Compare Maxalt vs. Cafergot

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

Treats migraine headaches.

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

3.8/ 5 average rating with 26 reviewsforMaxalt
Treats migraine headaches.

Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) can treat migraines, but you're more likely to have side effects.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) works better than other medicines if your migraines usually last more than 2 days or if you have more frequent migraines.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Suppository
Price
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Reviews
26 reviews so far
81%
saidit'sworth it
62%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Maxalt (Rizatriptan) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Tightening of blood vessels (myocardial angina, ischemia, or infarction)
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking
  • Stroke
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Smoking
  • Stomach bleeding
  • 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
  • Heart and circulation problems
    • Overdosing Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine)
    • Taking triptans (Imitrex, Axert, Maxalt, Amerge, Frova) for migraines
  • Dependency and withdrawal
    • Taking Cafergot (ergotamine / caffeine) regularly for months
  • Danger to fetus
See more detailed risks and warnings