Generic name: Rizatriptan.

Maxalt is an anti-migraine. It is thought to work by slowing nerve activity in the brain. 

Quick Facts About Maxalt


Used to treat severe migraines. Will not prevent or reduce migraine attacks.

Maxalt Dosage

Take as soon as migraine symptoms begin or at any time during attack. Call your doctor for permission to take a second dose after 2 hours if symptoms are not relieved.

  • Usual adult dose: 1.25 to 5 milligrams as needed. Should not exceed 30 milligrams total per day.
  • Usual child dose: not prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: do not take on a regular basis. Take only during an attack.

Maxalt Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

none reported; however, if you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, fatigue, nausea, “pins and needles.” Side effects are usually mild and well tolerated.

Less common Maxalt side effects: chest heaviness or pressure, coma or fainting, sleepiness. Rare side effects could indicate a serious situation: heart throbbing, hives, pain, pressure, or tightness in chest or throat, rash, shortness of breath, swollen eyelids, face, or lips, wheezing.


Do not combine Maxalt with sumatriptan (Imitrex) or any similar anti-migraine medication containing di-hydroergotamine, ergotamine (Cafergot) or other ergot-containing medications such as Ergostat, or methysergide for a 24-hour period.

Inform your doctor before combining Maxalt with:

acetaminophen; cimetidine (Tagamet); oral contraceptives; propranolol (Inderal); SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft. Wait at least 2 weeks between taking Maxalt and MAO inhibitors.

No known food/other substance interactions. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, inform your doctor immediately. May appear in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not prescribed for children.

  • Should not use if you or your family have a history of heart or circulatory disease, including angina, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or stroke.
  • Use with caution if you have: liver or kidney disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, obesity, a history of smoking.
  • Not for use in postmenopausal women or men over 40.
  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • If you develop tightness in chest or throat, shortness of breath, heart throbbing, or especially chest pain that does not go away, call your doctor immediately.
  • Allergic reaction to Maxalt can be serious. Symptoms: heart throbbing, shortness of breath, wheezing, skin rash, lumps, or hives, swelling of eyelids, face, or lips.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Maxalt side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.