rare reports of seizures. If this occurs, stop taking drug and call your physician immediately.

    • Spasm of the blood vessels of the colon (large bowel). If this occurs, stop taking drug and call your physician immediately.

    If you feel unwell in any other way or have symptoms that you do not understand or find distressing, you should contact you physician immediately.

    Warnings and Precautions

    If the answer to any of the following questions is YES or if you do not know the answer, then please speak with your physician before you take any MAXALT.

    • Are you pregnant? Do you think you might be pregnant? Are you trying to become pregnant? Are you using inadequate contraception? Are you breast feeding?

    • Do you or have you ever experienced any pain or tightness in the chest, (which may or may not spread to your neck, jaw, or upper arm), shortness of breath, rapid heartbeats or irregular heartbeats? Do you have angina?

    • Have you ever had heart or blood vessel disease? Have you had a heart attack or stroke?

    • Do you have risk factors for heart disease, such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, or strong family history of heart disease? Are you post-menopausal, or a male over 40?

    • Have you ever had to stop taking this or any other medication because of an allergy or other problems?

    • Are you taking any other migraine 5-HT1 agonist medications such as Imitrex* (sumatriptan succinate/sumatriptan) or Amerge*(naratriptan as naratriptan hydrochloride), Zomig* (zolmitriptan) or migraine medications containing ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, or methysergide?

    • Are you taking any medications for depression such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as sertraline, escitalopram oxalate, and fluoxetine or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as venlafaxine, duloxetine, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MOIs)?

    • Have you ever experienced numbness on one side of your body when you have a headache?

    • Have you ever had, or do you have epilepsy or seizures?

    • Have you ever had, or do you have liver disease or kidney disease?

    • Is this headache different from your usual migraine attacks?

    • Are you over 65 years of age?

    Phenylketonuric patients:

    You should be aware that this product contains phenylalanine (a component of aspartame). Each 5 mg MAXALT RPD wafer contains 1.05 mg phenylalanine and each 10 mg MAXALT RPD wafer contains 2.10 mg phenylalanine.

    Continuous use of Maxalt:

    If you take MAXALT too often, this may result in you getting chronic headaches or marked increases in the frequency of your migraine attacks. In such cases, you should contact your doctor, as you may have to stop taking MAXALT.

    If you are not sure whether you should take MAXALT, contact your physician or pharmacist.

    MAXALT use during pregnancy:

    Do not use MAXALT if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, are trying to become pregnant or are using inadequate contraception, unless you have discussed this with your physician.

    Interactions with this medication

    If you are taking any other migraine medication, check with your physician first before taking MAXALT and inform your physician of any other medications you may be taking, including those obtained without a prescription.

    Do not take MAXALT or MAXALT RPD if you take monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such as moclobemide, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, or pargyline, or have taken MAO inhibitors within the last two weeks.

    Ask your physician for instructions about taking MAXALT or MAXALT RPD if you are taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as sertraline, escitalopram oxalate, and fluoxetine or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as venlafaxine, duloxetine for depression. A life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome can happen when medicines called triptans, such as MAXALT, and medicines used to treat depression and mood disorders called SSRIs and SNRIs are used together. Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome include the following: restlessness, diarrhea, hallucinations, coma, loss of coordination, nausea, fast heartbeat, vomiting, increased body temperature, changes in blood pressure and overactive reflexes.

    Other related products

    The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.