- Generic version of Maxalt
- Treats the headache stage of a migraine attack
- Relieves pain and symptoms
Please note brand received may vary
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Quick migraine facts
- 1 in 5 women suffer from migraines
- 1 in 15 men suffer from migraines
- Migraines last between 4 - 72 hours
- There are 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK
- Around 10 million people in the UK suffer from migraines
What is Rizatriptan?
Rizatriptan (commonly sold under the brand name of Maxalt) is a selective serotonin 5-HTR1B/1D receptor agonist, which are collectively known as triptans.
Rizatriptan is taken to relieve the pain caused by migraine headaches. It helps to shrink the blood vessels in your head back to normal during a migraine attack, relieving the headache and other symptoms caused by this problem.
What is Rizatriptan used to treat?
Rizatriptan is one of the most prescribed medications for migraine treatment. Chiefly, it is prescribed to treat the headache stage of a migraine attack.
You should take this medicine at the onset of a migraine attack for best results. It will normally take around 30 minutes for Rizatriptan to relieve your symptoms.
Rizatriptan will not prevent a migraine attack from occurring; it should only be taken when you feel one starting.
How does Rizatriptan work?
A migraine is believed to occur when the blood vessels surrounding the brain start to swell, triggering pain and other symptoms. Rizatriptan works by reducing the swelling of the vessels around the brain, prevents pain messages being sent to the brain, suppresses the production of a natural substance which cause pain, all of which helps to relieve the pain caused by a migraine headache.
Rizatriptan does not prevent a migraine attack from occurring and should not be taken as a preventative measure against migraines.
How to take Rizatriptan
Take this medicine as soon as possible after the onset of a migraine headache.
Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water.
The usual recommended dose of Rizatriptan is 10mg.
If you still have a migraine or if your symptoms come back, you can take a second dose of this medicine after 2 hours. Do not take more than two doses of this medicine in 24 hours. Leave a gap of at least 2 hours if you need to take a second dose.
Follow your doctor’s dosage instructions. You should read the patient information leaflet for full instructions on how to take Rizatriptan. Ask your doctor if you are unsure.
Who can take Rizatriptan?
Rizatriptan is an effective treatment for a migraine headache, but it is not suitable for everyone to take.
Before taking Rizatriptan tablets, you should talk to your doctor if you have any of the below:
- You have any of the following heart disease risks: high blood pressure, you are a man over the age of 40, you have a family history of heart disease, you are a postmenopausal woman, you smoke or use any form of nicotine substitute
- You are over the age of 65
- You have an intolerance to certain sugars
- You have kidney problems
- You have liver problems
- You have a problem with how your heart beats (bundle branch block)
- You are allergic to rizatriptan or any other ingredients in the medication (see Ingredients tab)
- You have or have had any allergies
- You use any herbal remedies that contain St. John's Wort
- Your headache is related to dizziness, difficulty in walking, lack of co-ordination or weakness in the leg and arm
- You have any blockage problems in your arteries
- You have had a stroke or mini stroke
- You have high blood pressure
- You have ever had any heart problems
Always read the patient information leaflet for comprehensive information on who may not be suitable to take Rizatriptan.
This medicine should not be taken by children who are under the age of 18.
Can you buy Rizatriptan over the counter?
Rizatriptan cannot be bought over the counter, it must be prescribed by a doctor.
Can you buy Rizatriptan online?
Rizatriptan is only available on prescription. To buy Rizatriptan online from Medicine Direct, you will need to fill out our online questionnaire to make sure this medicine is suitable for you to take. It should not be taken by anyone who has not been diagnosed with migraines by a doctor.
After you have completed our online questionnaire, one of our registered prescribers will review your answers. We sell Rizatriptan 10mg in packets of 3, 6, 9 or 12 tablets.
Order by 2pm for next day delivery.
Never buy any medicine online unless you are ordering from a registered pharmacy, like Medicine Direct.
Medicine Direct stocks a large variety of medicines for migraines. If Rizatriptan is not suitable for you to take, there are plenty of alternatives.
Various other triptan medicines, including Sumatriptan and Almotriptan, are available to buy from our online pharmacy after you have completed an online consultation questionnaire. These medicines work in the same way as Rizatriptan and are also prescription-only medicines (POMs).
Non-prescription alternatives include the likes of Migraleve Pink and Anadin Extra, which can also be ordered from our pharmacy after an online consultation.
View our Migraine page for a full list of products we sell to combat this condition.
Rizatriptan Indications and Dose
Our pharmacists and prescriber follow NICE guidelines when precribing Rizatriptan.
Always follow your doctor's instructions when taking this medication. Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start to use the treatment. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Rizatriptan should be taken as soon as possible after the onset of migraine symptoms.
The usual dose of Rizatriptan is 10mg.
If you are also taking propranolol or have kidney or liver problems, the dose will be lowered to 5mg. Leave at least 2 hours between taking propranolol and Rizatriptan tablets and do not take more than 2 doses in the same 24 hours.
Rizatriptan tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water. You can take them with or without food, but Rizatriptan will begin to work faster if it is taken on an empty stomach.
It it returns in 24 hours
If your migraine returns at some point in the 24 hours after taking the first dose of treatment, you can take a second dose of Rizatriptan. If you need to take a second dose of Rizatriptan, this should be at least 2 hours after taking the first dose.
If you still have a migraine after 2 hours
If your symptoms are not still alleviated, do not take another dose during the same migraine attack. It is still likely that you will respond to the treatment during the next attack.
Do not take more than 2 doses of this medicine within a single 24-hour period. Always wait for a minimum of 2 hours between doses.
What if I take more than I am supposed to?
If you take more of this treatment than you were prescribed, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible. Take the medicine pack with you.
Signs of an overdose can include dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, fainting and slow heart rate.
What is the recommended dosage of Rizatriptan?
When is Rizatriptan prescribed?
Can I reduce my risk of getting side effects?
How do I buy Rizatriptan online?
How effective is Rizatriptan?
How does Rizatriptan work?
Is it safe to use while taking other medication?
Is it safe to drive and operate machinery while taking it?
Rizatriptan Side Effects
The more common adverse effects of Rizatriptan can be found on the main page.
In rare cases, you may suffer from serious effects while taking Rizatriptan. You should seek immediate medical attention if you:
- Have a heart attack or a spasm of blood vessel in the heart
- Have serotonin syndrome, which may cause adverse effects like a coma, unstable blood pressure, high body temperature, lack of muscle coordination, agitation or hallucinations
- Have severe shedding of the skin, with or without fever
- Have seizures, convulsions or fits
- Experience a spasm in your extremities' blood vessels, including coldness and numbness of the hands or feet
- Experience a spasm of the blood vessels of the colon, causing abdominal pain
In rare instances, you may suffer a severe allergic reaction to Rizatriptan. If you experience any of the below symptoms, you should either call 999 or go to A&E immediately; you may require urgent treatment in a hospital:
- You are finding it difficult to speak or breathe
- You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling
- You have tightness in the chest or throat
- You have swelling in the mouth, throat, face, lips or tongue
- You are wheezing
This list may not be exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet for full information on all the possible adverse reactions you may suffer while taking Rizatriptan.
Rizatriptan Warnings and Drug Interactions
Certain medicines may interact with Rizatriptan when taken at the same time; this can increase your risk of undesired effects.
You must always make sure your doctor is aware of any other medication you are currently taking, including both prescription and non-prescription medications, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
In particular, you should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following before you start to take Rizatriptan:
- Any herbal remedies that contain St. John's Wort
- Any other 5-HTR1B/1D agonists or 'triptans'
- Any monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors
- Any ergotamine-type medications
- Any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Any serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
Read the leaflet that will accompany your medication for full information on drug interactions. If you have any questions or concerns at all, we strongly advise you to speak to your doctor.
Never order medicine online unless it is from a registered pharmacy. Medicine Direct is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council and all of our doctors are also certified.
We offer speedy delivery, with the option of next day delivery if you order before 2pm. Aside from our excellent delivery standards, we also assure you that your medication will arrive in plain packaging, promising discretion.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Sumatriptan is the preferred treatment for migraines during pregnancy as there is more data analysing how safe it is for use in pregnancy. With that said, analysis of other triptans for use in pregnancy found no risk of major malformations or congenital defects.
If you become pregnant while using this treatment, speak to your doctor.
You should not breastfeed for 24 hours after taking this medication.
Speak to your doctor for more information if you are unsure of anything.
The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Rizatriptan benzoate
For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics
Updated on: 21/07/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
How it works - get your medicine in 3 simple steps
- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.