Rizatriptan is used to treat migraines. It helps to relieve headache, pain, and other migraine symptoms (including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light/sound). Prompt treatment helps you return to your normal routine and may decrease your need for other pain medications. Rizatriptan belongs to a class of drugs known as triptans. It affects a certain natural substance (serotonin) that causes narrowing of blood vessels in the brain. It may also relieve pain by affecting certain nerves in the brain.Rizatriptan does not prevent future migraines or lessen how often you get migraine attacks.
How to use Rizatriptan
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking rizatriptan and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, at the first sign of a migraine. It may be taken with or without food, but may work faster when it is taken on an empty stomach. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, response to treatment, and other drugs you may be taking. For children, the dosage is also based on weight. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If there is no improvement in your symptoms, do not take more doses of this medication before talking to your doctor. If your symptoms are only partly relieved, or if your headache comes back, adults may take another dose at least 2 hours after the first dose. Children should not take more than one dose, or 5 milligrams in a 24-hour period. For adults, the US manufacturer recommends a maximum dose of 30 milligrams in a 24-hour period. The Canadian manufacturer recommends a maximum dose of 20 milligrams (for adults) in a 24-hour period.
If you have a higher risk for heart problems (see Precautions), your doctor may perform a heart exam before you start taking rizatriptan. He/she may also direct you to take your first dose of this medication in the office/clinic to monitor for serious side effects (such as chest pain). Talk to your doctor for details.
If you are using drugs for migraine attacks on 10 or more days each month, the drugs may actually make your headaches worse (medication overuse headache). Do not use medications more often or for longer than directed. Tell your doctor if you need to use this medication more often, or if the medication is not working as well, or if your headaches get worse.
Flushing, feelings of tingling/numbness/prickling/heat, tiredness, weakness, drowsiness, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: blue fingers/toes/nails, cold hands/feet, hearing changes, mental/mood changes.
Rizatriptan can commonly cause chest/jaw/neck tightness, pain, or pressure that is usually not serious. However, these side effects are like symptoms of a heart attack, which may include chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, or unusual sweating. Get medical help right away if these or other serious side effects occur, including: fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, signs of a stroke (such as weakness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, sudden vision changes, confusion).
This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.