Rizatriptan is a selective serotonin receptor antagonist (SSRA) used to alleviate migraine headaches. It narrows blood vessels in the brain and blocks the release of natural substances that cause pain and inflammation. In this article we discuss the uses, interactions, warnings, and dosage of rizatriptan. We answer the questions how does rizatriptan work and what are the side effects of this migraine medication?
What is Rizatriptan?
Rizatriptan is a selective serotonin receptor antagonist used to alleviate symptoms of migraine headaches such as throbbing pain, sensitivity to light, and vomiting.
Rizatriptan Brand Names
Rizatriptan is available as the brand name drugs Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. A generic version of rizatriptan is also available.
Rizatriptan is used to treat and alleviate symptoms of acute migraine headaches: severe, throbbing headaches often accompanied by sensitivity to sound and light. Rizatriptan belongs to a class of medications known as selective serotonin receptor antagonists. It does not prevent migraine headaches or reduce the number of migraine attacks.
How Does Rizatriptan Work?
Rizatriptan works by narrowing blood vessels in the brain. It also helps to stop pain signals from being sent to the brain and blocks the release of natural substances that can cause pain, nausea and other symptoms of a migraine.
Rizatriptan dosage may depend on a number of factors including age, weight, height, medical history, and other medications. Rizatriptan is available as an orally disintegrating tablet at strengths of 5 mg and 10 mg.
Rizatriptan Dosage for Migraine Headaches
Initial Dose: 5 to 10 mg taken as a single dose
Maximum Dose: 30 mg in a 24 hour period
Teenagers and children 6 years and older:
Initial Dose: Usually 10 mg per day taken as a single dose
Maximum Dose: 10 mg
Children 6 and younger: Usage and dose should be determined by a doctor.
What Are the Side Effects of Rizatriptan?
The side effects of rizatriptan include chest pain, pounding heartbeat, and shortness of breath. Some side effects are more common and serious than others.
Common Side Effects
Common side effects of rizatriptan include:
- Chest pain
- Pounding heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Heaviness, tightness, or pressure in the chest
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of strength
- Blurred vision
Serious Side Effects
Some side effects of rizatriptan are more serious. Talk to your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Cold hands
- Cold feet
- Blue fingers
- Blue nails
- Hearing changes
- Changes in mood
- High blood pressure
- Bloody diarrhea
Disclaimer: Here at Manifest Pharmacy, our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare professional who knows your medical history.
Rizatriptan can affect how other medications work or increase risk for serious side effects. Keep a list of all products you use and share it with your doctor or pharmacist. Do not stop, start, or change the dosage of any medications without doctor approval. Do not take any MAO inhibitors, such as linezolid or metaxalone, in conjunction with rizatriptan. Doing so can cause a serious, possibly fatal, drug interaction.
The risk of serotonin syndrome increases if you take rizatriptan alongside other drugs which increase serotonin.
Rizatriptan may cause pain or tightness in the chest, jaw, or neck. It can also raise blood pressure. Consult your doctor immediately if you feel you may be at risk for any of the following warnings.
Heart Attack Warning
Some symptoms of rizatriptan are similar to symptoms of heart attack. Seek medical help immediately if you experience fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, severe stomach pain, bloody stool, trouble speaking, or sudden vision changes.
Rizatriptan may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not use rizatriptan in conjunction with alcohol or marijuana. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that requires alertness immediately after taking rizatriptan.
Rizatriptan Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions & Warnings Summary
Rizatriptan is a selective serotonin receptor antagonist (SSRA) used to alleviate migraine headaches. It narrows blood vessels in the brain and blocks the release of natural substances that cause pain and inflammation.
Rizatriptan is available as an orally disintegrating tablet. It belongs to a group of medicines called triptants.