Compare Onzetra vs. Maxalt

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

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Onzetra (sumatriptan)

Prescription only

Maxalt (Rizatriptan)

Prescription only
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.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 26 reviewsforMaxalt
Upsides
  • 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
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Nasal powder
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
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Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
26 reviews so far
81%
saidit'sworth it
62%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Maxalt (Rizatriptan)?

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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Changes in taste
    20%
  • Discomfort in the nose
    11%
  • Runny nose
    5%
  • Stuffy nose
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Maxalt (Rizatriptan) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Heart attack
    • Heart disease
    • History of chest pain
    • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Stroke
    • History of a stroke
  • Medication overuse headache
    • Using Onzetra (sumatriptan) for more than 10 days a month
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Fentanyl
    • Tramadol
    • Buspirone
    • ADHD medicines
    • Triptans
  • Higher blood pressure
    • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Suicidal behavior
    • Taking medicines for seizures
  • Blood vessel issues
    • High blood pressure
    • History of stroke
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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