What is Maxalt?
Maxalt (rizatriptan) is a headache medicine that narrows the blood vessels around the brain. Rizatriptan also reduces substances in the body that can trigger headache pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms.
Maxalt is used to treat migraine headaches. Maxalt will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.
Maxalt should not be used to treat a common tension headache, a headache that causes loss of movement on one side of your body, or any headache that seems to be different from your usual migraine headaches. Use this medicine only if your condition has been confirmed by a doctor as migraine headaches.
You should not use Maxalt if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart problems, a history of heart attack or stroke, or circulation problems that cause a lack of blood supply within the body.
Do not take Maxalt within 24 hours before or after using another migraine headache medicine.
Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.
Also tell your doctor if you are also taking an antidepressant such as citalopram (Celexa), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone (Desyrel, Oleptro), venlafaxine (Effexor), or vilazodone (Viibryd).
Maxalt will only treat a headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks.
After taking a Maxalt tablet, you must wait two (2) hours before taking a second tablet. Do not take more than 30 mg of rizatriptan in 24 hours.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Maxalt if you are allergic to rizatriptan, or if you have:
- severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
- past or present heart problems;
- a history of coronary artery disease, angina (chest pain), heart attack, or stroke, including “mini-stroke”;
- a blood vessel disorder or circulation problems that cause a lack of blood supply within the body;
- a headache that seems different from your usual migraine headaches.
Do not use Maxalt if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
To make sure Maxalt is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver or kidney disease;
- high blood pressure, a heart rhythm disorder;
- a condition for which you take propranolol (Hemangeol, Inderal, InnoPran);
- coronary heart disease (or risk factors such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).
Maxalt disintegrating tablets may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of rizatriptan if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether rizatriptan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Maxalt is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.
Maxalt side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Maxalt: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Maxalt and call your doctor at once if you have:
- sudden and severe stomach pain and bloody diarrhea;
- cold feeling or numbness in your feet and hands;
- heart attack symptoms – chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
- high levels of serotonin in the body – 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 the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
- dangerously high blood pressure – severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure.
Common Maxalt side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
- pain or a feeling of pressure in your throat or chest.