There are many types of migraine medications on the market. Two of the most popular ones are Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan. So, what’s the difference between them? And which one is better for you? Keep reading to find out!
What is Rizatriptan?
Rizatriptan is a medication used to treat migraines. It belongs to a class of drugs called triptans. Rizatriptan works by narrowing blood vessels around the brain and by blocking pain signals from the nerves. Rizatriptan is available as a generic drug and as the brand-name drugs Maxalt and Maxalt-MLT.
Rizatriptan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. You should not use rizatriptan if you are allergic to it, or if you have: uncontrolled high blood pressure; past or present heart problems, including heart attack, angina (chest pain), or irregular heartbeat; a headache that seems different from your usual migraine headaches; severe or frequent headaches (more than 4 or 5 per month); or if you take certain HIV/AIDS medications such as ritonavir (Norvir) or saquinavir (Fortovase).
You should not use rizatriptan if you have used an “SSRI” antidepressant in the past 5 weeks, such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone. Taking rizatriptan within 24 hours of taking another migraine medicine can increase your risk of side effects. Rizatriptan can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
What is Sumatriptan?
Sumatriptan is a medication that is used to treat migraines and cluster headaches. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin receptor agonists, which work by narrowing blood vessels around the brain. Sumatriptan is available as a tablet, a nasal spray, or an injection. It is usually taken at the first sign of a migraine or cluster headache. Sumatriptan can cause side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. It should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor before taking Sumatriptan if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Difference between Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan
Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan are both medications used to treat migraines.
- Rizatriptan belongs to a class of drugs called 5-HT1 agonists, while Sumatriptan belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin receptor agonists. Both Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan work by narrowing blood vessels around the brain.
- Rizatriptan is available in oral tablet, nasal spray, and wafer form, while Sumatriptan is available in oral tablet, nasal spray, subcutaneous injection, and rectal suppository form.
- Rizatriptan is generally taken when a migraine headache starts, while Sumatriptan can be taken either at the start of a migraine headache or after the migraine has already started. Side effects of Rizatriptan include dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, and headaches.
Side effects of Sumatriptan include dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, and chest pain. Neither Rizatriptan nor Sumatriptan are considered addictive drugs.
Although both of these medications are effective in treating migraines, they work differently in the body. Rizatriptan is a serotonin receptor agonist, which means it mimics serotonin to help relieve pain. Sumatriptan is a triptan, which works by narrowing the blood vessels around the brain. If you have tried one medication and it hasn’t worked for you, talk to your doctor about trying the other type.