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Rizatriptan is used to treat migraines. It helps to relieve headache, pain, and other migraine symptoms (including nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light/sound). Prompt treatment helps you return to your normal routine and may decrease your need for other pain medications. Rizatriptan belongs to a class of drugs known as triptans. It affects a certain natural substance (serotonin) that causes narrowing of blood vessels in the brain. It may also relieve pain by affecting certain nerves in the brain.
Rizatriptan does not prevent future migraines or lessen how often you get migraine attacks.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking rizatriptan and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, at the first sign of a migraine. It may be taken with or without food, but may work faster when it is taken on an empty stomach. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, response to treatment, and other drugs you may be taking. For children, the dosage is also based on weight. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If there is no improvement in your symptoms, do not take more doses of this medication before talking to your doctor. If your symptoms are only partly relieved, or if your headache comes back, adults may take another dose at least 2 hours after the first dose. Children should not take more than one dose, or 5 milligrams in a 24-hour period. For adults, the US manufacturer recommends a maximum dose of 30 milligrams in a 24-hour period. The Canadian manufacturer recommends a maximum dose of 20 milligrams (for adults) in a 24-hour period.
If you have a higher risk for heart problems (see Precautions), your doctor may perform a heart exam before you start taking rizatriptan. He/she may also direct you to take your first dose of this medication in the office/clinic to monitor for serious side effects (such as chest pain). Talk to your doctor for details.
Overuse of drugs to treat sudden migraine attacks can sometimes lead to worsening of headache (medication overuse headache) or rebound headache. Therefore, do not use this medication more often or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you need to use this medication more often, if the medication is not working as well, or if you have more frequent or worse headaches. Your doctor may need to change your medication and/or add another medication to help prevent headaches.
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