Compare Topamax vs. Maxalt

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

Qudexy Xr
(topiramate)

Maxalt
(rizatriptan)

Prevents seizures and migraine headaches. Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is useful for preventing seizures and migraines, and doesn't require blood tests while you're on it.Treats migraine headaches. Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is great for relieving short migraines, but doesn't work as well for long-lasting headaches.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.43Topamax
Reviews for Topamax
52%
of people (All ages) say Topamax is worth it
50%
say it works well
36%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Qudexy Xr (topiramate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Maxalt
81%
-29% worse vs. Topamax
62%
-12% worse vs. Topamax
19%
-17% worse vs. Topamax
Have you used Maxalt (rizatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TopamaxMaxalt
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 16%
  • Diarrhea 8%
  • Weight decrease 7%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention 7%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Tingling sensation 3%
  • Infection 3%
  • Infection viral 3%
  • Rash 3%
  • Fatigue 17%
More Topamax side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Maxalt »
How it works
TopamaxMaxalt
Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to affect multiple parts of the brain to control seizures and migraines.Maxalt (Rizatriptan) is a triptan medication that treats migraine headaches. It releases serotonin, which lowers the inflammation that causes headaches.
Type of medication
TopamaxMaxalt
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
TopamaxMaxalt
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
TopamaxMaxalt
Risk factors for serious side effects
TopamaxMaxalt
  • History of depression
  • Children
  • History of metabolic disorders
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Low-carb diet
Detailed Qudexy Xr (topiramate) 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 real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

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.

Kidneys and liver
TopamaxMaxalt
  • Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) may increase your risk for kidney stones. Stay well-hydrated to lower your risk.
  • A few people will get kidney stones.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Weight
TopamaxMaxalt
  • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
TopamaxMaxalt
  • Used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic or partial seizures, or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome.
  • Helpful in preventing frequent migraine headaches.
  • Doesn't need routine blood tests.
  • 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
TopamaxMaxalt
  • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
  • A few people will get kidney stones.
  • Not safe to use 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
TopamaxMaxalt
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Can cause tingling skin sensations and reduced appetite.
  • Report any confusion, decreased sweating, fever, or changes in behavior or vision.
  • Takes 3 to 4 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
  • 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 TopamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Qudexy Xr (topiramate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MaxaltSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Maxalt (rizatriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it