What is Rizatriptan?
Rizatriptan is an anti migraine medicine used to treat migraine headaches. It narrows blood vessels around the brain. Rizatriptan also lowers substances in the body that causes migraine symptoms such as headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and other symptoms of migraine. This medication will only treat a migraine attack; it will not stop or reduce migraine attacks from occurring.
Rizatriptan is sold under various trade names, some of which are Maxalt and Rizact (made by Cipla). Rizatriptan may also be given for conditions other than migraine headaches.
Important Information and Precautions about Rizatriptan
Rizatriptan anti migraine medicine (Maxalt, Rizact) is not to be used for a common tension headache. It must be taken only after a doctor has confirmed that your headache is indeed a migraine headache. This medication will only treat a migraine attack; it will not stop or reduce migraine attacks from occurring. Rizatriptan is not recommended for someone below 18 years of age.
Rizatriptan anti migraine medication is not recommended for you if you are allergic to it, if you have a history of heart disease (coronary heart disease or angina), a history of heart attack or stroke, blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart, uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe liver disease, ischemic bowel disease, or if your headache feels unusual (different from a usual migraine headache).
Do not take Rizatriptan within a 24 hour interval before or after using another anti migraine medication like sumatriptan, eletriptan, zolmitriptan, or others; or ergot medications like ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, or methylergonovine. Do not take Rizatriptan if you have used any of these MAO inhibitor medications in the last 14 days: isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, or furazolidone.
Also inform your doctor if you are taking an antidepressant such as citalopram, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, escitalopram,fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, or venlafaxine.
Remember to allow a gap of at least 2 hours between two tablets of Rizatriptan. A maximum dosage limit of 30mg for this medication per 24 hours has been set. Do not exceed this limit under any circumstances.
Rizatriptan is a FDA pregnancy category C drug which means that its effect on an unborn baby is not known when taken during pregnancy. It is not known whether this medication can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant in the near future or are nursing a child. You must take this medication only if he or she decides whether it is safe for you and your baby.
Before taking Rizatriptan
Remember to discuss all the points mentioned above with your doctor and take all the necessary precautions that are also mentioned above before taking Rizatriptan (Maxalt, Rizact).
Before using Rizatriptan, notify your doctor if you have any of the following conditions: liver or kidney disease, seizures, severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure, ischemic bowel disease, a heart rhythm condition, coronary artery disease (or risk factors such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, overweight or obesity, high triglyceride levels, having a family history of coronary artery disease, above 40 years of age, or a woman who has had a hysterectomy). Some of these conditions may not warrant the use of this medication. Your doctor will also weigh these conditions with safe usage of this medication and decide if it is safe for you or not.
How should I take Rizatriptan?
Take Rizatriptan anti migraine medication (Maxalt, Rizact) strictly according to your doctor’s direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication. Overuse of anti migraine medication will make your migraines worse.
Take Rizatriptan immediately or as soon as possible after your notice headache symptoms, or after a migraine attack has already started. You may be given this medication under medical supervision initially to check if it causes any severe side effects.
If your headache doesn’t subside completely even after taking this medication or relapses after going away, take another dose after 2 hours. Do not exceed the limit of 30mg of Rizatriptan in 24 hours. If your condition doesn’t improve further, seek immediate medical attention. You must also tell your doctor if you have more than four migraine attacks within 30 days.
What if I forgot to take a dose of Rizatriptan?
As Rizatriptan is taken on a need to need basis, you are not likely to miss a dose.
What to do in case of an Overdose?
In case of an overdose of Rizatriptan, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immediately. Overdose may lead to symptoms like tremors or shaking, redness on skin, breathing problems, blue colored lips or fingernails, watery eyes or mouth, weakness, lack of coordination, or seizures.
What should I avoid while taking Rizatriptan?
Do not take Rizatriptan within a 24 hour interval before or after using another anti migraine medication like sumatriptan, rizatriptan, eletriptan, zolmitriptan, or others; or ergot medications like ergotamine, dihydroergotamine, or methylergonovine. Do not take Rizatriptan if you have used any of the following MAO inhibitor medications in the last 14 days: isocarboxazid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, or furazolidone.
Rizatriptan may make you dizzy thereby impacting your thinking capability and reflexes. Do not indulge in activities like driving, using heavy machinery or any other activity that requires great attention and mental alertness unless you are absolutely sure that you can do it safely.
Side Effects of Rizatriptan
A serious side effect due to Rizatriptan (Maxalt, Rizact) usage is rare. However, few people may experience some serious side effects like blue colored nails, coldness in hand or feet, hearing changes, seizures, or mood changes. This medication may increase the level of serotonin in the body and rarely cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome or toxicity. The risk of this happening increases if you take other drugs that increase serotonin. Call your doctor right away if you get any serious side effect due to this medication.
Some of the common side effects of Rizatriptan are flushing, tingling sensation, numbness, prickling, warm feeling, chest/jaw/neck tightness, weakness, drowsiness, or giddiness. If any of these conditions persist or deteriorate, get immediate medical attention.
The side effects that are listed above are not a complete set of side effects due to Rizatriptan. You may experience some other side effects.
Rizatriptan Dosing Information
Rizatriptan dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctor’s advice properly for best outcome.
Interaction with other Drugs
Some anti depressant drugs can interact with Rizatriptan. Inform your doctor if you are already taking an antidepressant such as citalopram, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, escitalopram,fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, or venlafaxine. Also let your doctor know about all other medications and related products that you may be using. Never start a new medication without thorough medical screening and advice.
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