If you have migraine, your doctor may suggest Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT as a treatment option for migraine headaches.
Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are prescription drugs used to treat migraine headaches with or without aura when they happen in adults and some children. These drugs aren’t prescribed to prevent migraine headaches.
Maxalt is a tablet that you swallow, and Maxalt-MLT is a tablet that dissolves in your mouth.
The active ingredient in Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT is rizatriptan benzoate. This means it’s the ingredient that makes these drugs work. Rizatriptan benzoate is also the name of the generic version of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.
This article describes the dosages of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, as well as their strength and how to take them. To learn more about Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT’s typical dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when taking Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT, always follow the dosage instructions that your doctor gives you.
The following section describes the usual dosages of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. But your doctor will prescribe the dose that is right for you.
What are the forms of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT?
Maxalt comes as a tablet that you swallow.
Maxalt-MLT comes as an orally disintegrating tablet. This means that it dissolves in your mouth.
What strength do Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT come in?
Both Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT come in one strength: 10 milligrams (mg).
Generic rizatriptan benzoate comes as a 5-mg or 10-mg tablet and a 5-mg or 10-mg orally disintegrating tablet.
What are the typical dosages of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT?
Your doctor will usually start you on a low dosage. The lower dosage sometimes leads to fewer side effects. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosing for migraine headaches
You’ll take a dose of either Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT when you first notice a migraine headache starting. Typically, you’ll take a 5-mg* or 10-mg dose by mouth, depending on the strength your doctor prescribed.
If the migraine headache comes back, you can take a second dose. But you should wait at least 2 hours after the first dose before taking the second dose.
The maximum amount of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT you may take in a day is 30 mg. It’s recommended that you do not take more than this in a span of 24 hours.
* Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT only come in a strength of 10 mg. If you’re prescribed a 5-mg dose, you may wonder if you can take half of a 10-mg Maxalt tablet or Maxalt-MLT orally disintegrating tablet. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about whether it’s safe to do this.
What are the dosages of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT for children?
Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT can be prescribed to treat migraine headaches with or without aura in children ages 6 years and older. Their dose will depend on their weight in kilograms (kg).
If your child weighs less than 40 kg (which is about 88 pounds), they’ll take a 5-mg dose. If your child weighs 40 kg or more, they may take a 10-mg dose.
It’s not known whether children may take an additional dose of Maxalt if their migraine headache comes back or doesn’t go away. If one dose of Maxalt isn’t working for your child’s migraine headaches, talk with your child’s doctor about ways to reduce migraine symptoms.
Are Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT taken long term?
Yes, Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT are typically prescribed as long-term treatments. Although you don’t take these drugs every day, migraine can be a long-term condition. If you and your doctor determine that Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT is safe and effective for you, it’s likely that you’ll take it long term.
The drug propranolol is prescribed to help prevent migraine headaches as well as to treat other conditions. If you take propranolol, your doctor may decrease your Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT dose.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.
Is there a generic version of Maxalt I can take? If so, what would the dosage for the generic be?
The generic version of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT is rizatriptan benzoate. Unlike Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, which only come in one strength, the generic is available as:
- a 5-milligram (mg) and a 10-mg tablet
- a 5-mg and 10-mg orally disintegrating tablet
With the generic, you’ll follow the same dosage as for Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT. For details, see “What are the typical dosages of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT?” above.
A generic drug has the same active ingredient as a brand-name drug, but it’s made by a different manufacturer. You can learn more about brand-name and generic drugs in this article.
If you have questions about the generic version of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
What is the maximum dose of Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT I can take for a migraine headache?
For either Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT, you can take a maximum of 30 mg in 24 hours.
If your migraine symptoms aren’t reduced with the maximum dose of Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT, talk with your doctor. They may recommend treatments other than these drugs.
The dosage of Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- your age
- other medications you take
- other conditions you may have
You’ll take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT by mouth, and you can take your dose with or without food. But your mouth should be empty before taking Maxalt-MLT.
The manufacturer of Maxalt hasn’t specified whether you can split Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT tablets. If your doctor recommends a 5-mg dose, they’ll likely prescribe you the generic version of either drug. This is because Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT only come in a strength of 10 mg.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have more questions about taking Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT.
For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT, see this article.
You’ll swallow a Maxalt tablet when you first notice symptoms of a migraine headache. If the migraine headache comes back, you may take a second dose 2 hours after the first dose.
Maxalt-MLT comes in a blister pack, which is a foil packet that holds each tablet separately. You’ll remove one tablet from the blister pack right before you take it. Your hands should be dry so that the tablet doesn’t start to dissolve until it’s in your mouth.
To take the drug, let the tablet dissolve on your tongue.
Accessible drug containers and labels
If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print or use braille
- feature a code that you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Do not take more Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this can lead to serious side effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
- fatigue (low energy)
- slow heartbeat
- loss of bladder control
- belly pain
- trouble breathing
What to do in case you take too much Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Maxalt. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
The sections above describe the typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you shouldn’t change your dosage of Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- If I want to decrease my Maxalt dose, do I need a new prescription?
- I will start taking propranolol soon for my migraine headaches. Should my Maxalt dose be lowered?
- Can I split a 10-milligram (mg) Maxalt tablet if I want to try taking 5 mg instead?
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If my 5-milligram (mg) dose of generic Maxalt takes too long to work, can I increase it to 10 mg?
Possibly. The dose of Maxalt or Maxalt-MLT your doctor prescribes to treat migraine headaches depends on several factors. Examples include other conditions you may have and medications you may take. You should always take the dose your doctor prescribes. Never increase your dose unless your doctor recommends that you do.
The 5-mg dose of the generics for Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT isn’t expected to work quicker than a 10-mg dose. But 10-mg may be a more effective dose for relieving your migraine headaches.
If your current Maxalt or Maxalt MLT dose isn’t providing relief from your migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. They can discuss treatment options with you, including whether you can increase your Maxalt or Maxalt MLT dosage.
Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBAAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healinggeeks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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