Rizatriptan – the quick one

Rizatriptan (Maxalt) is quickly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and the effect levels are maximal within an hour. The substance has a vasoconstricting effect in the area of ​​the meningeal vessels - without significantly affecting the coronary arteries, pulmonary vessels or other blood vessels. For example, rizatriptan has a significantly lower effect on the coronary arteries compared to sumatriptan. The active substance blocks the neurogenic inflammation in the area of ​​the meningeal vessels and can reduce the excessive activity of nerve centers in the central nervous system that mediate the pain impulses during the migraine attack.

Rizatriptan is available as a 5 mg and 10 mg tablet, as well as a 5 mg and 10 mg orodispersible tablet. The active ingredient is not absorbed through the oral mucosa, so the orodispersible tablets should also be swallowed with enough water.

Special features at a glance

  • Rizatriptan is absorbed very quickly in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • The maximum effect level is reached within an hour. Therefore, significant headache relief is achieved within 30 minutes.
  • In up to 77 percent of patients, migraine headaches improve within two hours after taking 10 mg of rizatriptan.
  • 44 percent of the patients treated are completely pain-free after two hours.
  • Rizatriptan also significantly improves nausea and vomiting.
  • A recurring headache occurs in about a third of patients. Compared to previous therapy, patients treated with Rizatriptan report that they achieve a significantly better effect than with the previous treatment.
  • Regarding possible side effects, there were no serious adverse drug-related effects. ECG changes cannot be observed. The frequency of chest pain with rizatriptan treatment is the same as with placebo treatment. Rizatriptan therefore has an extremely favorable profile in terms of clinical effect and tolerability.