Although Maxalt cannot prevent a migraine from occurring, it can relieve the symptoms of a migraine once it starts. Maxalt is approved to treat migraines with or without an aura. An aura is any unusual sign (such as numbness or speech changes) that a migraine is about to happen. Treating cluster headaches is among the current off-label Maxalt uses.
What Is Maxalt Used For?Maxalt® (rizatriptan benzoate) is a prescription medication used to treat migraine headaches. 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. Maxalt is approved for use in adults as well as children as young as six years of age.
Using Maxalt for MigrainesMigraine 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 (for example, 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).
Maxalt is approved to treat migraines with or without aura. The medicine is part of a class of migraine drugs known as 5-HT agonists (or more commonly known as "triptans"). During a migraine headache, some of the blood vessels in the head become dilated (or wider than they usually are). Maxalt 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, Maxalt is not designed for migraine prevention. Maxalt is taken to lessen the pain and other symptoms of a migraine once it starts.