Compare Cafergot vs. Maxalt

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Cafergot
(ergotamine / caffeine)

Maxalt
(rizatriptan)

Treats migraine headaches. Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can treat migraines, but you're more likely to have side effects.Treats migraine headaches. Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is great for relieving short migraines, but doesn't work as well for long-lasting headaches.
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Prices and coupon for 12 (10mg) tablets of rizatriptan
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Maxalt (rizatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CafergotMaxalt

The Cafergot FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Cafergot side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Maxalt side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Maxalt »
How it works
CafergotMaxalt
Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) is a combination of ergotamine and caffeine. It tightens the blood vessels in your brain to relieve the pain of your headaches.Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.
Type of medication
CafergotMaxalt
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
CafergotMaxalt
  • Pill
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
CafergotMaxalt
Risk factors for serious side effects
CafergotMaxalt
  • Overdosing Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)
  • Taking triptans (Imitrex, Axert, Maxalt, Amerge, Frova) for migraines
  • Taking Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) regularly for months
    Detailed Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) risks & warnings »
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking
      • Patients taking SSRIs and SNRIs
      • History of high blood pressure
      • History of seizures
      • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
      Detailed Maxalt (rizatriptan) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy

      Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      Upsides and benefits
      CafergotMaxalt
      • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) works better than other medicines if your migraines usually last more than 2 days or if you have more frequent migraines.
      • Triptans like Maxalt (Rizatriptan) are considered the first-choice treatment to relieve moderate to severe migraine-type headaches.
      • It can also be used to treat tension-type headaches.
      • Not all triptans work the same way for people, so you can try multiple ones to find the right medication for you.
      • You don't need to drink water with the orally disintegrating tablet for it to work, so this could be a good medication for people who can't keep water down when they have a migraine.
      Downsides and risks
      CafergotMaxalt
      • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can't stop migraines from happening. They can only treat them.
      • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can only be used for migraines. It doesn't work for other types of headaches.
      • Smoking or using products that contain nicotine can make Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) less effective.
      • Maxalt (Rizatriptan) doesn’t prevent migraines or tension headaches, but only works once the headache starts.
      • It can cause rebound headaches if it’s used too often.
      • You need to wait at least 2 hours after your first dose to take a second dose.
      • May not be the best choice if you have long, drawn-out headaches. Ask your doctor about other triptans that can last longer than Maxalt (Rizatriptan).
      • Not a good choice if you have heart disease or if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      CafergotMaxalt
      • Take Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) as soon as you feel the migraine coming on.
      • You might be more sensitive to cold when you take Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) since it slows down the circulation of your blood in your skin, fingers and toes. Dress warmly.
      • If you have to take more than 6 tablets or 2 suppositories a day or 10 tablets or 5 suppositories in a week of Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine), talk to your doctor.
      • Don't smoke tobacco if you're taking Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine).
      • Keep the suppository of Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) in the fridge.
      • Take Maxalt (Rizatriptan) as soon as you feel you’re getting a headache or experience warning signs like being sensitive to light or sound.
      • If you're taking other medicines to control your headaches (like propranolol), the dose of Maxalt (Rizatriptan) will be different.
      • Let your doctor know if your headaches don’t go away after taking [name-common] or if you have more than 4 migraines per month.
      • It’s available in two different dosage forms, a tablet you take by mouth and an orally disintegrating tablet (Maxalt-MLT) you place on your tongue to let it dissolve.
      • Lie down in a dark room after taking Maxalt (Rizatriptan) to help ease pain. Ask your doctor about other medicines that can help prevent your headaches.
      Learn more
      More about CafergotSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about MaxaltSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Maxalt (rizatriptan)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it