Brand Name: Maxalt® and Maxalt-MLT
Active Ingredient:   rizatriptan benzoate
Strength(s): 5 mg and 10 mg
Dosage Form(s):   Tablets and Orally Disintegrating Tablets
Company Name:    Merck & Co., Inc.
Availability:         Prescription only
*Date Approved by FDA:   June 29, 1998
*Approval by the FDA does not mean that the drug is available for consumers at this time.

What is Maxalt used for?  Maxalt is used for the short term treatment of most types of migraine attacks in adults. Maxalt is not used to prevent migraines, or to decrease the number of migraine attacks. Maxalt has not been shown to treat cluster headaches.

Who should not take Maxalt? You should not take Maxalt if you have any of following conditions:

  • History of heart or circulatory disease, including heart attack, angina (chest pain), or stroke
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • You have taken other migraine medications that are in the same class as Maxalt, or medications containing ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, or methysergide within the past 24 hours
  • Hemiplegic or basilar migraine
  • Are currently taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such as phenelzine or tranylcypromine, or have taken MAO inhibitors in the past 2 weeks
  • Phenylketonuric patients should not take Maxalt-MLT(orally disintegrating tablets), because they contain phenylalanine (a part of aspartame)

General Precautions with Maxalt:

If you have the following conditions, your health care provider will evaluate you to decide if Maxalt is right for you:

  • Risk factors for heart disease including, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking, strong family history of heart disease, or if you are postmenopausal, or a male over 40
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Moderate or severe liver disease

What are some possible side effects of Maxalt? (This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Maxalt. Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.

Some signs of rare but serious side effects include:

  • Pain, pressure or tightness in the chest or throat. If severe, or does not go away, call your health care provider right away. If this happens at all, discuss with your health care provider before taking any more Maxalt.
  • Rarely, people have a serious allergic reaction to Maxalt. This could cause shortness of breath, wheeziness, heart throbbing, swelling of eyelids, face, or lips, or a skin rash, lumps or hives. If this happens, tell your health care provider right away.

Other side effects may include:

  • Chest heaviness, or pressure
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness

For more detailed information about Maxalt, ask your health care provider.

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Recent Forum Posts on Maxalt

So many side effects

I have had migraines since I was about 15 and I'm 42 now. When Imatrex/Sumatriptan came out it was a blessing but also a curse. It stopped what could be 24 hours of intense pain in a dark room with vomiting. But also made me feel awful tightness in my neck and throat and severe nausea. When Rixatriptan/Maxalt came out I took that instead and it was much better. Lessened the nausea and tightness greatly but the side effects are still awful so much so that I waver about even taking it when I am in pain. I get migraines 4 times a week and cannot work because of them. I now realize after many years on this (and taking half a pill with gravol most of the time when I can get away with it) that it could be the cause of what I have thought was Fibromyalgia. Severe leg pain and chronic fatigue. I also have Reynaud's Syndrome which is freezing toes and feet that turn a slight blue colour. Some other side effects - which I didnt' realize were side effects of Maxalt and thought it was just other problems - are frequent urination esp the first 2 hours of taking Maxalt. I pee every 15 mins. I thought I had an overactive bladder problem. I get irritable, very depressed, I get a little slurred speech, I can't remember what I was going to say. Too tired to lift my arms to reach something. Hot flashes at first then extremely cold for most of the day so that no microwavable hot pads can even keep me warm. Hope this helps someone. I am trying to stop using this but my doctor says the only newer alternative is Voltaran pills. This has worked a few times but not for very bad migraines. Has anyone had gasto issues with this drug? I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and GERD but not sure if it was before starting this med or after. I am pretty sure it gives me heartburn though. Anyone else have constipation or trouble going?

Maxalt caused more headaches

I mentioned to a new doctor that I sometimes have migraines, so she prescribed Maxalt. At first I also thought it was a miracle drug as it relieved my headaches within about 30 minutes of feeling one coming on. However, after using it off and on for about 3 months, it is now causing rebound headaches. I took it for about 5 days straight before I realized that the Maxalt is actually causing the headaches. I will not be taking it any more. It is crazy to take a drug for headaches that causes headaches. I'm now trying a more natural approach of taking butterbur and feverfew. After six weeks, it may cut my headache frequency in half, at least.


I have suffered from Migraines for over 20 years and for 15 of those years I have used Maxalt 10 mg. I usually took about 10 per month. Two weeks ago I had a really bad migraine and I took a Maxalt. I woke up in the morning with vision loss in my right eye. My doctor said he is suspicious of the Maxalt causing a drastic drop in blood pressure causing the optic nerve to be starved of oxygen. I wish I had known these risks before. If you do take Maxalt, make sure your blood pressure doesn't drastically drop taking this. I learned to late and now am partially blind in one eye. I have no history of heart disease,artery disease or heart problems. All I ask is that you make sure your blood pressure stays stabile while taking this.

Maxalt is my miracle!

I have had migraines all my life but wouldn't admit they were migraines. About 9 years ago my doctor gave me samples of Maxalt. I was afraid to take it at first but was tired of the 3 day and 3 night headaches and taking so many pain pills I felt like I was in a drug stupor but still had the headache. The first Maxalt I took stopped the headache in 45 minutes. I thought it was a fluke. It wasn't a real migraine. Since then I have never had a migraine that Maxalt didn't knock out in 45 minutes. Lately I have had to take one a day for about 3 or four days. Some months I have about 3 migraines - other times I can go about 2 months without one. My doctor suggested Frova. It took 4 hours for it to stop the headache but is supposed to stop the rebound headaches the Maxalt has started causing. Don't think I will trade it for the Maxalt though. I like the 45 minute relief.

No Subject

Maxalt is the best kinda med i have ever taking for migrane i have been on all kindas of meds be for but this is the best and it makes me feel better not only in the head but mental i love it


I have been taking Maxalt for over 3 years. I have always found that it has worked for me better than any other medication. I was even put on Nitro heart pills for awhile to open up the blood vessels. If there was a medication out there to try, I tried it. Nothing worked until I tried this. I can see now that there is a VERY merciful God. Every time I have to take one of those little pills, I thank God for the inventor. I have not experienced any of the side effects that others seem to have, and for that, I am grateful. FOR ME, there could be no better medicine.

Watch for rebound pain the next day

I take maxalt to try and deal with my diagnosed migraines. I experience migraines 8 to 10 times a month, due to maxalts cost, I can only afford to use it extreme days (maybe 1/4 of the migraines, the ones with vomiting and shaking). Maxalt will alleviate the pain completely if taken within a half hour of the onset of the attack. However, be warned that I experience "rebound" headaches the next day about 50% of the time with a magnitude of about half of the initial migraine. Days when I haven't taken maxalt and take suffer through it I don't have a rebound headache. The melting maxalt is great, since it is impervious to the vomiting.

Maxalt works

My 13 year old son has been experiencing uncontrolable migraines for the last 2 years. He wakes in the middle of the night usually without any precurser that he's going to have a headache. His doctor had tried him on a wide range of drugs to prevent the headaches but they just made him sick and tired all the time. He tried Imitrex, but had a severe allergic reaction. Finally he was prescribed Maxalt. When he wakes with a headache or feels one coming on he takes a 10mg. It usually works within 30 minutes, but it makes him go to sleep. I'd love to find something that works as well without the need to sleep and feel "out of it".

addictive to vasculature??

I have taken Maxalt for nearly 3 years. It works well even with the cluster headaches. . My conern is that over the last month, I have required Maxalt every other day. When the HA starts--(almost always in the morning) usually in the sinus and radiates to my eye and face-- I take the Maxalt and it will dissipate. I feel better the rest of the day and great the next day. BUT then the next morning the process starts again. My concern, eventhough the literature I ahve read doesn't support it, I am wondering if Maxalt is addictive -- as neo-synephriine is to the nasl membranes. Have any of you heard or experieced this before?

No Subject

I experienced dizziness and sleepiness with my quick disolving tabs but not the regular ones. I'm wondering why. I'm also wondering why it is lasting for so long. I took the quick disolve tablet 9 hours ago and still am dizzy. Any comments?

Maxalt frequency

I have been taking Maxalt for migraines now for about 2 years and has found that it helps more than any other drug - it is a miracle. I recently heard something though that you should not take it more than 4 times a month or it will destroy your liver. Can anyone else confirm this? I have had some bad migraine episodes lately and have been taking about 12/month! Please advise!!!!


I love this medication...I suffered with migraines that put me in bed sometimes 3 or 4 days a week for MONTHS. I talked to my doc and he prescribed Maxalt. I get the twinge of a headache and take one of these little guys and lie down...within MINUTES its gone. It does make me feel tired and a little out of it but I will take that anytime over a debilitating headache-THANKS MAXALT!

No Subject

I took Maxalt for the first time today. The pill made me very drowsy and I am having a "buzzy" feeling. I still have a faint headache and am very tired. It if very difficult to work. Will these side effects go away?

Side Effects

I first used Maxalt this week to prevent a full blown migraine from occuring. The first pill, did stop the pain and nausea from becomeing unbearable. But, after a few hours, the pain started to come back. I took a second Maxalt and that dose did stop the pain completely. It has been 12 hours since I took the second pill, and though I do not have a migraine, I am still feeling very tired, and dizzy. I assume these are side effects from the Maxalt. Is this normal and is there anything that I should do to prevent these side effects. I am very pleased to not have gotten the full blown migraine, but am struggling with the after effects.

No Subject

I have been suffering from strong migraine fits since 1995 even though I remember some occasional unidentified occurrences as a child. I was deeply worried and depressed for the many various symptons until my husband took me to a headache specialist who prescribed Maxalt (1998). It proved wonderful. I started with 10mg pills, now I break the pill in two halves because I do not want to take more than I need. This is effective if the migraine is right at the beginning. In time, however, I find that it takes longer and longer for the drug to relieve pain. I also fear that using often and for a long time (I have about 10 fits per month), in the long run it can impair my faculties. I would appreciate receiving an answer on this topic.

seems to work

Since childhood I've gotten bad headaches centered around one eye. It feels like someone parked a car on my face. The past year they've gotten worse, sometimes lasting for 2 or 3 days and accompanied by nausea -- agonizing and debilitating. I had tried aspirin, acetomeniphen, ibuprofin, naproxin, and even Vicodin ... nothing would touch my headaches. Last time it was so bad I went to the ER. They administered intravenous reglin, but it had no effect. It took two shots of the narcotic Dilaudid to kill the pain, but it made the nausea much worse, so I was not happy.

Finally a new doctor thought it was migraine and prescribed Maxalt. I'll be darned, but I think the stuff might actually work. There have been some times when I felt a headache coming on, I took a Maxalt and it killed the headache before it got bad. The time it takes to work seems to vary from about 20 minutes to a couple of hours. But even having a headache for 2 hours is nothing compared to hours and days of disabling pain.

And I have had no side effects. The headache goes away completely and I feel normal. I can't believe I found something that works for my headaches!

ps - It even seems to have aborted a headache that, I confess, was likely triggered by hangover. Amazing.


I like Maxalt. I have had Migraines since age 12. I have tried every thing on the market. It does work well. I get sleepy but I can work through it. My problem is I am starting to notice lower back pain the moring after taking the medicine. At first I thought I had pulled a muscle some how but then I noticed a pattern. I keep telling myself it is not from the meds. but I'm not sure. Anyone else have this problem? I am concerned it could be effecting my kidneys.


I have been taking Maxalt when necessary for approximately 3 years. My headache starts with flashing lights which in itself makes me feel giddy and sick. Maxalt relieves those symptoms in a short space of time but I am left feeling completely washed out and cannot concentrate. The relief from the initial symptoms is great but don't like how I feel afterwards especially if I am at work.


I have suffered from migraines off and on for 30 years. I had a physical this past April and my Doctor suggested I try Maxalt. I held on to the prescription for 5 months, thinking I'd get around to filling it at some point. I thought that my extra strength tylenol, tylenol migraine, advil migraine or simply 'sleeping it off'if my 3 young boys would let me was good enough. This past week I have had such pain and nausea, I decided to dig up the prescription. I had it filled and popped it in as soon as I got in the car. Within 15-20 minutes I had my life back! As others have stated, I do feel tired and groggy but the fear of what the heck could be going on in my head, to cause this kind of pain is GONE. It is a truly a wonderful drug!

Maxalt Is Awesome!

I have been suffering menstrual migraines since I was 14 years old. My doctor finally figured out for me 4 years ago at the age of 22 that is was due to menstruation. I never really noticed that I would get a migraine about a week before my period. I would then end up vomiting for 6 hours because of it. So he prescribed the oral disentigrating tablets and I didn't like the tast so I went with the 10mg pill. The pills work so great and so fast that I forget I even had a headache. They work in about 10-20 minutes. I could have the migraine for 4 hours and it will still work. I never have any side effects from it and I sleep so great too. I recommend that anyone who suffers migraines to talk to their doctor. I consider it a miracle drug and I don't know how I ever lived without it!

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