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Pronounced: MAX-alt
Generic name: Rizatriptan benzoate
Other brand name: Maxalt-MLT

Why is this drug prescribed: Maxalt is prescribed for the treatment of a migraine attack with or without the presence of an aura (visual disturbances, usually sensations of halos or flickering lights, which precede an attack). It cuts headaches short, but won't prevent attacks.

Most important fact about this drug: Maxalt should be used only for typical migraine headaches. It is not recommended for any other type of headache, or for unusual types of migraine such as hemiplegic or basilar migraine.

How should you take this medication: Take Maxalt as soon as your first symptoms appear. The drug is available in standard and orally disintegrating tablets (Maxalt-MLT). The standard tablets should be swallowed whole with liquid. No liquid is needed for Maxalt-MLT. When using Maxalt-MLT, leave each individual blister pack in its foil pouch until needed. When ready, remove the pack from the pouch, peel it open with dry hands, and place the tablet on your tongue. The tablet will dissolve rapidly and can be swallowed with your saliva alone. If your headache comes back, you may take a second dose as soon as 2 hours have elapsed. If the first dose provides no relief at all, check with your doctor before taking another. Do not take more than 30 milligrams of Maxalt in a 24-hour period. Check with your doctor if you need to take the drug more than 4 times a month. --If you miss a dose... Maxalt is not for regular use. Take it only during a migraine attack. --Storage instructions... Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT may be stored at room temperature. Keep the Maxalt bottle tightly closed. Leave each Maxalt-MLT tablet in its pouch.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Maxalt. More common side effects may include: Chest pain, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, fatigue, nausea, pain, tingling skin, weakness Less common side effects may include: Clouded thinking, cold sensations, decreased sensitivity to pain, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, feeling of well-being, flushing, hot flashes, jaw tightness, headache, neck tightness, palpitations, throat tightness, tremor, vomiting, warm sensations Rare side effects may include: Acid indigestion, agitation, allergic reactions, anxiety, blurred vision, bone pain, burning eyes, changes in taste, chest pain, chills, cold hands and feet, confusion, constipation, dehydration, depression, disorientation, difficulty swallowing, dream abnormality, dry eyes, ear pain, eye irritation, eye pain, face swelling, fast or slow heartbeat, gas, hangover feeling, heart attack, heat sensitivity, hives, increased blood pressure, increased urination, increased sensitivity to pain, indigestion, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, irritability, itching, joint pain, lack of coordination, loss of body fluids, memory impairment, menstruation disorder, muscle cramp, muscle pain, muscle spasm, muscle weakness, nasal congestion, nasal dryness, nasal irritation, nervousness, nosebleeds, rash, ringing in the ears, sinus problems, skin peeling, skin swelling, speech difficulties, stiffness, stomach bloating, stroke, sweating, taste and smell abnormalities, tearing eyes, thirst, tongue swelling, throat irritation, throat dryness, throat swelling, upper respiratory infection, urinary frequency, walking abnormalities, wheezing, vertigo, yawning

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If Maxalt gives you an allergic reaction, you won't be able to use it. You should also avoid this drug if you have certain types of heart or blood vessel disease, including angina (crushing chest pain) or a history of heart attack. Do not use it if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure. Never take Maxalt within 24 hours of using an ergotamine-type migraine medication such as Cafergot, D.H.E. 45 Injection, Migranal Nasal Spray, or Sansert, or a drug in the same family as Maxalt, such as Amerge, Imitrex, or Zomig. You should also refrain from using Maxalt within 2 weeks of taking an MAO inhibitor such as the antidepressants Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate.

Special warnings about this medication: Because some people with risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease have suffered an irregular heartbeat, a heart attack, or stroke after taking Maxalt, your doctor may ask you to take the first dose in the office, where you can be monitored for cardiac side effects. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, a history of heart disease in your family, and menopause all increase the odds of such side effects. Maxalt can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Do not participate in any activities that require full alertness until you are certain of the drug's effect. Use Maxalt with caution if you have liver disease or need kidney dialysis. Also alert your doctor if you have an eye condition. There is a theoretical possibility that Maxalt could affect the eyes. If your first dose of Maxalt has no effect on your symptoms, you may not be suffering from migraine. Ask your doctor for a re-evaluation. If you have a condition called phenylketonuria, you should be aware that the Maxalt-MLT tablets contain phenylalanine. Maxalt is not recommended for people under 18.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: The following drugs may boost or add to the effect of Maxalt and should never be combined with it: Drugs classified as MAO inhibitors, including the antidepressants Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate Ergot-containing drugs such as Cafergot, D.H.E. Injection, and Migranal Nasal Spray Other drugs in the Maxalt family, including Amerge, Imitrex, and Zomig Certain other drugs may also interact with Maxalt. Check with your doctor before combining it with the following: Fluoxetine (Prozac) Fluvoxamine (Luvox) Paroxetine (Paxil) Propranolol (Inderal) Sertraline (Zoloft)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Maxalt during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Maxalt appears in breast milk, but because many drugs do, you should use Maxalt with caution while nursing an infant.

Recommended dosage: The usual dose of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT is one 5- or 10-milligram tablet. Doses should be spaced at least 2 hours apart. Take no more than 30 milligrams a day.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Maxalt overdose may include: Dizziness, fainting, heart and blood vessel problems, high blood pressure, loss of bowel and bladder control, slow heartbeat, vomiting

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Only your healthcare provider should diagnose your healthcare problems and prescribe treatment.