Migraine Treatments

Rizatriptan for Migraine Treatment: What You Should Know

What is rizatriptan?

Rizatriptan (generic Maxalt®) is a triptan medication that’ll help knock out the symptoms like headache pain that come with an acute migraine attack.

What will it do for me?

When you feel a migraine starting to roll in, Rizatriptan can help nip it in the bud (before you have to retreat into a dark room for two days). Rizatriptan may be able to relieve you of the full spectrum of acute migraine pain (which could include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light/sound).

How does it help?

Did you know that when you get a migraine, your blood vessels over-expand? Rizatriptan tablets act like traffic controllers for the blood vessels around your brain. When things get really bad, they help to…

  • narrow the expanded blood vessels (also known as vasoconstriction for the scientist in you).
  • decrease any inflammation in the nerves.
  • turn down the volume on those loud pain signals making your brain feel like it’s going to explode.

How do I get Rizatriptan?

Rizatriptan is a prescription medicine so you’ll need to talk to your doctor first. Get started today with a Cove doctor consultation.

How should I take it?

Right away, of course (which means you should try to take it at the very first sign of a migraine). You can take rizatriptan with water, with or without food.

What should I be cautious of?

If any of the below looks familiar, definitely talk to your doctor before taking rizatriptan because, like any prescription medication, drug interactions and side effects can be unpleasant. Here are some risk factors to consider:

  • You’re on other medications.
  • You’ve had angina, heart attack, chest pain, or other heart conditions.
  • You’ve had a stroke or TIA.
  • You’ve had a stroke-like migraine (hemiplegic migraine).
  • You’ve been told you’ve had a brainstem migraine (basilar migraine).
  • You have poor circulation.
  • You have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • You have certain heart arrhythmias (irregular rhythms).
  • You have severe liver disease.
  • You’re taking other acute prescription migraine medication.

Can I take Rizatriptan with other migraine medications?

Don’t take Rizatriptan with any other migraine-specific medication (like Sumatriptan). Other acute pain and preventative medications are okay. Taking propranolol too? That’s fine, but make sure you only take half of your usual dose of rizatriptan (5mg) as its effects are increased when combined with other medications.

What happens if can’t take it right away?

Take it as quickly as you can at the first signs of a migraine.

Where should I keep my rizatriptan?

Keep it in a dry place at a cool room temperature.

Are there any side effects?

Generally speaking, most people handle rizatriptan quite fine. Some experience dizziness, warmth, tingling, and non-heart related chest discomfort.

What other triptans are available?

There are currently six other triptan drugs prescribed in the United States in addition to rizatriptan: sumatriptan (generic Imitrex®), almotriptan (generic Axert®), eletriptan (generic Relpax®), frovatriptan (generic Frova®), naratriptan (generic Amerge®), zolmitritpan (generic Zomig®).

Cove currently offers oral sumatriptan.



The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Sumatriptan and rizatriptan are oral medications indicated for the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura in adults and not for the prophylactic therapy of migraine attacks or for the treatment of cluster headache. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using either of these drugs while you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. Call your doctor right away if you have chest, throat, neck, or jaw tightness, pain, pressure, or heaviness; break out in a cold sweat; shortness of breath; a fast heartbeat; a heartbeat that does not feel normal; or very bad dizziness or passing out. Very bad and sometimes deadly brain blood vessel problems like stroke have rarely happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on 1 side of the face, or change in eyesight. You can read more about sumatriptan’s side effects, warnings, and precautions here. Full prescribing information for sumatriptan is available here. You can read more about Rizatriptan side effects, warnings, and precautions here. Full prescribing information for rizatriptan is available here. Propranolol is used to treat high blood pressure and prevent migraine headaches. Do not stop taking these drugs all of a sudden. If you do, chest pain that is worse and in some cases heart attack may occur. The risk may be greater if you have certain types of heart disease. To avoid side effects, you will want to slowly stop this drug as ordered by your doctor. Call your doctor right away if you have new or worse chest pain or if other heart problems occur. You can read more about propranolol side effects, warnings, and precautions here. Full prescribing information for propranolol is available here. * *You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch: https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm or call 1-800-FDA-1088.