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Adeel Arshad

Authored on 24 January 2024 by Adeel Arshad,

Reviewed 24 January 2024 by Dr Ruch Karunadasa.



MAXALT belongs to a class of medicines called selective serotonin 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists. It is used to treat the headache phase of the migraine attack in adults.

Medication effect duration

Like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using it. PrivateDoc offers a confidential free consultation service that may result in you receiving a prescription for Maxalt, if it can prescribed safely.


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What is Maxalt?

Maxalt is a medication which reduces swelling of blood vessels surrounding the brain. This swelling results in the headache pain of a migraine attack.

How much does Maxalt cost?

Maxalt medication pack


5mg 10mg

Pack size

Who can use Maxalt

Do not take MAXALT if:

  • If you’re allergic to sumatriptan
  • you are allergic to rizatriptan benzoate or any of the other ingredients of MAXALT
  • you have moderately severe or severe high blood pressure or mild high blood pressure that is not controlled by medication
  • you have or have ever had heart problems including heart attack or pain on the chest (angina) or you have experienced heart disease related signs
  • you have severe liver or severe kidney problems
  • you have had a stroke (cerebrovascular accident CVA) or mini stroke (transient ischaemic attack TIA)
  • you have blockage problems with your arteries (peripheral vascular disease)
  • you are taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such as moclobemide, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, or pargyline (drugs against depression), or linezolid (an antibiotic), or if it has been less than two weeks since you stopped taking MAO inhibitors
  • you are now taking ergotamine-type medications, such as ergotamine or dihydroergotamine to treat your migraine or methysergide to prevent a migraine attack
  • you are taking any other drug in the same class, such as sumatriptan, naratriptan, or zolmitriptan to treat your migraine

For further information and contraindications please see the patient information leaflet

How to take Maxalt

MAXALT is used to treat migraine attacks. Take MAXALT as soon as possible after your migraine headache has started. Do not use it to prevent an attack.

Always take MAXALT exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or your pharmacist if you are not sure. The usual dose is 10 mg.

If you are currently taking propranolol or have kidney or liver problems you should use the 5-mg dose of MAXALT. You should leave at least 2 hours between taking propranolol and MAXALT up to a maximum of 2 doses in a 24-hour period.

MAXALT (rizatriptan benzoate) tablets should be taken by mouth and swallowed whole with liquid.

If migraine returns within 24 hours:-

In some patients, migraine symptoms can return within a 24-hour period. If your migraine does return you can take an additional dose of MAXALT. You should always wait at least 2 hours between doses.

If after 2 hours you still have a migraine:-

If you do not respond to the first dose of MAXALT during an attack, you should not take a second dose of MAXALT for treatment of the same attack. It is still likely, however, that youwill respond to MAXALT during the next attack.

Do not take more than 2 doses of MAXALT in a 24-hour period, (for example, do not take more than two 10 mg or 5 mg tablets or oral lyophilisate in a 24-hour period).

You should always wait at least 2 hours between doses.

If your condition worsens, seek medical attention.

For further information and dosage please see the patient information leaflet

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, MAXALT can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. The following side effects may happen with this medicine:-

In adult studies, the most common side effects reported were dizziness, sleepiness and tiredness.

Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)

  • tingling (paraesthesia), headache, decreased sensitivity of skin (hypoaesthesia), decreased mental sharpness, insomnia.
  • fast or irregular heart beat (palpitation).
  • flushing (redness of the face lasting a short time).
  • throat discomfort.
  • feeling sick (nausea), dry mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion (dyspepsia).
  • feeling of heaviness in parts of the body, neck pain, stiffness.
  • pain in abdomen or chest.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of allergic reactions, serotonin syndrome, heart attack or stroke.

In addition, tell your doctor if you experience any symptoms that suggest an allergic reaction (such as a rash or itching) after taking MAXALT.

For further information and a full list of possible side effects please see the patient information leaflet

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