|Type of medicine||5HT1-receptor agonist|
|Used for||Treatment of acute migraine in adults|
Maxalt® Melt Wafers
Wafers (dissolve in the mouth)
It is not clear what causes migraine. It is thought that some chemicals in the brain increase in activity, and as a result parts of the brain then send out confused signals which result in the symptoms of migraine.
It is also not clear why people with migraine should develop these chemical changes and most migraine attacks occur for no apparent reason. In some people however, there may be things which trigger an attack, like certain foods or drinks.
Rizatriptan works by stimulating receptors called serotonin (or 5HT) receptors that are found in the brain. This improves the symptoms felt during a migraine.
Before taking rizatriptan
Before taking rizatriptan make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have Prinzmetal's angina or circulatory problems such as Raynaud's disease.
- If you have recently had a heart attack, stroke or TIA (sometimes known as a mini-stroke).
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- Rizatriptan is not recommended in people over 65 years of age.
How to take rizatriptan
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take rizatriptan exactly as directed by your doctor.
- Rizatriptan wafers must be placed on the tongue and allowed to dissolve in the mouth.
- Take/use one tablet or wafer at the onset of a migraine attack. If your migraine is not eased after this first dose, do not take a second dose for the same attack. If your migraine goes away but then returns, one tablet or wafer may be taken two hours after the initial dose.
- Do not take more than two doses in 24 hours.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Do not take other migraine treatments as well as rizatriptan. If you have been taking another 5HT1 agonist (almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, sumatriptan or zolmitriptan), including any bought from a pharmacy, you should wait at least 24 hours before taking rizatriptan.
- If you find that rizatriptan does not relieve your migraine, make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor.
- If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with rizatriptan.
Can rizatriptan cause problems
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Drowsiness, dizziness, flushing, feeling of weakness||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert|
|Feeling or being sick, indigestion||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods such as dry toast|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Dry mouth and increased thirst||Try chewing sugar-free gum, sucking pieces of ice or sugar-free sweets|
|Tiredness, tingling sensations, tightness in the throat or chest, reduced skin sensitivity, shakiness, heaviness, being aware of your heart beating, rapid heartbeat, sweating, difficulty breathing||Speak with your doctor if any of these become troublesome or severe|
If you experience any other symptoms that you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store rizatriptan
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Maxalt Tablets®; Manufacturer's PIL, Maxalt Tablets®, Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2010
- Manufacturer's PIL, Maxalt Melt®; Manufacturer's PIL, Maxalt Melt®, Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2010
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Pippa Crossley||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 15/11/2011||Document ID: 3204 Version: 25||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.