What is Rizatriptan and how does it work?
It is a popular migraine treatment. Its active ingredient is rizatriptan benzoate, which belongs to group of medication called triptans or selective serotonin 5-HT receptor agonists. Rizatriptan treats the headache phase of a migraine. Migraines are thought to be caused by the blood vessels surrounding the brain temporarily widening and Rizatriptan constricts the vessels, thereby reversing the effects of a migraine.
When and how should I take it?
The recommended dose of Rizatriptan is 10mg to be swallowed with water as soon as possible at the onset of a migraine. To ensure fast absorption, take the medicine on an empty stomach.
If the migraine returns, you can take another tablet, provided it is at least 2 hours after you have taken the first. If the first Rizatriptan tablet does not provide relief for your headache, do not take a second for the same attack. Do not take more than 2 tablets per day and please note that Rizatriptan does not prevent migraines.
How long does it take to work?
The tablets start to work after about 30 minutes.
How long does it last?
The medicine can last approximately 2-3 hours.
What is the difference between Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan?
The active ingredient in Rizatriptan is rizatriptan benzoate while the active substance in Sumatriptan is sumatriptan succinate. Being of the same class of medication, they both narrow the blood vessels surrounding the brain. However, Rizatriptan has been clinically proven to work faster than Sumatriptan, while food affects the action of Sumatriptan less than Rizatriptan.
Is Rizatriptan available in any other form?
The drug is sold in two other forms: as orodispersible tablets that disperse on the tongue and wafers that dissolve in the mouth. The wafers are recommended for those who feel nauseous or are unable to swallow tablets with water.
What are the side effects of Rizatriptan?
Common side effects that may affect up to 1 in 10 people include:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pains
- Throat discomfort
- Decreased skin sensitivity
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.