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What Is Rizatriptan Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is rizatriptan used for?" A healthcare provider may prescribe rizatriptan in order to help relieve the symptoms of a migraine headache as it occurs. The medication is not designed to prevent migraines from occurring. Symptoms of a migraine can include a throbbing headache pain, unusual vision changes, and sensitivity to light or sound. One off-label rizatriptan use is treating cluster headaches.

What Is Rizatriptan Used For?

Rizatriptan benzoate (Maxalt®) is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches. A form of rizatriptan that will dissolve in the mouth (rizatriptan orally disintegrating tablets) is available and is especially helpful for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets during a migraine due to nausea or vomiting. This medication is approved for use in adults as well as children as young as six years of age.

Using Rizatriptan for Migraines

Migraine headaches are different from other headaches in many ways. Some of the most common migraine symptoms include:
  • Headache pain on one side of the head
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Throbbing headache pain
  • Upset stomach (nausea) and vomiting
  • Unusual vision changes.
Some people may have an aura before their migraines occur. An aura can be any unusual sign that a migraine is about to happen, including vision changes, numbness, tingling, or speech changes. The most common type of aura is visual (seeing spots, tunnel vision, or other vision changes). Some people have migraine triggers, which are certain foods, drinks, or situations that seem to lead to a migraine (see Migraine Diet for more information).
Rizatriptan is approved for migraines with or without aura. Rizatriptan is part of a class of migraine medications called 5-HT agonists (or more commonly known as "triptans"). During a migraine headache, some of the blood vessels in the head become dilated (wider than they usually are). Rizatriptan works by narrowing these blood vessels, helping them return to their normal state. This action helps to relieve the symptoms of a migraine.
Due to the way it works, rizatriptan is not designed for migraine prevention. Rizatriptan is taken to lessen the pain and other symptoms of a migraine once it starts.
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Rizatriptan (Maxalt)

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