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Maxalt Side Effects

Generic Name: rizatriptan

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of rizatriptan. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Maxalt.

In Summary

More frequent side effects include: dizziness, weakness, drowsiness, fatigue, paresthesia, and nausea. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to rizatriptan: oral tablet, oral tablet disintegrating

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by rizatriptan (the active ingredient contained in Maxalt). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Major

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking rizatriptan:

More common:
  • Chest pain
  • heaviness, tightness, or pressure in the chest and/or neck
  • pounding heartbeat
  • sensation of burning, warmth, heat, numbness, tightness, or tingling
  • shortness of breath
Less common:
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • increased heartbeat
  • irregular heartbeat
  • pain, tightness, or pressure in the neck, jaw, or throat
  • slow heartbeat

Severity: Minor

Some of the side effects that can occur with rizatriptan may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • hot flashes
  • lack or loss of strength
  • nausea or vomiting
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common:
  • Agitation
  • anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • chills
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dry eyes
  • eye irritation
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • gas
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • heat sensitivity
  • inability to sleep
  • increased sweating
  • increased thirst
  • irritability
  • itching of the skin
  • muscle or joint stiffness, tightness, or rigidity
  • muscle pain or spasms
  • ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • sudden, large increase in the frequency or quantity of urine
  • trembling of the hands or feet
  • unusual feeling of well-being
  • warm or cold sensations

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to rizatriptan: oral tablet, oral tablet disintegrating


Cardiovascular side effects including chest pain (tightness/pressure and/or heaviness) have been reported (up to 3%).[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects (9% to 13%) have been reported including nausea (4% to 6%) and dry mouth (3%).[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system effects (14% to 20%) have been reported including dizziness (4% to 9%), somnolence (4% to 8%), and headache (up to 2%). Atypical sensations (4% to 5%), including paresthesia (3% to 4%) have also been reported. A case of transient ischemic attack has also been reported.[Ref]


General side effects including pain and other pressure sensations (6% to 9%) have been reported including, pain (unspecified location) (3%), neck/throat/jaw (pain, tightness, pressure) (up to 2%), and regional pain (tightness, pressure, heaviness) (up to 2%).[Ref]


Other side effects including asthenia/fatigue have been reported (4% to 7%).[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects including angioedema (e.g., facial edema, tongue swelling, pharyngeal edema), wheezing, and toxic epidermal necrolysis have been reported.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Maxalt (rizatriptan)." Merck & Co, Inc, West Point, PA.

2. Curro G, Baccarani U, Adani GL, Lorenzin D, Bresadola F "Transient ischemic attack after rizatriptan administration in a liver transplant recipient: a case report." Transplant Proc 38 (2006): 3138-9

Not all side effects for Maxalt may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.