Generic Name: Rizatriptan (RYE za TRIP tan)

Brand Names: Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT


What is Maxalt?

Maxalt is a trade name of the active ingredient Rizatriptan which has been approved by FDA to arrest the migraine attacks in adults and children.

Maxalt is one of the most effective medicines for the treatment of migraine because it removes a cause of the migraine appearance. The pharmacological action of Rizatriptan is conditioned by the inhibition of 5-hydroxytryptamine 1D receptors which are localized in the vessels of the brain.

Maxalt does not affect other subtypes of serotonin receptors because it gives a high selective action.

Severe migraine appears during the dilation of the vessels of meninges and their edemas. Rizatriptan stimulates the narrowing of the arteries in the brain but it does not influence on the cerebral blood flow. Therefore a person does not feel the action of the medicine and the worsening of the brain activity.

Besides curing the main symptom of migraine – headache, Maxalt prevents nausea, vomiting, and photophobia.

A significant therapeutic effect of Maxalt appears within 30 minutes after taking the single dose.

When and how to take Maxalt?

In order to stop a severe headache, Maxalt should be taken during the first signs of migraine: precursor symptom, darkness in the eyes, and feeling of heaviness in one part of the head. The well-timed use of the pill will help to avoid unpleasant symptoms even though the medicine acts at any stage of migraine.

The Maxalt pills is taken orally with a full glass of water. A single dose of Maxalt is 10 mg.

If the headache grows after arresting the first attack, another pill of Maxalt 10 mg can be taken but only in 2 hours after the use of the previous pill.

The maximal daily dose of Maxalt is 30 mg. The application of the higher doses is pointless even during the frequent attacks of migraine because it will cause side effects due to the disorder of the blood circulation in the tissues of the brain.


  • If you are taking antihypertensive medicine Propranolol, a single dose of Maxalt should not exceed 5 mg, and the daily dose is 15 mg.
  • If you take other medicines from the group of 5-hydroxytryptamine 1D receptors, the interval between the use of the medicines should be at least 6 hours.
  • It has been medically proved that MAO inhibitors increase the concentration of Rizatriptan in the systemic blood flow, and therefore the dose of Maxalt must be reduced during the simultaneous use of these products.
  • Patients under 18 years old are not recommended Maxalt as the basic product for the migraine treatment.

In case of severe cardiovascular diseases, arterial hypertension, or recent myocardial infarction, or stroke, the use of Maxalt may be contraindicated. If there are pathologic changes in the work of the cardiovascular system, one should have a medical examination before taking Maxalt.

Rizatriptan has been approved by FDA for the treatment of migraine but its action to the development of fetus is not completely studied. Due to this reason, the use of Maxalt is possible during pregnancy only by the recommendations of the doctor and if the risks for a child are less than the expected use for arresting migraine attacks in the mother.

Possible side effects

The side effects may happen in patients who take Maxalt for the migraine treatment for the first time. These patients may experience weakness, low mental activity, insomnia, tremor, disorientation, pain in chest, rapid heartbeat, muscle weakness, fever, or flashes.

All these side effects are usually caused by the individual reaction of the body to the action of Maxalt but they do not have a negative influence on the body and do not affect the therapeutic activity of the medication. These side effects pass during the regular use of Maxalt to arrest the migraine attacks.