Brand names: Maxalt-MLT, Maxalt
Maxalt is prescribed for the treatment of a migraine attack with or without the presence of an aura (visual disturbances, usually sensations of halos or flickering lights, which precede an attack). It cuts headaches short, but won't prevent attacks.
Maxalt should be used only for typical migraine headaches. It is not recommended for any other type of headache, or for unusual types of migraine such as hemiplegic or basilar migraine.
Take Maxalt as soon as your first symptoms appear. The drug is available in standard and orally disintegrating tablets (Maxalt-MLT). The standard tablets should be swallowed whole with liquid. No liquid is needed for Maxalt-MLT.
When using Maxalt-MLT, leave each individual blister pack in its foil pouch until needed. When ready, remove the pack from the pouch, peel it open with dry hands, and place the tablet on your tongue. The tablet will dissolve rapidly and can be swallowed with your saliva alone.
If your headache comes back, you may take a second dose as soon as 2 hours have elapsed. If the first dose provides no relief at all, check with your doctor before taking another.
Do not take more than 30 milligrams of Maxalt in a 24-hour period. Check with your doctor if you need to take the drug more than 4 times a month.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Maxalt.
If Maxalt gives you an allergic reaction, you won't be able to use it. You should also avoid Rizatriptan benzoate if you have certain types of heart or blood vessel disease, including angina (crushing chest pain) or a history of heart attack. Do not use it if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Never take Maxalt within 24 hours of using an ergotamine-type migraine medication such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, or methylsergide, or a drug in the same family as Maxalt, such as naratriptan, sumatriptan, or zolmitriptan. You should also refrain from using Maxalt within 2 weeks of taking an MAO inhibitor such as the antidepressants isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine.
Because some people with risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease have suffered an irregular heartbeat, a heart attack, or stroke after taking Maxalt, your doctor may ask you to take the first dose in the office, where you can be monitored for cardiac side effects. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, a history of heart disease in your family, and menopause all increase the odds of such side effects.
Maxalt can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Do not participate in any activities that require full alertness until you are certain of the drug's effect. Use Maxalt with caution if you have liver disease or need kidney dialysis. Also alert your doctor if you have an eye condition. There is a theoretical possibility that Maxalt could affect the eyes.
If your first dose of Maxalt has no effect on your symptoms, you may not be suffering from migraine. Ask your doctor for a re-evaluation.
If you have a condition called phenylketonuria, you should be aware that the Maxalt-MLT tablets contain phenylalanine.
Maxalt is not recommended for people under 18.
The following drugs may boost or add to the effect of Maxalt and should never be combined with it:Drugs classified as MAO inhibitors, including the antidepressants isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromineErgot-containing drugs such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, or methylsergideOther drugs in the Maxalt family, including naratriptan, sumatriptan, or zolmitriptan
Certain other drugs may also interact with Maxalt. Check with your doctor before combining it with the following:FluoxetineFluvoxamineParoxetinePropranololSertraline
The effects of Maxalt during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Maxalt appears in breast milk, but because many drugs do, you should use Maxalt with caution while nursing an infant.
The usual dose of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT is one 5- or 10-milligram tablet. Doses should be spaced at least 2 hours apart. Take no more than 30 milligrams a day.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.