Compare Tenex vs. Maxalt

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

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Treats ADHD and lowers blood pressure. Tenex (Guanfacine) can be used to treat both blood pressure and ADHD, but it's not recommended as a first-line treatment for either problem.Treats migraine headaches. Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is great for relieving short migraines, but doesn't work as well for long-lasting headaches.
How it works
Tenex (Guanfacine) is a centrally-acting alpha agonist medication. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels. It's not clear how Tenex (Guanfacine) works in ADHD, but it's used when stimulants haven't worked or can't be used in people.Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.
Type of medication
Alpha agonist
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
  • Drowsiness 31%
  • Fatigue 8%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Headache 5%
More Tenex side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Maxalt »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Taking other medications that cause sedation or sleepiness
  • Stopping Tenex (Guanfacine) suddenly to treat high blood pressure
Detailed Tenex (Guanfacine) 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 category
    • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
    No specific alcohol-related info.
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    • The same medication treats two different things, high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
    • It's not a "controlled medication".
    • Used to control ADHD when stimulant medications haven't worked or can't be used due to other medical problems.
    • Available as a generic medication, so it should be more affordable than other options.
    • 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
    • Doesn't control ADHD as well as stimulants do, so it's used as a second-line medication.
    • Not a preferred drug to control blood pressure.
    • Can't be stopped suddenly, especially for blood pressure, since the blood pressure can dramatically increase.
    • 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
    • Don't stop taking Tenex (Guanfacine) without talking to your doctor first.
    • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
    • Drink plenty of liquids and don't get overheated while taking Tenex (Guanfacine).
    • You can feel sleepy the first few times you take it, or when your dose is increased. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how the medication affects your body.
    • Can take up to 2 weeks for the maximum effect.
    • 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 TenexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about MaxaltSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert