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What does it do?

Rizatriptan is used to treat migraines.

Before you start

  • Tell your health professional if you have heart or blood vessel problems, high blood pressure, or if you have ever had a stroke, or 'mini-stroke'.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Rizatriptan wafers contain aspartame – a source of phenylalanine.

How should you take it?

Take rizatriptan as directed when your symptoms first start. Place it on your tongue and allow it to dissolve, then swallow.
Do not remove the wafer blister from the outer sachet until just before taking the dose. The blister pack should be peeled open with clean, dry hands.

If your symptoms get better, but then return, you can take another dose after 2 hours.
If rizatriptan does not help, do not take any further doses for the same attack, as it is unlikely to work. You can still use rizatriptan for a new attack.
Do not take more than the maximum daily dose advised by your doctor.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Pain, tightness or pressure in your chest, throat or jaw

Fast or irregular heartbeat

Tell your doctor immediately

Drowsiness, tiredness or weakness, dizziness

Hot flushing

Burning sensation, tingling or numbness

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you need to use rizatriptan several times each week. Using rizatriptan too often can cause a different type of headache. Your doctor can talk with you about different medicines that are taken every day to prevent migraines.
  • Do not use rizatriptan to prevent migraines.
  • Rizatriptan can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. January 2024

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed