Compare Imitrex vs. Maxalt

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

Imitrex (Sumatriptan)

Prescription only

Maxalt (Rizatriptan)

Prescription only
Treats migraine headaches.

Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is an excellent choice for acute migraine relief, but you might need another medication to prevent headaches.

5.3/ 7 average rating with 31 reviewsforImitrex
Treats migraine headaches.

Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is great for relieving short migraines, but doesn't work as well for long-lasting headaches.

5.3/ 7 average rating with 26 reviewsforMaxalt
Upsides
  • Comes in several forms. Ask your doctor if you should use the pill, nasal spray, patch, or injection.
  • A combination of forms can be used if symptoms do not improve.
  • The nasal spray and injectable forms work very quickly.
  • It's generally safe to use if you are pregnant.
  • Comes in a generic form, so it can be pretty cheap.
  • 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
  • The oral and nasal versions of Imitrex (Sumatriptan) have an unpleasant after-taste.
  • Does not prevent migraine headaches; it only treats them once they start.
  • Must wait 1 hour before using second injection.
  • Can cause rebound (more) headaches if Imitrex (Sumatriptan) is used too often.
  • Need to have your blood pressure checked often, especially if you're pregnant.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
Lowest price near you
$12.4
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Lowest price near you
$17.04
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Reviews
31 
74%
think this treatment is worth it
68%
think this treatment works well
19%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Imitrex (Sumatriptan)?

Leave a review
26 
81%
think this treatment is worth it
62%
think this treatment works well
19%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Maxalt (Rizatriptan)?

Leave a review
Side effects
6possible side effects
  • Pain and other pressure sensations
    6%
  • Atypical sensations
    5%
  • Paresthesia (all types)
    3%
  • Sensation warm/cold
    3%
  • Pain - location specified
    2%
  • Malaise/fatigue
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Maxalt (Rizatriptan) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Tightening of blood vessels (myocardial angina, ischemia, or infarction)

    History of heart problems

    ...and 5 more risk factors

  • Stroke

    History of heart problems

    ...and 5 more risk factors

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Patients taking SSRIs and SNRIs

  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

  • Seizures

    History of seizures

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Tightening of blood vessels (myocardial angina, ischemia, or infarction)

    History of heart problems

    ...and 5 more risk factors

  • Stroke

    History of heart problems

    ...and 5 more risk factors

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Patients taking SSRIs and SNRIs

  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

  • Seizures

    History of seizures

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)

    Phenylketonuria (PKU)

See more detailed risks and warnings