Headache Home > Maxalt

Maxalt is commonly prescribed to treat migraine headaches. It is not designed to prevent migraines, but can help relieve migraine symptoms as they occur. A migraine headache can result when blood vessels in the head become dilated. Maxalt works by narrowing these blood vessels, returning them to their normal state. The medication comes in a tablet form that is taken orally or in a form that will quickly dissolve in the mouth.

What Is Maxalt?

Maxalt® (rizatriptan benzoate) is a prescription medication that is used to treat migraine headaches. The medication will not help prevent migraines, but it can help to treat a migraine that has already started.
A form of Maxalt that will dissolve in the mouth (Maxalt MLT®) is available and is especially helpful for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets during a migraine due to nausea or vomiting.
(Click Maxalt Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Maxalt is made by Merck & Co.

How Does Maxalt Work?

Maxalt is part of a class of migraine medications called 5-HT agonists (more commonly known as triptans). During a migraine headache, some of the blood vessels in the head become dilated (wider than they usually are). Maxalt works by narrowing these blood vessels, helping them return to their normal state. This action helps to relieve migraine symptoms.

Effects of Maxalt

In previous studies, 60 to 77 percent of people with migraines had no (or mild) pain within two hours of taking Maxalt tablets, compared to only 23 to 40 percent of people who did not take the drug. Similar results were seen in studies of Maxalt MLT tablets.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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