Compare Onzetra vs. Maxalt

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

Onzetra
(sumatriptan)

Maxalt
(rizatriptan)

Treats migraine headaches. Onzetra (sumatriptan) is the only medicine that's available in a breath-powered nose powder to treat migraines. However, it can be expensive compared to other medicines.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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Coupons for Onzetra
Best available price for 16 (16 nosepieces of 11mg) cartons of onzetra
Coupons for Maxalt
Best available price for 12 (10mg) tablets of maxalt
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Onzetra (sumatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Maxalt
81%
-81% worse vs. Onzetra
62%
-62% worse vs. Onzetra
19%
+19% better vs. Onzetra
Have you used Maxalt (rizatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
OnzetraMaxalt
  • Changes in taste 17%
  • Discomfort in the nose 10%
  • Runny nose 3%
  • Stuffy nose 2%
More Onzetra side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Maxalt »
How it works
OnzetraMaxalt
Onzetra (sumatriptan) is a selective serotonin receptor agonist called a triptan. It's believed that migraine headaches happen when blood vessels are too open and allow too much blood in the brain. Onzetra (sumatriptan) tightens the blood vessels, which relieves the pain.Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.
Type of medication
OnzetraMaxalt
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
OnzetraMaxalt
  • Nasal powder
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
OnzetraMaxalt
Risk factors for serious side effects
OnzetraMaxalt
  • Heart disease
  • History of chest pain
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • History of a stroke
  • Using Onzetra (sumatriptan) for more than 10 days a month
Detailed Onzetra (sumatriptan) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
Detailed Maxalt (rizatriptan) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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
OnzetraMaxalt
  • Compared to pills, Onzetra (sumatriptan) is better absorbed in the body and good if it's hard to take pills.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) is a first choice medicine to treat migraines.
  • There is a copay program available that can make Onzetra (sumatriptan) cheaper.
  • 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
OnzetraMaxalt
  • It can be very expensive. There are other forms of this same medicine that are much cheaper, including a nose spray.
  • You have to use two nosepieces to get the full dose of Onzetra (sumatriptan), which can be hard to remember.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) is only available in one strength.
  • 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
OnzetraMaxalt
  • Follow the instructions exactly as shown by the package insert and your doctor or pharmacist; otherwise, Onzetra (sumatriptan) won't work correctly and you won't get any medicine.
  • Onzetra (sumatriptan) can only treat a migraine that's already happening. You can't use it to stop migraines from starting.
  • You have to use 2 nosepieces of Onzetra (sumatriptan) to get the full dose of medicine.
  • Don't use more than 2 full doses (4 nosepieces) in a 24-hour period.
  • If you're using more than 8 doses of Onzetra (sumatriptan) a month, talk to your doctor to see if you should try another medicine.
  • You can only use each nosepiece of Onzetra (sumatriptan) once. Throw it away in the trash after you've checked that you used the medicine correctly.
  • 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 OnzetraSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Onzetra (sumatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MaxaltSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Maxalt (rizatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it