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Maxalt for Migraines: Side Effects, Generic, Dosage, & More

speciality medications

May 9, 2024
Person with a migraine

Some people dismiss migraines as headaches—as nothing more than just a minor inconvenience in an otherwise uneventful day.

Those people don’t know what they’re talking about. Migraines represent a complex, sometimes-serious neurological condition that can be extremely disruptive and even debilitating for people’s daily lives. Migraines can affect a person’s sight and mental health in addition to being extremely painful, which can make it difficult for an individual to invest in their work and social life.

This makes affordable, effective solutions like Maxalt, its generic and other migraine medications like Imitrex extremely attractive options for people dealing with migraines.

Your Options for Migraine Treatment: Maxalt, Generics, and More

Before we get into a comprehensive discussion of the best migraine medications on the market, let’s provide a little helpful context.

What Causes Migraines?

Part of what makes migraines so frustrating is their somewhat-mystical range of triggers and underlying biological mechanisms. Although they can present as “just” severe headaches, migraines can come with many seemingly disconnected symptoms, as they result from abnormal brain activity that can affect many different chemicals, blood vessels, and nerve signals in the brain.

Equally unclear is the set of actions or environmental triggers that can cause migraines; generally, each patient needs to figure out their own activities to avoid (from certain foods to environmental changes, and even some relatively unavoidable triggers like stress or hormonal fluctuations).

Why Medication Is a Key Component in Migraine Management

Medication is a key strategy that many migraine patients employ because of how unpredictable and severe migraines can be.

Even if you’ve figured out your set of triggers with relative certainty, migraines can still come out of the blue—or you may realize that some of your triggers are unavoidable. Migraine medication can help you make your life more predictable and make it possible to interact with known triggers without experiencing excruciating pain.

Two of the most common migraine medications are Maxalt and Imitrex.

What are these two medications—and, if you were to pit Maxalt vs. Imitrex, which comes out on top?

What Is Maxalt?

Maxalt (rizatriptan) is a medication that doctors can prescribe to alleviate the pain and symptoms associated with migraines. Maxalt belongs to a class of drugs called “triptans” that work by managing brain levels of serotonin.

Importantly, Maxalt isn’t a preventative treatment. It only works when patients take it to treat a migraine that is already in progress.

The Science Behind Maxalt

How does Maxalt work to relieve the symptoms of migraines that are already happening?

Maxalt works by stimulating your brain’s serotonin receptors. This, in turn, results in the narrowing of brain blood vessels, which can reduce inflammation and inhibit your brain’s ability to transmit pain signals. This diminishes pain, and also helps reduce other symptoms that tend to accompany migraine attacks—such as vomiting, nausea, and even light and sound sensitivity.

But Isn’t Maxalt a Narcotic?

Maxalt is not a narcotic.

There’s a common misconception that it is, possibly because it’s a very effective pain reliever.

There are many differences between Maxalt and a typical narcotic, however. Maxalt does not lead to dependency; it also does not induce euphoria. Maxalt has one specific purpose: It targets migraine pain through the management of serotonin levels.

Doctor holding medication bottle

Maxalt Dosage: Finding the Right Balance For You

Many doctors tend to start their adult patients off on a smaller dose of 5mg or 10mg. Typically, patients will take their Maxalt as soon as they realize that a migraine is beginning. The higher the dose, the more likely that you’ll experience significant relief faster—but that does come with a trade-off of a higher risk of adverse effects.

How Often Can You Take Maxalt?

While Maxalt isn’t habit-forming, you need to balance dosage and administration with what’s best for your body. Taking too much Maxalt in too short a time can lead to headaches associated with medication overuse, which is hardly what you’d want when taking a migraine medication.

For most people, Maxalt can be taken twice within a 24-hour period, as long as the doses are at least two hours apart. If your specific dose of Maxalt is very high (15mg or greater), talk to your doctor about their recommendations for especially frequent use.

The Side Effects of Maxalt

Maxalt, like any other prescription migraine medication, can cause a wide range of side effects especially when taken at high concentrations.

The main side effects of Maxalt include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea

Usually, these side effects will be both temporary and mild, as your body gets used to the drug. If the side effects of Maxalt persist or become severe, talk to your doctor about ways to alleviate these symptoms or the next best alternative to pursue for your migraine care.

Long-Term Side Effects of Maxalt: What We Know

Taking Maxalt over a long period of time—for years, as part of chronic migraine management—is safe for most people. It’s important to listen to your own body, though, since everyone’s experience varies slightly when it comes to effective pain management.

If you notice any frustrating or concerning symptoms that seem to align with your use of Maxalt, talk to your doctor at once.

Generic Maxalt: A Cost-Effective Alternative

When you’re dealing with the throbbing pain of migraines, you shouldn’t have to deal with the frustration of figuring out how to afford pain management medication, too.

Unfortunately, in America, it’s not unusual at all for brand-name medications to be priced far out of the financial comfort zone of those who need them.

When this happens, you might wonder: Is generic Maxalt an option worth pursuing?

This is a situation where being informed can save you big on the high-quality medication you deserve. The main difference between generic and brand Maxalt comes down to the name, packaging, and price. As long as you buy your generic Maxalt from a reputable online pharmacy, you’ll find that the generic has the same active ingredient, strength, safety, and performance characteristics as the brand-name drug. You’ll just pay much, much less.

Here’s what we mean.

In the United States, brand-name Maxalt can retail for as much as $440.00 for just nine tablets—or an eye-watering $48.00 per dose.

Through, you can buy 6 pills of brand-name Maxalt for about $100.00, or approximately $16.00 per pill–a savings of about 66%.

Or, if you’re interested in saving even more, you can buy 4 pills of generic Maxalt for about $20.00, or around $5.00 per pill.

Maxalt vs. Imitrex: Which Is Right for You?

While buying brand or generic Maxalt through an international and online Canadian drugs store can yield you steep savings, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Maxalt is the right medication for you.

It’s also not the only medication that you can consider when pursuing effective treatment for your migraines.

Imitrex (sumatriptan succinate) is another migraine medication that works by narrowing your brain’s blood vessels and supporting reduced inflammation. It’s also very effective at relieving migraine symptoms, from headaches to other sources of pain.

Imitrex is available in a couple of different forms.

Imitrex Sumatriptan Succinate

Imitrex comes in a tablet form that allows patients to take a quick oral medication after the onset of migraine symptoms. If oral medications work for you, it’s definitely worth considering.

You can buy Imitrex Sumatriptan Succinate through for about $14.50 per pill.

Imitrex Nasal Spray Sumatriptan

Imitrex’s nasal spray form is a quick-acting option for people who don’t like oral medications or whose migraine symptoms could get in the way of taking an oral medication. It’s fast, it’s convenient, and, when you buy it through a reputable Canadian pharmacy online, it’s quite affordable.

You can buy Imitrex Nasal Spray Sumatriptan through for about $67.00 for a pack of two sprays.

Comparing the Efficacy and Side Effects

If you’ve never tried either and are suffering from frequent migraine attacks, it may be time to figure out whether Maxalt or Imitrex is best for you.

They’re both effective. Studies and anecdotal evidence show that both Maxalt and Imitrex are capable of significantly reducing symptoms associated with migraines within two hours.

The side effects of both medications include muscle weakness, nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness. However, the degree to which each individual user experiences those side effects may vary. For some, the oral tablets will produce more significant side effects. For others, the nasal spray could trigger unwanted symptoms. Others still will realize that pitting Maxalt vs. Imitrex simply results in a preference for one brand over the other.

There are two general steps to take to determine your best option.

  1. Talk to your doctor. They’ll have specific experience prescribing the drug and watching how it works in patients like you. Your doctor also has access to your unique medical history and knows what other drugs you’re taking or understands your side effect tolerance threshold.
  2. Try both drugs (and all forms, if necessary). If you’re able to access and afford both Maxalt and Imitrex, ask your doctor if it’s worth trying both—one at a time. Then, take notes about your experience with each medication. You’ll be able to directly compare their efficacy and determine which is the best for you longer-term.

Exploring Alternatives to Maxalt and Imitrex

Although Maxalt and Imitrex are two of the more popular migraine medications, they’re not the only ones. If you and your doctor have determined that seeking alternatives might be a better strategy for you, we’ve got you covered.

These other migraine medications are effective and affordable–especially when you purchase them through an online and international Canadian pharmacy.

  • Migranal Nasal Spray is a medication designed specifically for the treatment of acute migraine headaches (with or without aura). Through, you can buy Migranal Nasal Spray for about $22.00 per spray.
  • Zomig Nasal Spray is a medication that doctors prescribe to treat migraines in adults and children over 12. It’s a good choice if your migraines aren’t responding to standard pain relievers. Through, you can buy Zomig Nasal Spray for about $25.00 per spray and the generic for much less.
  • Frova is a medication that works by targeting unhelpful brain activity to reduce both headache pain and other symptoms (like nausea) that often accompany migraines. Through, you can buy Frova for around $10.00 per pill or the generic at a lower cost.
  • Amerge is a migraine medication that functions as a serotonin receptor agonist. It can reduce pain and other symptoms, like nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Through, you can buy Amerge for around $35.00 per pill but the generic is less still.
  • Ubrelvy is a medication that treats (but doesn’t prevent) migraine headaches. It only works to target migraine-related discomfort; it won’t work on pain related to other conditions. Through, you can buy Ubrelvy for approximately $23.00 per pill.
  • Relpax is a type of migraine drug effective for relieving pain for adults suffering headaches, nausea, or similar symptoms during a migraine episode. Through, you can buy Relpax for around $13.00 per pill.
Person on a laptop

Ready to Buy Maxalt for Migraines (Or Any Other Pain Med)?

The pain of a migraine can be unpredictable and excruciating. It can bring your routine plans to a complete halt at any time—and make living your life and thriving in your community much, much harder than necessary.

That’s not fair. Fortunately, there is medication that can help. But when that medication is priced far out of your comfortable price zone, that can make you feel like you need to choose between your quality of life and your ability to pay medical bills.

We don’t think that’s fair, either. So we’re here to help. The team at is ready to support you as you get the migraine medication you need.

Want more information? We’ve got it for you. Each of the medications in this guide has full information on its page, and our friendly, experienced patient care representatives are always happy to provide any assistance in placing an order necessary. The team at looks forward to supporting you as you pursue the high-quality treatment you deserve.

The information provided on the website is intended to facilitate awareness about healthcare products and medical conditions generally but it is not a substitute for professional medical attention or advice. You should always speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any prescription or non-prescription drug.
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