Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergic reactions: Rarely, severe allergic reactions to rizatriptan may occur. Because of the possibility of an allergic reaction, people who are allergic to any of the other medications in this class (5-hydroxytryptamine agonists, also called triptans) should not use rizatriptan.
Blood pressure: Rizatriptan may cause an increase in blood pressure. People with severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure should not take rizatriptan.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: This medication may cause drowsiness or dizziness, which may impair your ability to operate a vehicle or engage in dangerous activities that require alertness.
Heart and blood vessel disease: This medication may cause narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart and brain. This can lead to chest pain (angina), heart attacks, heart rhythm problems, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA or "mini-stroke"), and other heart or blood vessel problems. For this reason, rizatriptan should not be used by people with heart or blood vessel disease.
If you have certain risk factors for heart disease (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, family history of coronary artery disease, menopause, men over 40 years of age), tell your doctor.
Kidney function: You should be closely monitored by your doctor if you are on dialysis and using this medication.
Liver function: Rizatriptan should not be used by people with severely reduced liver function. If you have moderately reduced liver function, you should be closely monitored by your doctor while taking this medication.
Medication overuse headaches: As with other pain relief medications, overuse of rizatriptan may lead to medication overuse headaches, or "rebound headaches" where the headache returns as the medication wears off. Avoid taking more of this medication than is recommended by your doctor. If you experience more frequent headaches, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Phenylketonuria: The rapidly-dissolving wafer form of this medication contains phenylalanine.
Seizures: There have been rare reports of seizures experienced by people taking this medication. Most of these people had a previous history of epilepsy or medical conditions that increase the risk of seizures. If you have a history of epilepsy or other conditions that increase the risk for seizure, you should be closely monitored by your doctor while you are taking this medication.
Serotonin syndrome: This medication may cause a rare but potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome, especially when used with other medications that increase serotonin levels (e.g., other triptans, fluoxetine, paroxetine, venlafaxine).
If you experience symptoms such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations, fast heart rate, fever, lack of coordination, increased body temperature, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, get immediate medical attention.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if rizatriptan passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: The safety and effectiveness of rizatriptan have not been adequately studied in people over 65 years. Its use in this age group is not recommended.