Skip to main content

How long does it take for Maxalt to work?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on June 23, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Maxat and Maxalt-MLT will start to work for a migraine headache within 30 minutes for some patients. By 2 hours, there is a 60% to 70% chance of having a headache response (no pain or mild pain) in patients being treated with Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT.

Maxalt will only treat a migraine headache that has already begun. It will not prevent headaches or reduce the number of attacks you have.

  • In studies with Maxalt (rizatriptan), there was a 20% probability of achieving a migraine headache response (no pain or mild pain) with a 10 mg dose after 30 minutes compared to about 10% probability with the 5 mg dose or a placebo (an inactive pill).
  • At 2 hours after taking a dose, the probability of a headache response increased to 65% to 70% in patients using Maxalt, compared to about 40% in the placebo group.
  • In studies evaluating Maxalt-MLT, the orally-disintegrating form of Maxalt, there was a 20% probability of achieving a headache response (no pain or mild pain) with a 10 mg dose after 30 minutes compared to about 15% probability with the 5 mg dose and 10% probability with a placebo (an inactive pill).
  • At 2 hours after taking a dose, the probability of a migraine headache response increased to 60% to 70% in patients using Maxalt-MLT, compared to about 35% in the placebo group.

In all studies with Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT (5 or 10 mg), more patients achieved a significant headache response 2 hours after treatment when compared to the group taking a placebo.

How much Maxalt can I take?

Your doctor will tell you how much Maxalt to take and when to take it. Follow your doctor's instructions exactly. You can review rizatriptan (Maxalt) dosing here.

  • In adults: After taking a Maxalt tablet, you must wait two (2) hours before taking a second tablet. Do not take more than 30 mg of rizatriptan in 24 hours.
  • In children 6 to 17 years of age: it is not known if taking more than one dose of Maxalt in 24 hours is safe and effective.

Talk to your doctor about what to do if your headache does not go away after taking Maxalt or if it comes back.

Learn more: Treatments for migraine headache

This is not all the information you need to know about Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full Maxalt (rizatriptan) patient information, and discuss any questions with your doctor or other health care provider.

References
  • Maxalt (rizatriptan) [product information]. Organon. Jersey City, NJ. Revised 6/2021. Accessed June 23, 2021 at  https://www.organon.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/maxalt/maxalt_pi.pdf

Related medical questions

Drug information

Related support groups