Migraine Awareness Group
MAGNUMMigraine Girl

Drug Profiles:


CAUTION: Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription.


What is MAXALT-

MAXALT is a medication of the triptan family used for the abortive treatment of migraine attacks in adults. MAXALT is a member of a class of drugs called selective 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists.

It is available as a traditional tablet (MAXALT) and as an orally disintegrating tablet (MAXALT-MLT™). Unless otherwise stated, the information contained in this document applies both to MAXALT Tablets and to MAXALT-MLT orally disintegrating tablets.

Tell your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor will decide if you have migraine. Use MAXALT only for a migraine attack. MAXALT should not be used to treat headaches that might be caused by other, more serious conditions.



About the Drug-

WaterMAXALT-MLT™, the First Migraine Medicine Available as Orally Disintegrating Tablets that Patients May Take Without Water!

Migraine sufferers now have a new way to treat their migraine headache the moment it strikes. MAXALT® (rizatriptan benzoate), the newest abortive treatment of migraine with or without aura in adults. MAXALT is the first and only migraine medicine available in both conventional tablets and convenient MAXALT-MLT™ tablets, which disintegrate within seconds on the tongue without liquids.


The Studies-

The FDA approval of MAXALT was based on four placebo-controlled clinical studies of MAXALT 10 mg (1,167 patients) and 5 mg tablets (977 patients). In these studies, approximately seven in 10 patients who took MAXALT 10 mg reported pain relief at two hours; six in 10 patients who took MAXALT 5 mg reported pain relief at two hours.

"A migraine is like a tornado. It attacks fast, usually without warning, and wreaks havoc regardless of what's going on in your life at that moment," says Stephen Silberstein, M.D., director of the Jefferson Headache Clinic in Philadelphia and a clinical investigator for MAXALT. "MAXALT is effective in relieving migraine pain and symptoms. In addition, patients can take the MAXALT-MLT easily and discreetly, even in the middle of a movie or a meeting."


How Supplied-

MAXALT-MLT orally disintegrating tablets and conventional MAXALT tablets will both be available in 10 mg and 5 mg strengths; there is evidence that the 10 mg dose may provide a greater effect than the 5 mg dose.


About the Dose-

Clinical studies show that MAXALT provided high rates of pain relief compared to placebo. Across the studies, MAXALT 10 mg relieved migraine pain for 67 percent to 77 percent of patients by two hours, and MAXALT 5 mg relieved migraine pain for 60 percent to 63 percent of patients by two hours. MAXALT also relieved the other migraine symptoms: nausea, photophobia and phonophobia.

Studies Show MAXALT Provides Pain and Symptom Relief for Most Patients


New Technology-

MAXALT-MLT is the first migraine treatment that uses Zydis® (R.P.Scherer) technology, which uses saliva to break down the tablet in seconds, enabling patients to take the mint-flavored tablet without water.



MAXALT is a medication used only for the treatment of migraine attacks in adults when a clear diagnosis is established. It should not be used to treat headaches that could be caused by other, more serious conditions. Patients should not take MAXALT if they have had a serious allergic reaction to MAXALT or any of its ingredients, have uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease or history of heart disease, or symptoms or findings consistent with heart disease. Patients with risk factors for heart disease require a cardiovascular evaluation. MAXALT should not be used within 24 hours of treatment with another drug in this class or with ergotamine-type medicines, or within 14 days of taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor.


MAXALT is Well Tolerated-

In a safety database of more than 3,700 patients who received single or multiple doses of MAXALT, MAXALT was generally well tolerated. Side effects were usually mild, temporary and dose related. In studies, the most commonly reported side effects were: dizziness, sleepiness, tiredness, fatigue, and pain or pressure (e.g., in the chest or throat).



MAXALT is a highly selective 5-HT1B/1D agonist. Rizatriptan, the active ingredient in MAXALT, resulted from Merck's search for an oral anti-migraine medication that was a well absorbed oral 5-HT1B/1D agonist. Treatment with MAXALT is thought to relieve migraine pain and symptoms by:

  • constricting swollen blood vessels around the brain;

  • inhibiting the release of neuropeptides that cause further swelling of those blood vessels; and,

  • reducing the transmission of pain signals from sensory nerves to the brain.