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Rizatriptan Tablets

Rizatriptan is an effective treatment used for the headaches associated migraine (with or without Aura). It belongs to a group of medicines called the ‘Triptans’, more technically known as a 5HT1B/1D receptor agonists.

How does it work?

During a migraine headache blood vessels in and around the brain become dilated (leaky). This dilation causes inflammation on sensitive tissues around that area. Rizatriptan closes these vessels back to their normal state, reversing the pain and the headache.

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Rizatriptan Tablets
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What is it used for?

Rizatriptan is a medication used for the treatment of headaches associated with migraines with or without aura. Aura is the term used to describe the neurological side effects usually  linked to migraines such as light sensitivity, visual field disturbances and nausea to name a few. Rizatriptan belongs to a group of medicines called the ‘Triptans’, it’s also more technically known as a 5HT1B/1D receptor agonist .

How does it work?

As mentioned above Rizatriptan acts on the 5HT1B/1D receptors in the brain. During a migraine headache blood vessels in and around the brain become dilated. This dilation attributes to inflammation on sensitive tissues around that area, and on the trigeminal sensory nerves leading to pain. Rizatriptan contracts these vessels back to their normal state so that pressure is reduced leading to relieved symptoms.(NHS)

How is Rizatriptan taken?

Rizatriptan should be taken as soon as possible after the onset of a migraine, whether you are experiencing aura or not. One tablet is usually sufficient to treat a migraine. If the headache comes back after the first has been treated a further tablet can be taken providing this is at least 2 hours after the first dose. So a further tablet can be taken for a NEW attack as long as it’s taken 2 hours after the first tablet. No more than 2 should be taken in any 24 hour period.

If however you do not experience symptomatic relief from the first dose it is not recommended to take a second dose for the same episode of migraine. At this stage you can use painkillers to help control the symptoms – please see below.

You should ideally take this medication on an empty stomach, as taking it with food or in a fed state can delay action by an hour.

How long does it take to work?

Rizatriptan can work as fast as 30 minutes after taking, as mentioned above this is in the absence of food, so best taken on an empty stomach. Please remember that if you don’t have any improvement after 2 hours then you can use painkillers. 

Can I take painkillers with Rizatriptan?

Yes, if your first dose of Rizatriptan has not sufficiently controlled your migraine you can take aspirin, paracetamol or any other NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen. You can take painkillers along with Rizatriptan in the first instance if you need to. If you are on any other painkillers and are unsure please contact us first HERE.

B.V. 2019

How to use for migraine:- Take ONE Rizatriptan tablet as soon as possible after your migraine headache has started. Do not use it to prevent an attack.

If migraine returns within 24 hours

In some patients, migraine symptoms can return within a 24-hour period. If your migraine does return you can take an additional dose of Rizatriptan. You should always wait at least 2 hours between doses.

If after 2 hours you still have a migraine

If you do not respond to the first dose of Rizatriptan during an attack, you should not take a second dose of Rizatriptan for treatment of the same attack. It is still likely, however, that you will respond to Rizatriptan during the next attack.

Do not take more than 2 doses of Rizatriptan in a 24-hour period, (for example, do not take more than two 10-mg or 5 mg orodispersible tablets or tablets in a 24-hour period). You should always wait at least 2 hours between doses.

If your condition worsens, seek medical attention.

If you take more Rizatriptan than you should, talk to your doctor or pharmacist straight away. Take the medicine pack with you.

Signs of over-dosage can include dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, fainting and slow heart rate.

If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. If you get any of the following rare allergic symptoms after taking these tablets, stop taking Rizatriptan and go the hospital immediately:  

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as rashes, itching, sudden wheezing, difficulty breathing, swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, tongue or throat  
  • Peeling and blistering of the skin, mouth, eyes and genitals  rash affecting your whole body.  
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis, symptoms of which include a fever, sore throat and generally not feeling very well, accompanied by intense skin rash and lesions which may occur on the face, upper body, arms, legs and soles of the feet. Large blisters can progress to extensive peeling of layers of the skin.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following side effects, they get worse or if you notice any effects not listed.
  • Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)  

  • dizziness,
  • sleepiness,
  • tiredness  
  • headache,
  • dry mouth  
  • stomach pains  
  • chest pains,
  • throat discomfort  
  • heaviness,
  • pain or pressure in the throat, neck, limbs or chest  
  • palpitations (irregular heart beat),
  • fast racing heart beat  
  • decreased sensitivity of skin  
  • feeling or being sick,
  • diarrhoea  
  • sweating,
  • flushing (redness of the face which lasts a short time),
  • hot flushes  
  • shaking (tremor) usually of the hands  tingling in the fingers and toes  
  • difficulty thinking  
  • difficulty breathing
  • Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)  

  • neck pain  
  • difficulty sleeping,
  • increased thirst  
  • increased blood pressure  
  • indigestion,
  • blurred vision  
  • unsteadiness when walking  
  • ECG abnormalities  
  • bad taste in your mouth  
  • dizziness  
  • muscle weakness,
  • stiffness and tightness of muscles  
  • rash, itching and lumpy skin rash  
  • confusion,
  • nervousness  
  • muscle pain  
  • facial pain  
  • arrhythmia (changes in the rhythm or rate of the heartbeat)  
  • swelling of face, lips, tongue and/or throat which may cause difficulty breathing and/or swallowing
  • Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)  

  • fainting, especially on standing  
  • wheezing  
  • allergic reaction (hypersensitivity),
  • sudden life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)  
  • stroke (this generally occurs in patients with risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease high blood pressure,
  • diabetes,
  • smoking,
  • use of nicotine substitution,
  • family history of heart disease or stroke,
  • man over 40 years of age,
  • post-menopausal woman,
  • particular problem with the way your heart beats [bundle branch block]).  
  • Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data)  

  • seizure (convulsions/fits)  
  • ischemic colitis  
  • a syndrome called “serotonin syndrome” that may cause side effects like coma, unstable blood pressure, extremely high body temperature,
  • lack of muscle coordination,
  • agitation and hallucinations.  
  • heart attack,
  • spasm of blood vessels of the heart, – these generally occur  spasm of blood vessels of the extremities including coldness and numbness of the hands or feet 6 in patients with risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease (high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, use of nicotine substitution, family history of heart disease or stroke, man over 40 years of age, post-menopausal woman, particular problem with the way your heart beats (bundle branch block)).  
  • severe shedding of the skin with or without fever (toxic epidermal necrolysis)
  • Reporting of side effects

    If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

    Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

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