What is Rizatriptan and what is it used for?
The generic (unbranded name for Maxalt Wafers) Rizatriptan orodispersible tablets are prescribed to treat the headache stage which comes with migraines. A 5HT agonist, and containing rizatriptan, this medication helps reduce swelling in blood vessels, by working on the serotonin receptors in the brain.
Each box of Rixatriptan 10mg contains 6 orodisperible tablets that dissolve quickly on the tongue before swallowing, making them the ideal choice for those that are unable to or would rather not swallow large tablets.
What is a migraine?
It is still not known what brings on a migraine, though it could be that an increase of activity in chemicals in the brain gives confusing messages and many attacks occur for no reason, though some think they could be brought on by certain foods and drinks.
Migraines are a common complaint in The UK. The infliction tends to affect a greater number of women (25%) compared with men (8%). Migraines are thought to be at least partially hereditary, which means you may be more prone to the condition if someone in your close family suffers from the condition.
For those unfortunate sufferers who experience severe migraine attacks, these debilitating episodes can completely disrupt their day, potentially causing nausea, intolerance to strong light, noises and smell. If you are unsure whether your headaches are migraines, take a look at our useful guide detailing Migraine Warning Signs for more information.
Approximately one in every four people who suffer from migraines experiences some form of warning sign before an attack. This is known as an aura. An aura may involve visual cues, such as blurred or distorted vision. Maxalt Melt will provide relief whether or not the migraine is accompanied by an aura. A silent migraine occurs when the aura happens but a migraine does not follow.
Migraines can be triggered by a number of factors, including:
- a poor diet
- a lack of sleep
- Some women regularly suffer from migraine attacks during their monthly period.
For more information why not take a look at our insightful guide on Avoiding Migraine Triggers and Prevention.
Migraine episodes tend to last for a few hours but can, in more severe cases, continue for as long as three days. After a migraine has subsided, you may still feel fatigued for several subsequent days.
How does Rizatriptan work?
As a 5HT1-receptor agonist, this medication is also called triptan, which works by stimulating serotonin (or 5HT) in the brain. While rizatriptan relieves the headache of migraine, it does not stop the headache from starting. Rizatriptan should be taken just as the first feeling of pain presents itself. You should not take other triptans, such as Almotriptan or ergotamine (other migraine treatments) at the same time as taking rizatriptan.
Alternatives to Rizatriptan
Rizatriptan is not the only medication which can be used to prevent migraines. At The Independent Pharmacy we stock a range of prescription and over the counter treatment options. For more information please head over to out Advice for Migraines page.
When assessing your needs, your doctor may also prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkiller (e.g. naproxen) as well, if it is believed you will benefit from doing so.
Alternate OTC (over the counter) Medication for Migraines
There are some over the counter medications that can be used initially to try and combat migraine pain and nausea. Some of the products include;