• Maxalt is a prescription drug that relieves migraine pain and its associated symptoms, like nausea and light sensitivity, in many patients. The drug is aspirin-free and caffeine-free and is not a narcotic. Relief can come in as little as 30 minutes, and a majority of patients' migraines are gone in two hours. Maxalt is a triptan. Its active ingredient is rizatriptan benzoate, which works on serotonin, a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that constricts blood vessels.

    Treating Migraine Headaches

    Maxalt does not prevent migraines or lessen the probability of an attack. There is no evidence that it can be used to treat cluster headaches, a form of migraine. If you know, or suspect, that you suffer from migraine headaches, record as much as you can remember about each episode and discuss the notes with your doctor. Lifestyle and diet changes, biofeedback and acupuncture may be effective migraine treatments that reduce the need for prescription drugs.

    How to Take Maxalt

    Take Maxalt at the first sign of a migraine. The drug sometimes works better on an empty stomach, but it can be taken with a meal. Maxalt comes in 5 milligram and 10 milligram doses in a conventional pill and a tablet that disintegrates on your tongue. The 10 milligram dose may be more effective for serious migraine pain, but the larger dose increases the risks of side effects. Additional doses should be taken at least two hours apart if your pain doesn't lessen or if the migraine comes back. You should not take more than 30 milligrams in a 24-hour period. Talk to your doctor if Maxalt isn't effective. Your symptoms may be caused by another condition. Don't take more than 15 milligrams of Maxalt in a 24-hour period if you also take propranolol (Inderal).

    Side Affects

    Serious side effects include hallucinations, mental confusion and difficulty with walking. If you experience wheezing, swelling in your face, a rash or shortness of breath, you may be having an allergic reaction. Chest pain can be an indicator of heart problems. Discuss any of these side effects with your doctor immediately. Less serious side effects are feeling sleepy or tired, dizziness or slight pressure in the chest. Mention these side effects to your doctor.

    Counter Indications

    Maxalt can interact with other medications, most notably some antidepressants like Zoloft and Paxil. Other drugs with potential interactions are MAOIs and other migraine medications with ingredients similar to those in Maxalt. Make sure your doctor knows what medications you are taking before trying Maxalt. If you have a history of heart disease or other potential heart problems caused by high blood pressure, smoking or obesity, you may have to take the first dose in your doctor's office in case of a severe reaction like a heart attack. People who are phenylketonuric, or have a sensitivity to aspartame, should not take the oral version of Maxalt because it contains phenylalanine.


    Maxalt Information from Merck

    Technical Information about Maxalt

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