Maxalt

Maxalt is a type of medication called Rizatriptan which is used to treat migraines and reduce the headache pain. It belongs to a group of medicines called Selective serotonin 5-HT receptor agonists which are commonly referred to as Triptans.

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Medicine Strength Quantity Price
Maxalt10mg3 tablets26.09
Maxalt Melt10mg 3 tablets26.09
Maxalt10mg6 tablet40.49
Maxalt Melt10mg6 tablets40.49
Maxalt10mg9 tablets58.49
Maxalt Melt10mg 9 tablets58.49
Maxalt10mg12 tablets76.49
Maxalt Melt10mg 12 tablets76.49
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About

What is Maxalt?

Maxalt is a type of medication called Rizatriptan which is used to treat migraines and reduce the headache pain. It belongs to a group of medicines called Selective serotonin 5-HT receptor agonists which are commonly referred to as Triptans. 

How does Maxalt work?

Maxalt works by reducing the swelling of the blood vessels around the brain which cause the headache to occur. 

Can Maxalt be used to prevent migraines?

Maxalt should only be taken when you feel a migraine attack coming on. It cannot be used to prevent a migraine. 

What causes migraines?

It's thought that migraines are caused by abnormal activity in the brain, triggering a reaction on the nerve signals and blood vessels. There are numerous possible triggers which may cause a migraine including hormonal, environmental, emotional and food based factors. These include: 

  • Stress 

  • Anxiety 

  • Depression 

  • Shock 

  • Tension 

  • Hormonal changes 

  • Menstruation 

  • Poor sleep 

  • Tiredness 

  • Shift work 

  • Routine disruption 

  • Bad posture 

  • Jet lag 

  • Low blood sugar 

  • Dehydration 

  • Caffeine 

  • Alcohol 

  • Missed or irregular meals 

  • Chocolate 

  • Citrus fruits 

  • A substance called Tyramine found in cured meat, fish and cheeses 

  • Bright light 

  • Flickering screen 

  • Loud noise 

  • Strong smells 

  • Cigarette smoke 

  • Stuffy surroundings 

  • Certain medications

 

Not all of these triggers will affect everyone. Try keeping a migraine diary to help identify what your triggers might be. 

What are the symptoms of a migraine?

The symptoms of a migraine usually include a headache but some individuals experience a migraine without a headache. The symptoms can include any of the following: 

  • An intense headache pain which can be on one or both sides of the head 

  • A throbbing pain or pulsing sensation 

  • Sensitivity to light or sound 

  • Visual disturbances 

  • Dizziness 

  • Lightheadedness 

  • Poor concentration 

  • Upset stomach 

  • Pins and needles 

  • Difficulty speaking

 

There are two main types of migraine; a migraine without aura and a migraine with aura. A migraine with aura is where you experience visual disturbances. These can include: 

  • Flashing lights 

  • Blind spots 

  • Zig zag patterns 

  • Seeing stars or spots 

 

This may feel alarming but aura is not usually anything to worry about and the visual disturbances don't normally last long 

What is the difference between a migraine and a headache?

A migraine feels like an intense headache and usually causes nausea and a sensitivity to light, sound or smells. The pain may be on one side of the head and cause a throbbing or pulsing sensation. A headache will not produce any additional symptoms and can usually be cleared up with painkillers.

Can I use Maxalt for normal headaches?

Maxalt cannot be used for a regular headache, it's only suitable for treating migraines. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Maxalt is Rizatriptan.

Inactive ingredients

The other ingredients contained in the medicine are lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose (E460a), starch, pregelatinised; iron oxide red (E172) and magnesium stearate (E572).

Dosage

How to take Maxalt

Maxalt should be taken as soon as possible after a migraine attack occurs. Swallow the tablet whole with a drink of water. If your migraine still persists after 2 hours then you can take another tablet. Do not exceed more than 2 tablets within 24 hours.

10mg is the recommended dose to treat a migraine. Take one tablet and do not exceed two tablets within 24 hours. Wait at least 2 hours between doses. If you have liver or kidney problems or if you are taking Propranolol then take a 5mg dose.  

What should I do if I forget to take Maxalt?

If you forget to take Maxalt, you can take it at any time during a migraine attack. Do not use it as a preventative measure. 

What should I do if I take too much Maxalt?

If you take too much Maxalt seek immediate medical attention. Take the medication with you so that the doctor can see what you have taken. 

Side Effects

Common side effects may include: 

  • Dizziness 

  • Sleepiness 

  • Tiredness 

  • Paraesthesia 

  • Headache 

  • Hypoaesthesia 

  • Decreased alertness 

  • Insomnia 

  • Heart palpitations 

  • Flushing 

  • Throat discomfort 

  • Nausea 

  • Indigestion 

  • Heaviness in the body 

  • Abdominal or chest pain 

 

Uncommon side effects may include: 

  • Bad taste in the mouth 

  • Unsteadiness 

  • Vertigo 

  • Blurred vision 

  • Tremor 

  • Fainting 

  • Confusion 

  • Nervousness 

  • High blood pressure 

  • Rash 

  • Hives 

  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Muscle tightness or weakness 

  • Arrhythmia 

  • Fast heartbeat 

 

Rare side effects can include: 

  • Wheezing 

  • Hypersensitivity 

  • Severe allergic reaction 

  • Stoke 

  • Slowed heartbeat 

  • Heart attack 

  • Serotonin syndrome 

  • Shedding of skin (possibly with a fever) 

  • Seizure 

  • Spasm of blood vessels 

  • Spasm of colon

Contraindications

Do not take Maxalt if: 

  • You are allergic to Rizatriptan or any of the other ingredients 

  • You have uncontrolled high pressure 

  • You have ever had heart problems 

  • You have severe liver or kidney problems 

  • You have ever had a stroke 

  • You have Peripheral vascular disease 

  • You are taking MAO inhibitors 

  • You are taking any other migraine medications 

 

Tell your doctor before taking Maxalt if: 

  • You have high blood pressure or any other heart disease risk factors 

  • You have kidney or liver problems 

  • You have bundle branch block 

  • You have any allergies 

  • Your headache is accompanied by dizziness, difficulty walking, lack of coordination or weakness in the legs and arms 

  • You are using St. John's wort 

  • You have ever experienced an allergic reaction to medication 

  • You are taking SSRIs (antidepressants)

  • You have chest pain or tightness 

Drug interactions

Do not use Maxalt if you are taking: 

  • Another type of Triptan

  • MAO inhibitors 

  • Ergotamine or Dihydroergotamine for migraines  

  • Methysergide to prevent migraines 

  • Propranolol 

  • SSRIs

Maxalt and alcohol

Drinking alcohol while using Maxalt can increase the risk of side effects and cause dehydration, interfering with the medication. It's not recommended to drink alcohol while you have a migraine as it can make your symptoms worse. 

Maxalt and pregnancy

Talk to your doctor for advice before using Maxalt during pregnancy. 

Can I drive while taking Maxalt?

Maxalt may make you feel dizzy or tired. Do not drive until you know how the medicine affects you. 

Treatment Options

Alternatives to Maxalt

The first line of treatment for a migraine is usually painkillers such as Paracetamol or Aspirin. If this doesn't work then talk to your doctor about your symptoms who can prescribe you with an appropriate medication. Other types of Triptans include Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan. Anti-emetics can also be given to ease Nausea and vomiting.

How to cope with migraines

During a migraine attack, the best thing to do is to lie down and rest in a dark room, steering clear of loud noises. Take medication as soon as possible to allow it time to work and ease the headache pain. Identifying possible factors which may be triggering your migraine can help you to avoid them. Recording the details of your migraine; such as the time, place, external factors and any food or drink consumed. If you have chronic migraines (more than 15 days out of the month) then you may be prescribed with a medication to prevent migraines. 

How to prevent migraines

Preventing migraines may not always be possible but finding out what your triggers are can help to avoid them as much as possible. Keeping a migraine diary can help you to identify them. Recording when and where they occur and any environmental factors present to identify any common factors. Drinking plenty of water, eating regular meals and getting enough sleep will also help.

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