Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are brand-name prescription drugs. They’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat migraine episodes that occur with or without an aura. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are suitable for adults, as well as children ages 6 years and older, to treat a migraine.

Migraine is a condition that typically causes a severe headache, along with other symptoms. These symptoms may include an aura, which is a group of unusual symptoms that can happen when a migraine episode starts. For example, symptoms can include seeing flashes of light or having a sensation of pins and needles in your arms and legs.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT have certain limitations of use. For more information, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT for migraine” section below.

Drug class and details

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT contain the active drug rizatriptan benzoate. They belong to a class of drugs called triptans. (A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.)

Maxalt and Maxalt MLT come in slightly different forms:

  • Maxalt comes as a tablet that you swallow with water.
  • Maxalt-MLT comes as a tablet that dissolves in your mouth.

Both forms are available in one strength: 10 milligrams (mg).

You’ll take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT as needed when symptoms of a migraine episode begin. The drugs work to relieve migraine symptoms by reducing the swelling of blood vessels in your brain. For more information, see the “How Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT work” section below.

Effectiveness

For information about the effectiveness of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT for migraine” section below.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are brand-name drugs that contain the active drug rizatriptan benzoate. This active drug is also available as a generic medication. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.

The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

If you’re interested in using the generic form of Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor. They can tell you if the generic comes in forms and strengths that can be used for your condition.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. These lists do not include all possible side effects.

For more information about the possible side effects of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks the side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects* of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT that have been reported include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist or view Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT’s prescribing information.
† For more information on this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT aren’t common, but they can occur. The list below includes serious side effects that have been reported with this drug.

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effects in children

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are approved to treat migraine episodes that occur with or without an aura in children ages 6 years and older, as well as in adults.

The side effects of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT seen in children are similar to those seen in adults. For more information, see the lists above in “Mild side effects” and “Serious side effects.”

Side effect details

Here’s some detail on certain side effects these drugs may cause.

Sleepiness

Taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can cause sleepiness. This was a common side effect in studies of the drugs. To find out how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drugs’ prescribing information.

After taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, you shouldn’t drive or perform tasks that require you to be alert until you know how the drug will affect you. Since Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT aren’t meant to be taken every day, it’s likely that your body won’t get used to this side effect. So, if the drug causes you to feel sleepy, you’ll probably have this side effect every time you take it.

If you feel sleepy after taking Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT, make sure to avoid activities that require you to be alert, including driving. And if you experience sleepiness that concerns you or interferes too much with your daily life, talk with your doctor. They may suggest migraine treatments other than Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT that are less likely to cause sleepiness.

High blood pressure

Rarely, Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can cause high blood pressure. This side effect wasn’t common in clinical studies of the drug. To find out how often high blood pressure occurred in clinical studies, see the drugs’ prescribing information.

High blood pressure doesn’t typically cause any symptoms. But in serious cases, you might experience severe headache, chest pain, or confusion. If you have any of these symptoms while taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor right away.

Note: You shouldn’t take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT if you have high blood pressure that isn’t well-controlled. Doing so can lead to serious problems, such as stroke. See the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT precautions” section below for more information.

Abnormal heart rhythm

Taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can cause an abnormal heart rhythm. This isn’t a common side effect of the drug. But when it occurs, this side effect can be fatal. To find out how often this side effect occurred in clinical studies, see the drugs’ prescribing information.

Symptoms of an abnormal heart rhythm can include:

Talk with your doctor about your risk for abnormal heart rhythm while taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT. It isn’t known how often allergic reactions may have occurred in clinical studies of the drugs. But, there have been reports of allergic reactions to the drugs since they were approved.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, redness, or discoloration in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

The Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of the migraines episode you’re using Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT to treat
  • your age
  • other medications that you take
  • other medical conditions you may have
  • body weight (in children only)

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Maxalt comes as a tablet that you swallow. Maxalt-MLT comes as a tablet that dissolves in your mouth. Both forms are available in one strength: 10 milligrams (mg).

Dosage for migraine

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are approved to treat migraine episodes that occur with or without an aura.

The typical starting dosage of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT for adults is either 5 mg* or 10 mg, taken at the start of your migraine episode. In adults, if migraine symptoms return, you can take a second dose at least 2 hours after the first dose. But, do not give a second dose to children. See “Children’s dosage” just below for details.

The maximum dosage of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT is 3 tablets (30 mg) in a 24-hour period. And you shouldn’t take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT to treat more than four migraine episodes in 30 days.

* Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are only available in one strength of 10 mg. If you’re prescribed a 5-mg dose, you may wonder if you can take half of a 10-mg tablet. For more information, see the “Can Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT be crushed, split, or chewed?” question in the “How to take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT” section below.

Children’s dosage

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are approved to treat migraine episodes that occur with or without an aura in children ages 6 years and older, as well as in adults. Children’s dosages of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are based on your child’s body weight in kilograms (kg). One kilogram is equal to about 2.2 pounds (lb).

The typical dose for children that weigh less than 40 kg (about 88 lb) is 5 mg.* If your child weighs 40 kg (88 lb) or more, their typical dose is 10 mg.

Children should take Maxalt or Maxalt MLT at the start of a migraine episode. However, it isn’t known if it’s safe to give children more than one dose of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT in a 24-hour period. So if your child’s migraine symptoms return within 24 hours of their first dose of the drug, do not give them a second dose.

See “Dosage for migraine” above for details about maximum dosage and how often you can use these drugs.

* Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are only available in one strength of 10 mg. If you’re prescribed a 5-mg dose, you may wonder if you can take half of a 10-mg tablet. For more information, see the “Can Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT be crushed, split, or chewed?” question in the “How to take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT” section below.

What if I miss a dose?

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are medications that you take only as needed to treat a migraine episode. So, you can’t “miss” a dose of the drugs.

In fact, you shouldn’t take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT every day. These drugs aren’t approved to prevent migraine episodes. They’re only used to treat a migraine episode that’s already started.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are taken as needed when you have migraine episodes. It isn’t meant to be taken every day. However, since migraine tends to be a chronic (long-term) condition, you may take the drug over a long time period if you and your doctor determine that Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT is safe and effective for you.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT to treat certain conditions. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label drug use means using a drug for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are approved to treat migraine episodes that occur with or without an aura. For this purpose, Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can be used in adults, as well as children ages 6 years and older.

It’s important to note that Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT have certain limitations of use. These drugs should only be used to treat migraine that’s been diagnosed by a healthcare provider. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT aren’t used for migraine prevention. And these drugs aren’t approved for the treatment or prevention of cluster headaches. (See “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT FAQs” below for more information about cluster headaches.)

Migraine is a condition that typically causes a severe headache, usually along with other symptoms. These may include nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Some people also have an aura when a migraine episode starts. An aura is a group of unusual symptoms that can happen when a migraine episode starts. For example, seeing flashes of light or having a sensation of pins and needles in your arms and legs.

Migraine symptoms can last for several days. Having these symptoms may be referred to as having a migraine episode or migraine episode.

The exact cause of migraine isn’t known. But migraine episodes are thought to be caused by swollen blood vessels in your head. These swollen blood vessels can cause severe pain and other symptoms of a migraine episode. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT work to reduce the swelling of blood vessels. This can help reduce symptoms of a migraine episode.

Effectiveness for migraine

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT have been found effective for treating migraine. They belong to a group of drugs called triptans, which are recommended for migraine treatment. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are recommended as first treatment options in guidelines for acute migraine treatment.

For more information on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see the prescribing information for Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT use in children

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are approved to treat migraine episodes that occur with or without an aura in children ages 6 years and older, as well as in adults. A clinical study found that the drugs were safe and effective for children.

Other drugs are available that can treat migraine. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label drug use is when an FDA-approved drug is used for a purpose other than what it’s been approved for by the FDA.

Alternatives for migraine

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat acute migraines include:

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.

Are Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT used for cluster headaches?

No, Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT aren’t approved to treat cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches are sudden, painful headaches that occur several times a day. They typically affect one side of the head and the area around the eyes. Cluster headaches tend to last about 1 hour and then resolve suddenly.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are approved to treat migraine. Headaches caused by migraine are different from cluster headaches. Migraine headache pain usually lasts several hours. The pain may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT belong to a group of drugs called triptans. And there are other medications in the triptan drug class that are used to treat cluster headaches. Examples include sumatriptan (Imitrex) and zolmitriptan (Zomig).

If you have cluster headaches and need treatment for this condition, talk with your doctor about the treatment that’s best for you.

Will Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT show up on a drug screen?

No. Unless the drug screening test specifically looks for the presence of rizatriptan benzoate (the active drug in Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT), these drugs shouldn’t show up on a drug screen.

Some medications are known to cause a false positive result on a drug screen. However, Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT aren’t known to cause false positive results. (A false positive result happens when the drug test shows a drug is present even though the person who was tested hasn’t used the drug.)

If you’re given a drug test, make sure to tell the healthcare provider who ordered the test about all of the medications you’re taking. This can help them rule out any potential false positive results that your medication might cause.

Are Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT triptans?

Yes, Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are triptans.

Triptans are a group of drugs used to treat migraine. Migraine is a condition that typically causes a severe headache, along with other symptoms. These may include nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Migraine episodes may be caused by swollen blood vessels in your head.

Triptans work by increasing the level of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a chemical that binds to receptors (docking stations) on the blood vessels in your brain. This causes the blood vessels in your brain to constrict (narrow), which can help reduce migraine symptoms.

If you’d like to learn more about how triptans work, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Do Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT contain caffeine?

No, Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT don’t contain caffeine.

Some migraine medications do contain caffeine. This is because caffeine can help narrow swollen blood vessels and reduce the pain caused by migraine. Examples of migraine medications that contain caffeine include:

  • prescription drugs, such as:
    • ergotamine/caffeine (Cafergot)
    • bultalbital/acetaminophen/caffeine (Fioricet)
    • bultalbital/aspirin/caffeine (Fiorinal)
  • over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine (Excedrin Migraine)

However, for some people, caffeine can actually trigger a migraine episode. It’s important to know whether caffeine helps or triggers your migraine. If caffeine usually triggers your migraine, you’ll likely want to avoid sources of caffeine. This might include migraine medications that contain caffeine.

If you have questions about how caffeine might affect your migraine, talk with your doctor.

Can Maxalt and Maxalt MLT cause depression?

Maybe, but the evidence isn’t conclusive.

Depression wasn’t a side effect that was reported in clinical studies of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. However, one study suggests that a different migraine drug, sumatriptan (Imitrex), might cause depression after many years of use. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT belong to a group of drugs called triptans. And sumatriptan is another drug in the triptan drug class. So, because these drugs belong to the same drug class, it’s possible that Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT could also cause depression.

Also, people with migraine often experience depression. So, if you feel depressed after taking Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT, this might not be caused by the drug. Researchers aren’t completely sure why migraine and depression are linked. One theory is that migraine contributes to feelings of depression because of how its symptoms can affect your quality of life.

If you’re concerned about your risk for depression while taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor.

Will Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT make me feel ‘high’?

It’s possible that Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT could make you feel high.

In clinical studies of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, some people reported feelings of euphoria (intense happiness or excitement) after taking the drug. But it isn’t known for sure whether the drugs caused the euphoria.

Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about how you’ll feel after taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are FDA-approved to treat migraine that occurs with or without an aura.

What happens with migraine

Migraine is a condition that typically causes a severe headache, along with other symptoms. These may include nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Some people also have an aura before or during a migraine episode. An aura is a group of unusual symptoms that can happen when a migraine episode starts. For example, seeing flashes of light or having a sensation of pins and needles in your arms and legs.

The exact cause of migraine isn’t known. But migraine episodes are thought to be caused by swollen blood vessels in your head. These swollen blood vessels can cause severe pain and other symptoms of a migraine episode.

What Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT do

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT belong to a class of drugs called triptans.* They work to reduce symptoms of a migraine episode by increasing the level of serotonin in your brain.

Serotonin is a chemical that binds to receptors (docking stations) on blood vessels in your brain. When serotonin binds to its receptors, it causes the blood vessels in your brain to constrict (narrow). This can help reduce swelling and relieve symptoms of a migraine episode.

* A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.

How long do they take to work?

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT should start reducing your migraine symptoms within 2 hours of taking a dose.

As with all medications, the cost of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can vary. To find current prices for Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT-MLT in your area, check out GoodRx.com.

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Keep in mind that you may be able to get a 90-day supply of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or your insurance company.

Before approving coverage for Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, help may be available.

The Medicine Assistance Tool website lists programs that may help lower the cost of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, visit their website.

Mail-order pharmacies

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to get your medication without leaving home.

If recommended by your doctor, you may be able to receive a 90-day supply of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, so there’s less concern about running out of the medication. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor and your insurance company. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications.

If you don’t have insurance, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about online pharmacy options.

Generic version

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are available in a generic form called rizatriptan benzoate. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. To find out how the cost of rizatriptan compares to the cost of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, visit GoodRx.com.

If your doctor has prescribed Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and you’re interested in using rizatriptan benzoate instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check your insurance plan, as it may only cover one or the other.

There aren’t any known interactions between alcohol and either Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT.

However, for some people, drinking alcohol can trigger a migraine episode. For this reason, people with migraine might avoid alcohol or drink only a small amount to help prevent an episode.

If you drink alcohol and you’re concerned about how it might affect your migraine episodes, talk with your doctor. They can recommend how much alcohol is safe for you to drink while taking Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can interact with several other medications. They can also interact with certain supplements, as well as certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and other medications

Below are examples of medications that can interact with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. This article does not contain all drugs that may interact with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.

Before taking Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Drugs you should not take with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT

Drugs that you shouldn’t take with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT include:

  • Other drugs in the triptan drug class.* Triptans are used to treat migraine. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are triptans. Taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT with other drugs in this class can increase your risk for blood vessel problems as a side effect.† Examples of these drugs include:
    • zolmitriptan (Zomig)
  • Ergot drugs. These are another type of medication used to treat migraine. Taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT with these drugs can increase your risk for blood vessel problems as a side effect.† Examples of these drugs include:
    • dihydroergotamine (Migranal)
    • bromocriptine (Parlodel)
    • ergotamine tartrate (Ergomar)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). These medications are used to treat depression. Taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT with MAOIs can increase the level of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT in your body. And this increases your risk for serious side effects such as serotonin syndrome.† Examples of these medications include:
    • selegiline (Zelapar)
    • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
    • phenelzine (Nardil)

* A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.
† For more information, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT side effects” section above.

Other drugs that could cause an interaction with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT

Certain beta-blockers, such as propranolol (Inderal), can interact with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. Beta-blockers are medications prescribed after a heart episode and for high blood pressure. Taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT with these drugs can increase the level of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT in your body. And this increases your risk for side effects.†

If you have questions about potential interactions between Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT and beta-blockers, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT side effects” section above.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and antidepressants such as Zoloft

Certain antidepressants (drugs used to treat depression) can interact with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. Taking antidepressants in the drug classes below can increase your risk for serotonin syndrome* as a side effect of any of these drugs:

If you have questions about potential interactions between Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT and antidepressants, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT side effects” section above.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT.

Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor.

It’s not known if Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are safe to use during pregnancy. No clinical studies have looked at the use of these drugs during pregnancy in humans.

Animal studies have shown problems in offspring born to pregnant females given Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. Animals were given a higher Maxalt dose than the recommended doses for humans. Problems included decreased birth weight, increased risk of fetal death, and birth defects. But animal studies don’t always predict what will happen in humans.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.

It’s not known if Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.

For more information about taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT during pregnancy, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and pregnancy” section above.

It isn’t known if it’s safe to take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT while breastfeeding. The use of these drugs while breastfeeding hasn’t been studied.

Animal studies have shown that Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can pass into breast milk. However, the results of animal studies may not apply to humans.

If you’re breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed while taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor. They can discuss the risks and benefits of continuing to use the drug while breastfeeding. They can also recommend other healthy ways to feed your baby.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can lead to serious side effects.

Do not use more Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT than your doctor recommends.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose in adults can include:

Symptoms of an overdose in children can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you or your child has taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Before taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor about your health history. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health.

There are some situations in which you shouldn’t use Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT at all because doing so might cause you harm. These are called contraindications.

Below are the conditions you should tell your doctor about before taking these drugs:

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU). If you have phenylketonuria, your doctor will likely prescribe Maxalt for you and not Maxalt MLT. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT contain the same active drug (rizatriptan benzoate) but come in different tablet forms. Maxalt tablets don’t contain phenylalanine. But Maxalt-MLT tablets do contain phenylalanine.
  • Basilar or hemiplegic migraine. You shouldn’t take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT if you experience basilar migraine or hemiplegic migraine. Both of these conditions increase your risk of having a stroke. And stroke is a possible serious side effect of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. Therefore, taking these drugs can increase your risk for stroke even more. Talk with your doctor about medications other than Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT that can help ease your migraine symptoms.
  • Ischemic bowel disease. You shouldn’t take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT if you have ischemic bowel disease. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT could worsen this condition since the drugs work by narrowing blood vessels. Talk with your doctor about other migraine treatments that may work better for you.
  • High blood pressure that isn’t well-controlled. If you have high blood pressure that isn’t well-controlled, you shouldn’t take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. Taking these drugs can increase your blood pressure. So if your blood pressure isn’t well-controlled, Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT could increase it to a level that isn’t safe. This can lead to serious problems, such as a stroke. Talk with your doctor about treatment options other than Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.
  • History of heart disease. You shouldn’t take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT if you have a history of coronary heart disease or coronary artery vasospasm. This includes a heart episode and chest pain. Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can increase your risk for a heart episode. And this risk is even higher if you already have heart disease. So if you have a history of heart disease, talk with your doctor about other migraine treatments that might be better for you.
  • History of stroke or transient ischemic episode. You shouldn’t take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT if you’ve had a stroke or transient ischemic episode in the past. Stroke is a possible serious side effect of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. And if you have a history of a stroke, you’re at an increased risk of having another one with this drug. If you have a history of stroke or transient ischemic episode, talk with your doctor about other treatment options that may be safer for you.
  • Peripheral vascular disease. You shouldn’t take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT if you have peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT work by narrowing your blood vessels, so taking these drugs could make PVD worse. If you have PVD, talk with your doctor about other migraine treatment options.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT or any of their ingredients, you shouldn’t take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. It’s not known if Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are safe to use when pregnant. For more information, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It’s not known if Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can pass into the breast milk during breastfeeding. For more information, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, see the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT side effects” section above.

You should take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

When to take

You should take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT at the start of a migraine episode.

If migraine symptoms return, adults can take a second dose at least 2 hours after the first dose. Adults can take up to 3 tablets of Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT in a day, as long as your doctor approves. You should not give additional doses of Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT to children, however.

You shouldn’t take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT every day. These drugs don’t prevent migraine episodes. In fact, you shouldn’t take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT to treat more than four migraine episodes in 30 days. If you have more than four migraines each month, talk with your doctor. They can discuss ways to prevent your migraine episodes.

For information on typical dosages and the maximum dosage, see “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT dosage” section above.

Taking Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT with food

You can take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT with or without food.

Can Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT be crushed, split, or chewed?

The manufacturer of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT hasn’t studied whether it’s safe to crush, split, or chew the tablets. If you have trouble swallowing Maxalt tablets or dissolving Maxalt-MLT tablets in your mouth, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Brand-name Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are only available in one strength: 10 milligrams (mg). If you’re prescribed a 5-mg dose, you may wonder if you can take half of a 10-mg tablet. It’s best to talk with your doctor or pharmacist about whether it’s safe to do this. Rizatriptan (the generic version of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT) is available in a 5-mg tablet, so your doctor might decide to switch you to the generic version. Or, they might prescribe you a different dose of brand-name Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT.

There haven’t been studies on whether Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can cause dependence. (With dependence, your body needs the drug in order for you to feel normal.)

However, overuse of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT may lead to medication overuse headaches. This can cause you to have migraine episodes more often than usual. For this reason, you shouldn’t take more than your doctor’s recommended dosage of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. (See the “Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT dosage” section above to learn more.)

If you start having migraine episodes more often than usual, talk with your doctor right away. They may have you temporarily stop Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT until your migraine episodes become less frequent.

If you’re using Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT to treat more than four migraines each month, talk with your doctor. They can discuss ways to prevent your migraine headaches.

When you get Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the packaging. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

You should store Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT tablets at a room temperature of 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) in a tightly sealed container away from light. Avoid storing this medication in areas where it could get damp or wet, such as bathrooms.

Disposal

If you no longer need to take Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT and have leftover medication, it’s important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

This article provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information about how to dispose of your medication.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.