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rizatriptan (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to rizatriptan, or if you have:

  • coronary heart disease, angina (chest pain), blood circulation problems, lack of blood supply to the heart;
  • a history of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke, including "mini-stroke";
  • severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
  • ischemic bowel disease; or
  • a headache that seems different from your usual migraine headaches.

Do not take rizatriptan if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the past 14 days.

To make sure you can safely take rizatriptan, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease (especially if you are on dialysis);
  • high blood pressure, a heart rhythm disorder; or
  • coronary heart disease (or risk factors such as diabetes, menopause, smoking, being overweight, having high cholesterol, having a family history of coronary artery disease, being older than 40 and a man, or being a woman who has had a hysterectomy).

Rizatriptan disintegrating tablets may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of rizatriptan if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether rizatriptan will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether rizatriptan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give a rizatriptan regular tablet to anyone under 18 years old. Only rizatriptan orally disintegrating tablets (Maxalt-MLT) are for use in children who are at least 6 years old.

How should I use rizatriptan (Maxalt, Maxalt-MLT)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Overuse of migraine headache medicine can actually make your headaches worse.

Take rizatriptan as soon as you notice headache symptoms, or after an attack has already begun.

Your doctor may want to give your first dose of this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to see if you have any serious side effects.

Take one rizatriptan tablet whole with a full glass of water.

To take rizatriptan orally disintegrating tablets (Maxalt-MLT):

  • Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine. Open the package and peel back the foil from the tablet blister. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.
  • Using dry hands, remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away.
  • Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
  • Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.

After taking a tablet: If your headache does not completely go away, or goes away and comes back, take a second tablet two (2) hours after the first. Do not take more than 30 mg of rizatriptan in 24 hours. If your symptoms have not improved, contact your doctor before taking any more tablets.

Contact your doctor if you have more than four headaches in one month (30 days).

If you use rizatriptan long-term, your doctor may want to check your heart function using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG), a machine that measures electrical activity of the heart. This will help your doctor determine if it is still safe for you to use this medication. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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