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  • Generic Name: (rizatriptan benzoate)
    Other Brands: Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT
  • Last Revised: 12/2013
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Maxalt is a medicine used to treat migraine attacks with or without aura (vision, hearing, or movement disturbances). Maxalt is available as regular tablets and orally disintegrating tablets (called Maxalt-MLT).

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      A migraine occurs when swollen blood vessels in the brain press on nearby nerves. Maxalt works by narrowing those blood vessels, helping to improve your migraine symptoms.

      This medicine is not used to prevent migraine attacks. Always follow the instructions your healthcare provider gave you for preventing migraines.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: In addition to reducing headache pain, Maxalt has been shown to decrease migraine-associated symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

      When: Maxalt may relieve your migraine pain within 2 hours.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may feel relief in your migraine headache after you take Maxalt. This is a good indicator that the medicine is working. Recording your headache frequency and medication use may be helpful to you and your healthcare provider in monitoring your progress.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: weakness, drowsiness, pain or pressure in your chest or throat, dizziness.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Heart attack or other heart problems, with symptoms such as discomfort in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back; chest pain or discomfort that feels like heavy pressure, squeezing, or fullness; pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach; shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort; breaking out in a cold sweat; nausea or vomiting; or lightheadedness.

      Bleeding in the brain or stroke, with symptoms such as numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body; confusion; problems speaking or understanding; problems seeing in one or both of your eyes; problems walking; dizziness; loss of balance or coordination; or severe headache with no known cause.

      Stomach or intestinal problems, with symptoms such as sudden or severe stomach pain, stomach pain after meals, weight loss, nausea or vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever.

      Problems with blood circulation to your legs or feet, with symptoms such as cramping and pain in your legs or hips; feeling of heaviness or tightness in your leg muscles; burning or aching pain in your feet or toes while resting; cold feeling or color changes in one or both legs or feet; or numbness, tingling, or weakness in your legs.

      Serotonin syndrome (a potentially life-threatening drug reaction that causes the body to have too much serotonin, a chemical produced by the nerve cells) with symptoms such as mental status changes (such as agitation or hallucinations), an increase in your heart rate and body temperature, changes in your blood pressure, lack of coordination, overactive reflexes, muscle rigidity, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

      Maxalt may also cause arrhythmias (a life-threatening irregular heartbeat).

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Maxalt if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Maxalt if you have a history of heart problems, stroke or "mini-stroke," problems with your blood circulation, or narrowing of blood vessels to your legs, arms, or stomach.

      Do not take Maxalt if you have high blood pressure that is not controlled with medications.

      Do not take Maxalt if you have taken similar medicines (such as almotriptan or eletriptan) or ergot-containing medicines (such as dihydroergotamine or methysergide) within the last 24 hours.

      Do not take Maxalt if you take or have taken monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (such as phenelzine or tranylcypromine), a class of medications used to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions, within the last 2 weeks.

      Do not take Maxalt if you have certain types of migraines known as hemiplegic or basilar migraines.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Maxalt. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have high blood pressure; high cholesterol (fats in your blood) levels; diabetes; a condition called phenylketonuria (an inability to process phenylalanine, a protein in your body); heart problems or a family history of heart disease or stroke; are a female who has gone through menopause; if you smoke or are overweight; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 5 milligrams (mg) or 10 mg, as directed by your healthcare provider. If the migraine comes back, you can take a second dose 2 hours after the first dose. Do not take more than 30 mg in 24 hours.

      Children and adolescents 6-17 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her weight.

      If you or your child is also taking propranolol, your healthcare provider may adjust the dose of Maxalt appropriately.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Maxalt exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      If you take Maxalt-MLT, do not remove the tablet from the blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine.

      Place Maxalt-MLT tablets on your tongue, where it will dissolve and be swallowed with your saliva. You do not need to take Maxalt-MLT with any liquids.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other activities that require you to be alert until you know how Maxalt affects you.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Maxalt is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Maxalt with the following: certain antidepressants (such as fluoxetine or venlafaxine), ergot-containing medicines, MAOIs, or propranolol.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Maxalt during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

      If you become pregnant while taking Maxalt, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the pregnancy registry at the Merck National Service Center. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of Maxalt in pregnancy.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      Maxalt should be taken only as needed for migraine attacks.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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    This discount plan is NOT insurance or a Medicare prescription drug plan. The plan is not intended as a substitute for insurance and does not meet creditable coverage requirements under state or federal law. The plan provides discounts at participating pharmacies on certain pharmaceutical supplies, prescription drugs, or medical equipment and supplies. The range of discounts will vary depending on the products received. Members are obligated to pay the pharmacy the entire amount of the discounted rate for such products at the point of sale. The plan does not pay pharmacies for products provided to members. No enrollment or periodic fees apply. The pharmacy may pay the plan a fee from amounts the pharmacy collects from the member. The discount plan organization is ProCare Pharmacy Benefit Manager, Inc.,1267 Professional Parkway, ProCare Office Park, Gainesville, GA 30507, 1-888-299-5383. Customer service is provided by PDR, LLC., 5 Paragon Drive, Montvale, NJ, 07645, 1-800-232-7379, www.pdr.net/DiscountCard, customerservice@pdr.net.