Compare Maxalt vs. ergotamine

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.Treats migraine headaches. Ergomar (ergotamine) has more side effects than other medicines used to treat migraines.
Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Maxalt
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Have you used Maxalt (Rizatriptan)?
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Have you used Ergomar (ergotamine)?
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Side effects

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

FDA side effect reports for Maxalt »

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

More about ergotamine side effects »
How it works
Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.Ergomar (ergotamine) is an ergot alkaloid. It tightens the blood vessels in your brain to relieve the pain of your headaches.
Type of medication
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Dissolving pill
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
Detailed Maxalt (Rizatriptan) risks & warnings »
  • Macrolide antibiotics
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Taking Ergomar (ergotamine) more than the recommended amount daily or weekly
  • Taking Ergomar (ergotamine) regularly for months
Detailed Ergomar (ergotamine) risks & warnings »

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.

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.

Upsides and benefits
  • 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.
  • Ergomar (ergotamine) works better than other medicines if your migraines last more than 2 days or if you have more frequent migraines.
Downsides and risks
  • 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.
  • Harmful to the fetus so avoid if you're pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
  • Doesn't prevent migraines from happening. It can only relieve them.
  • Excessive use can be dangerous and result in rebound headaches. Talk to your doctor if your headaches are worse and occurring more frequently.
  • May not be right for you if you have high blood pressure or had a heart attack.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • 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.
  • Avoid if you're pregnant or think you may be pregnant since it can harm the fetus.
  • Take as soon as you feel the migraine coming on.
  • You may be more sensitive to cold since Ergomar (ergotamine) affects the circulation of your blood. Dress warmly.
  • Don't use Ergomar (ergotamine) excessively. The most you can take is 3 tablets per day or 5 tablets per week.
  • Don't use with triptans if you're taking Ergomar (ergotamine).
  • Talk to your doctor if you have heart disease or blood vessel problems before starting Ergomar (ergotamine).
Learn more
More about MaxaltSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Maxalt (Rizatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ergotamineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ergomar (ergotamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it