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Medications & Prescription Treatment

Maxalt

  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    I was a Maxalt user years ago. I can’t use Triptans any longer, but I can comment on my own experience way back when it first came out…

    I do have esophageal spasms, but I didn’t get them until I had already stopped taking Maxalt. I don’t think one has anything to do with the other – in my case anyway. I haven’t seen any research discussing these kinds of spasms, so am curious along with you. Perhaps a little further research would yield some results.

    Have you asked your doctor about this yet? That’s a really good place to start. Does he/she have any suggested causes for the spasms?

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  • By Gregory Gauthier

    I have found that if I drink a really lot of liquid with the Maxalt, and take a Dexialant (ppi) prior, it has not been as much of a problem. I suffer from severe GERD ,as well as the migraines.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    My ENT says he has found a definite correlation between GERD and LPR (that’s my version) and Migraine. This might e a great question to ask of our physician experts here.

    Have you found that treatment for your GERD helps your Migraine situation at all?

    I guess I’m lucky I never had much of an issue with the Maxalt. I even found the slightly minty flavor slightly soothing when the nausea hit. I really wish I could take it again 🙂

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  • By Gregory Gauthier

    I have found no correlation in GERD treatment helping my migraines. I do thing stress is a major factor in both entities in my case. I have had GERD for over 20 years (now taking Dexilant60mg ppi in am and 300mg.Zantac before bed). Even had the anti-reflux surgery which did not help me. I am a very high anxiety (GAD) person .

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  • By saltlakesam

    I use Maxalt 10mg sub lingual. It has been a life saver for me though I still get enough migraines to have my life affected more than I like. One of the changes I noticed once I started maxalt, is that the previous non-maxalt cycle was broken. For the most part, that was great. But what was really noticeable was the fact I no longer had the nausea nausea’s part of the cycle and fall asleep afterwards. When I woke up after all that I felt as though my body had been washed clean of everything. My brain felt lighter. I felt more aware and calm. It was akin to waking up in the mountains and taking a cold streambed bath as I did in the good old days. With Maxalt I do NOT have that nausea cycle. Has anybody else observed this reaction? In fact I always found the day or two after the migraine would be my most creative and alive. And I now miss that.

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  • By saltlakesam

    I can say I have increased esophageal flow when sleeping in the middle of the night. But to tell the truth I can not relate it exactly to Maxalt. Are people saying the GERD is constant whether on a Migraine drug or not?

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  • By Teri Robert

    saltlakesam,

    Just a tip – Maxalt-MLT isn’t meant to be subingual. Sublingual medications are absorbed through the mucosa. Maxalt-MLT is absorbed similarly to other oral medications when you swallow the saliva it dissolves in.

    Thought I’d mention this to you since it may dissolve faster on your tongue rather than under it.

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  • By Richardo

    I have been using Sumatriptan 50mg for a couple of years and find it very effective. The side effect has been greatly increased frequency of Migraine. My doctor has prescribed Maxalt Melt 10mg wafers to use instead and break the cycle.Does anyone know if the same problem exists with Maxalt as they are also the triptan family?

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  • By Gregory Gauthier

    How often are you using them ?
    From the Cleveland Clinic– “The triptans–which are migraine- specific medications and include Imitrex, Zomig, Maxalt, Relpax, Axert, Frova, Amerge, and Treximet–taken more than 2 times per week can cause rebound headaches.”

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  • By Teri Robert

    Richardo,

    Yes, the problem exists with all of the triptans or pretty much anything we take to treat a Migraine when it occurs. It used to be thought that we could take one type of medication, say a triptan two or three days a week and another type, say a pain medication, two or three other days a week to avoid the problem. We now know that doesn’t work. We need to not use any acute medications more than two or three days a week. The article at this url may help, https://migraine.com/blog/living-with-migraine/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/

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  • By Richardo

    Many thanks Teri and Gregory for the posts. Yes it does look as though my frequent use of Triptans at least 2 or 3 times a week, sometimes more has caused the Medication overuse headaches (MOH)!
    Teri that is a great article about other medication that causes MOH, because it was probably the overuse of analgesics in the first place that prompted the treatment of triptans……it can be a damaging cycle that we become involved in when having to use drugs regularly.
    I will try temporarily to use analgesics as an alternative when the migraine comes on to break the triptan overuse cycle (if I can handle the pain!).
    I am now looking into alternative treatment with more of a holistic approach including preventative techniques you have mentioned and try and avoid/greatly reduce my drug levels.
    This last week I have started meditation, neck and shoulder massage, natural breathing exercises. Also avoiding coffee, alcohol, cheese and taking crystallized ginger daily.
    I now feel as though control is coming back to me and hopefully by looking more at natural, behavioral and environmental factors which I can choose, I wont be a victim of migraine(brave talk!). This is a great site and thanks for the advise, I will keep searching…..

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  • By Teri Robert

    Richardo,

    You’re very welcome. I’m so glad the article was helpful and that you’re doing better.

    Prevention was definitely the way to go for me. I’ve ended up with a very mixed bag of meditation, prescription medications, and dietary supplements, but it’s so much better than the period when I was flat in bed with a Migraine five or six days a week. We may not have a cure for this disease yet, but a good preventive regimen is the next best thing.

    Don’t get discouraged if it takes you some time to get your preventive regimen working for you. The time and patience will pay off in the end. You might want to take a look at Migraine Management Essential 4: Preventive Treatment at https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-4-preventive-treatment/

    Please keep us posted?

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  • By harryo

    Great news here….I’ve been using both Maxalt-MLT 5mg tablets for my ‘aura-headaches’ and a single caftergot tablet with a famotindine tablet first for my minor/neck/migraines/no aura headaches. Both have worked well. Use the famotindine…wait say 15 minutes..take the cafergot tablet..then within 2 hours..better..4 hours much better and onward. The Maxalt works very well…no side effects for me with the 5mg. I did not know I could swallow the salvia-Maxalt ‘liquid’ right away. The only flaw with the 5mg is maybe two hours later you may have a ‘normal headache’…and need to take 2 Advils.
    Both work well for their given neeeds.

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  • By inquisitivespirit

    I was recently prescribed Maxalt melts 10mg and I find that taking one makes the the headache part worse and which eventually goes down to a more tolerable level, although I can’t tell if the level of pain has improved at all from what it was in the beginning or whether it’s the contrast that makes it seem better. Has this happened to anyone?

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  • By MrCrowley

    I have infrequent migraines. They put me out of commission for at least a solid 36 hours.

    I went to the hospital and they gave me common meds for migraine. Only the nausea meds helped.

    Only MaxAlt has helped me. I LOVE the MaxAlt MLT that I was given years ago. Due to not having a doctor nor insurance I cannot get any meds at all. I can’t qualify for anything at all… How can I get some help? Anyone know?

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    There are other options to get medications for those who do not have insurance. This site http://www.pparx.org is for folks without insurance to help with the cost of medications. To read more about how to treat migraines with no insurance start off reading this article; https://migraine.com/blog/no-insurance-you-can-still-take-care-of-your-migraine-disease/. Our migraine offer center may have some information to help too; https://migraine.com/offer-center/. I hope this helps, will you let me know?

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  • By CaryD

    Now that Maxalt is generic, what does that mean for those of us who love it as an abortive? Will insurance companies let us get more than 9 per 30 days? Or fill it more often if needed?

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  • By Teri Robert

    Cary,

    This may vary from one insurance company to the next, but I doubt that you’ll be able to get more tablets covered or fill the prescription more often. When Imitrex and Amerge became available in generics, the only difference we saw was a lower co-pay.

    Teri

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  • By vanessafarias

    I tried the generic for Prozac (my prevention drug) and also the generic for Amerge (my migraine drug). The generic Prozac did nothing. I was a basket case and had to go back to brand-name Prozac despite the high cost because my insurance company wouldn’t cover it because there was a generic available even though it didn’t work for me. The generic Amerge made me into a zombie. I slept for 2 days straight and vowed NEVER to take it again. Generics are NOT the same as the brand-name drugs, they just aren’t.

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  • By HeadacheHelp.org

    I am happy to hear Maxalt is now generic! I had to switch to Relpax years back due to the higher co-pay costs. Relpax works equally well for me – although ALL of the triptans seem to make me utterly exhausted. Does anyone else experience this side-effect?

    p.s. I love this site! I started a migraine blog of my own just last week (HeadacheHelp.org)and I am looking to this site for inspiration. Great work!

    -Jamie

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  • By BethBlue

    I agree with Vanessa, above. Our insurer will now insist that my prescriptions be filled with generics instead of the brand-name medication. I know I sound selfish, but I am now going to try to hoard my eight remaining Maxalt tablets as long as I can!

    General question to the group: Is anyone else having troubles with mail-order pharmacies? Mine are legen… (wait for it) -dary!

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  • By Heather

    My daughter age 13 suffers from chronic migraines. She uses Maxalt Melt 10mg at the onset of a headache or when she experiences a spike in one of her forever headaches. She does not use it alone. We have a cocktail of Maxalt, Zofran, and Cambia. All of them are disolvables and that is one of the best parts of these meds because she often has vomiting that prohibits meds times to disolve if swallowed. This combination is so far the only thing that brings her pain down and even sometimes aborts the migraine all together. She has tried many other medications some better than others. Her biggest side effect is being very tired.

    We are excited that maxalt will be available in generic to help with the expense but hope the formula isn’t changed too much so it will still be effective.

    Heather

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    I am glad that the new generic of Maxalt will be helpful to you and I hope you will let us know if you find that it works either equally as well as the brand name, or if it is better or worse too. Readers will be very interested to get a feel from other patients what their experiences have been.

    One thing to mention: Two of these medicines (Maxalt and Cambia) contain artificial sweeteners that can be triggers for Migraineurs. I know, it doesn’t make much sense for Migraine medicine to contain potential triggers, but they do. There are other alternatives if your daughter is triggered by these artificial sweeteners:

    How can I keep my Migraine medicines down so they will work? https://migraine.com/blog/how-can-i-keep-my-migraine-medicines-down-so-they-will-work/

    What is a Compounding Pharmacy? https://migraine.com/blog/what-is-a-compounding-pharmacy/

    Is your daughter on a preventive regime yet? How many Migraines does she suffer each month?

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  • By Heather

    Ellen,

    Thank you for the links. My daughter avoids artificial sweeteners but we have not linked them to triggering migraines.

    She has had a migraine recently that lasted 77 days. Some of the days she had a pain level of 9 but most days her pain was between a 2-4. She did get a break for 5 days pain free and then a new migraine that lasted only 9 days. She then went for 18 days without a headache. Yesterday she came home from school early with a bad migraine but with Maxalt Cocktail she slept for 5 hours and woke up without a headache.

    We have her on a very consistent schedule of sleep and meals. We avoid all preservatives, MSG, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and try to keep chocolate to a minimum. She is on a daily preventative regimine of meds and vitamins. She practices Biofeedback therapy, receives massages a couple times a month and just had her first botox treatment in Dec.

    She missed the entire first semester except for 15 days. This is the first week back to school and she has only missed one day so far. Celebration Dance!

    Love reading your blogs I always find useful information and links.

    Heather

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  • By Michelle

    I have used Maxalt for my migraines. When the Dr. first prescribed it I looked at there website. http://www.maxalt.com There I found a coupon for up to $20 off for up to three refills. I used my insurance and Kroger pharmacy. So I accumlated points and only had to pay $10.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Michelle – We also have an offer center here as well https://migraine.com/offer-center/ but that only applies to name brands as of right now. I’m not sure if they will continue programs like that or not now that the generic is out. It’s always good to keep an eye out though. Thanks for sharing – that is amazing you were able to do that!!!

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  • By cath432

    Maxalt didn’t work for me. This isn’t a preventer, is it? I now take relpax. i also use Voltarin Rapid to help with headache and that seems to help. Voltarin should be taken with food, I believe.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    No, Maxalt is an abortive, not a preventive. Voltarin Rapid, is an NSAID considered a rescue medication. I gave you a bit of information in the Topamax forum, let me know if you have any questions, OK?

    Nancy

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  • By Karen

    I’ve been taking Maxalt for years and my last refill was a new prescription and I got the generic. Very weird side effects and wondering if anyone else is getting side effects only with the generic. I had very vivid nightmares, dizzyness, blurred vision, etc… All the side effects were 8 hours after taking it. I’ve asked the doctor to prescribe the non generic and hopefully insurance will cover it. I refuse to take the generic (too scary).

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  • By Teri Robert

    Hi, Karen,

    You’re the first person I’ve seen talk about a problem with the generic Maxalt. It just doesn’t seem that the generic could cause what happened to you.

    The generic contains the same active ingredient as the brand name. Only the binders and fillers can be different, and they shouldn’t cause that kind of side effect.

    The half-life of rizatriptan is two to three hours, so after 8, at least 80% of it would be out of your system.

    What did your doctor say about those side effects. I’m really curious about this. Good luck with your insurance company. Hope they’re more reasonable than mine. Mine won’t pay for the brand name at all now that the generic is available. They’d just tell me to try another of the tripans that are generic or use the few brand name triptans that are on their formulary. Please keep us posted?

    Teri

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  • By ksnides

    CaryD26 – I just filled a generic Rx for Maxalt and my doc wrote it for 18, and that’s what they gave me. I have Blue Cross / Blue Shield.

    The reason I got on this forum is because I’ve had the same headache for 3 days and I’m taking Maxalt morning and evening and the headache is coming back. I was curious to see if anyone else is noticing the generic Maxalt not working as well…but let me give you the background.

    I’ve been on Topomax now for about 2 1/2 months and my headaches are SO much better. I was getting a headache 1-2 times a week. (I never had bad symptoms like nausea or aura, just a nagging headache.) Now, I only get one every couple weeks but they are difficult to get rid of. But I was having trouble getting rid of them when I was taking the brand name Maxalt, too…so the fact that I am now on generic may not mean anything.

    Now that I’m on Topomax, Maxalt works completely differently for me. It used to knock out the headache right away, but now it takes awhile.

    I’m worried about this drug overuse thing I’m reading about here on the boards, will I create some rebound effect by taking too much Maxalt? I’ve now taken 4 since Monday (it’s Wednesday AM)

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    ksnides – Indeed, it is usually recommended that no more than 3 doses of medications that can contribute to Medication Overuse Headache (MOH) be taken per week. Some doctors do modify that a little and say – 3 days of treatments per week.

    Have you tried other triptans for your Migraines? Some tend to hit harder, faster. Others have more staying power. Sometimes adding an NSAID that is prescribed by your doctor can help to end a particularly intractable attack. There are many options for you yet, but yes, I would be concerned enough about MOH to have a very open discussion with my doctor about it and your current usage of triptans.

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  • By montanaday

    Actually, I think people are right. I’ve taken Maxalt for years and I know if my headache’s going to “pop” right at the two hour mark of taking it. I can “feel” the name brand Maxalt working; I haven’t experienced that with the generic. I have been more than willing to use the generic, in fact I wanted to because it doesn’t cost me anything. However this month has been much worse for me with migraines and I have to believe it is the generic Maxalt that’s the reason. I am taking it at the first sign, everything else is the same except the prescription itself. Also I’ve experienced very vivid dreams, but not 8 hours after taking it, but during the time period that it should be working.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    montanaday – VERY interesting indeed! This is the kind of feedback that might be really helpful for patients to see. I wonder if anybody else will find similar issues?

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  • By Candaceg

    Hi I am new to this forum. I was googling to see if anyone else was not responding to the new generic maxalt. I have been taking maxalt for over ten years and will always feel better within a half hour or so. I can feel it “unclogging” my sinuses as it is working and feel a certain tingle in my head. I am also sensitive to hot water after I take it. The generic takes a couple of hours…lasts half as long and doesn’t take the complete headache away. I feel no relief in my sinus am not sensitive to the hot water and am much more tired. For those that are saying the generic is the same thing…you couldn’t be more wrong. Has Anyone had the insurance company cover maxalt after the generic didnt work? please help…have literally had 3 “good” days this month. Take care:)

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Candaceg – That’s difficult to say, as each insurance company’s policies will be different from another’s. Often they will cover the name brand, but will charge you a penalty for using it instead of the generic. Sometimes you can get by this by using two instead of one, with your doctor’s instructions to do so of course. There are often limitations on how many you can purchase in a 30 day period though, so there is also that to contend with.

    We all react differently to different medicines. They all have different fillers, etc, so they may not work as well in one person as another. These are all things we have to keep in mind as we make treatment decisions for ourselves. Please do use your experience to get a good conversation going with your doctor and see if you can work something out that will benefit you. Then, please let us know how it goes and what you come up with. You might be helping someone else you don’t even know <3

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  • By Karen

    Wanted to update everyone on my Maxalt-generic story (didn’t work the same and nightmares). I do not believe what others have said that the generics are no different from the brand. After talking to my insurance company and my doctor, we switched me back to Relpax (used it years ago). Unfortunately the Relpax doesn’t help me the same as Maxalt. Maxalt was able to break the migraine cycle whereas Relpax simply reduces the severeness of my migraine. In two weeks I’ve already used my monthly allotment. I have a great doctor that suggested that western medicine is simply not working for me. After much discussion, I’m going to try accupuncture in combination with the Relpax. Anyone have experience with accupuncture for migraines?

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  • By Nancy

    I have taken the generic form of maxalt 4 times in the past 2 weeks and my experience with Maxalt and the generic has been identical to that of CandiceG. With Maxalt, I feel relief within an hour, have the same tingling feeling in my head and am sensitive to hot water. Once the migraine is gone, I can head off to work and function normally. The generic takes hours for even a bit of relief and I am sooooo tired, I almost feel nauseous and my eyes are burning. I noticed on line last week, that in Canada, Merck(the maker of Maxalt) has a Patient Assistance card that you can order that allows you to buy Maxalt at the same price as the generic. They pay for the extra cost (like a secondary insurance company). I got it set up at the pharmacy today and was able to get Maxalt for no extra cost. What a relief! Something worth looking into for anyone that does not like the generic.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for the information. It’s good to hear you were able to get the medication that works best for you. And while it is true that the ‘active’ ingredients are the same in generics as the brands, the fillers and binders manufacturers use are different. So it is possible for some generic brands to work better than others, or not at all for some people.

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  • By Vicki

    I’ve been taking Maxalt for about 1 year. It is the first thing that has ever worked for me so that I am not down in bed for 3 days at a time. It would work in about 30 minutes and I was good to go. Last refill, I tried the generic. The first pill I took, I noticed that it took about 20 minutes longer to take effect. Well, yesterday I took pill #18, my final pill, and the migraine did not go away after 3 hours. It was one of the worst headaches I have had in a very long time. I finally took one of my “gold” pills (original Maxalt)that I had stashed away, and the headache was gone in about 45 minutes, but still left me extremely tired. I found that the generic pills took longer to take effect and each time I took one, it seemed to have even less or no effect. Today, I refilled my prescription for original Maxalt and the insurance paid it’s portion. Too bad it is so expensive and the coupon I was using from Merck expired.

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  • By montanaday

    Re: your post.

    Do you live in the United States? If so how did you go about getting a prescription in Canada mailed here using your insurance and the Patient Assistant card? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. The generic isn’t working for me but since there is now a generic available my cost on brand Maxalt went from $75 to $320; I’m getting penalized for not using generic. What a rip off but I have no choice. Thanks.

    “I got it set up at the pharmacy today and was able to get Maxalt for no extra cost. What a relief! Something worth looking into for anyone that does not like the generic.”

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  • By Vicki

    I live in the United States and used my insurance only at a local pharmacy. I paid $150 for 18 tablets. My cost was $97.30 before the generic, but I had a coupon from the Merck site that expired. I do not remember the value of the coupon.

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  • By Anonymous

    Hi everyone, I’m new to the group and only found this forum when I started googling to see if anyone else was having problems with the generic version. I take Maxalt MLT 10 mg, and have been taking them for years. I am extremely sensitive to meds, and Maxalt is so far the only med out of the triptan family I’ve been able to take that works for me (most other ones actually increase my migraine symptoms). I joined the forum today because I too am having problems with the generic version.
    The original Maxalt usually can get rid of my migraines with 1 dose and sleep. The generic takes longer to kick-in, and I still have a slight headache 3 hours later – which eventually grows back in strength to full blown migraines. I try not to take more than 2 pills in 24 hours, but its pretty miserable. It’s only by taking 2 rounds of analgesics + the generics that I am finally able to get the migraine manageable – and it still didn’t fully go away for another 24 hours.
    I’m curious what other posters will continue to share regarding the generic. My insurance won’t cover the generic, but for me the generic is only very slightly cheaper. I pay out of pocket and get re-imbursed. For 9 pills I paid $226 for the generic instead of $285 for original. PLUS now I have to take two generic pills vs just 1 original Maxalt to do the same work. I’m going to try this angle with my doc and my insurance company to see if I can get back on the original.
    I’ll keep you posted….

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  • By Teri Robert

    Good luck, Miryenne! While generics are quite similar, they’re not totally the same as the original brand. They can have different fillers and binders, AND there’s quite a range of bioavailability allowed by the FDA.

    Bioavailability is the rate at which a medication is rate at which a substance (such as a medication) is absorbed into the body and made available at its site of action. What’s interesting is that current FDA regulations allow the bioavailability of a generic medication to range from 20% below that of the original brand name medication to 20% above. In an extreme case, there could be a 40% difference in bioavailability between two generics made by different manufacturers.

    This can also explain why results can vary from one generic manufacturer to the next.

    I don’t know if this info will help you, but thought you might be interested.

    Teri

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  • By AmyBabee

    MAXALT! No, never again. I am glad it is working for most of us. Soon, hopefully, I will also find that ONE or 2 that works for me too.

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  • By AmyBabee

    I tried Butalbital (dont know if its abortive). Tried Atenolol…worked good but had to discontinue bcos Dr. says its for HBP and I dont have HBP …:( Tried Cafergot …worked fantastic too but interferes with other medications I take for other conditions. Imitrex was the last one, which takes my pain from 4-10 in record time, so stopped. Seeing Dr. tomorrow to know the next thing to do. Meanwhile I keep taking Excedrin/Tylenol which I am afraid is now giving me MOH…daily migraines…so sad.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Amy2013 – My first concern is what doctor you’re seeing. I always recommend patients who need preventive therapy see a Migraine/Headache specialist. https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/ For many patients, this is the difference between suffering and success.

    Atenolol is used for many things, including HBP. I had to take it as a Graves’ Disease patient because it helped with heart issues I had related to my elevated thyroid levels. It is a drug that works more specifically with cardiac issues than some others, however some patients do find it is helpful for their Migraines.

    The sad part of the story is that there are NO preventive medicines designed for Migraine. This means they are all being used “off label”. This means the drugs were designed for one purpose, but being used because a happy side effect makes them useful for something else, like Migraine. This doesn’t mean they aren’t helpful, or useful.

    You’re really smart to be concerned and educated about MOH. I’m curious, what did your doctor say to you about these issues?

    ~Ellen

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  • By Dizzy1i

    Maxalt used to be a magic medication. One pill would shutdown a migraine within 20 minutes. I used it for three years; then, one day Maxalt failed. Subsequent rescue attempts worked only 50% of the time and then eventually not at all. (Note that I was always taking the brand name drug.)

    At the same time my daily suppression drug scheme also began to fail. It took 2-3 months to find a new effective drug mix. My new rescue drug was Relpax, but that failed after three administrations. Fortunately, my current daily drug protocol is very effective, so I have had a few days on the edge but no need for a rescue drug–so far.

    As many migrainuers here know, we all respond to migraine drugs differently, but my experience shows that it is possible to develop a tolerance to drugs that erases their efficacy. I have heard that my experience is not uncommon.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    jwh1949 – I really wish you were wrong on this one. I really do. The fact is, not only do a lot of medicines stop working eventually, but our Migraines can transform from episodic difficulties to chronic and disabling, and the meds not working as they were before can be a hint that may be happening.

    Are you seeing a Migraine specialist that can very specifically deal with these issues? https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/

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  • By JoelleAD

    Hi,
    Now that the new generic Maxalt is out, has anyone else had any luck with it? The name brand Maxalt worked pretty well for me, but the generic has almost no effect. My insurance company doesn’t want to pay for the name brand, though, of course. Has anyone else had any issues with this?

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  • By montanaday

    I tried the generic, made by Mylan, and it was useless, made me really sleepy and it never really “kicked” my migraine, the headache never seemed to go away completely. Usually with the name brand Maxalt I can tell if it’s going to work, and when it goes away it’s gone, I have a clear head. Then I called Costco and found out there’s different manufacturers and I tried the one by Breckenridge; it was much better, usually took about a half hour longer to kick my headache but it did sometimes kick it, sometimes not. The bad thing about all generics I’ve tried is they made me much more sleepy and groggy than the name brand, therefore I can’t use them at work when I feel one coming on. In addition, I was told you never know “which” generic you’re going to get because pharmacies tend to rotate which generic they use, based on cost. I finally had my neurologist contact my insurance company and overwrite the generic requirement. The plus side is, the name brand usually stops my migraine and I can use it at work, the downside is the cost – for me, free for the generic and $165.00 monthly for the name brand, but I really have no choice. Hope this helps.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    montanaday – Here’s a tip for you and getting the right generic:

    Most pharmacies will keep notes on their patients. You can tell them you need the same generic brand with each refill, and most will happily do that for you. If not, when you call in your refill request, simply ask them for that specific brand you need. Give them a few days to order it if necessary.

    I’ve found I have to do this with my meds as well, as my insurance won’t cover name brands when a generic is optional. So far it’s worked fine, so long as I remember to give them a little extra time to order my brand when they run out.

    Hope this helps 🙂

    ~Ellen

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  • By JoelleAD

    Thankfully, my doctor wrote a letter to the insurance company and they are now allowing me to use the name brand product. Of course, my share of the prescription has increased dramatically, but I am thankful they are paying a good chunk of it. I do think it’s despicable that the manufacturer actually increased the price of the name brand when the generic came out. It’s another example of how supply and demand does not work for health care.

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  • By rhoeffner

    My last refill of Maxalt resulted in my getting a genetic form. Didn’t think too much about it until my third time taking it and it didn’t work. I have the side effects of severe tiredness and pain in my fingers and toes of all places!

    I’m on Atenolol which works fantastic for me. That combined with Maxalt was a life changer for me. Before this drug combo, I would have hallucinations of getting a serrated knife and cutting off the portion of me had that hurt so badly… with very few headaches after starting this regimen, I’ve had no more pain to that level and truly, my life has been totally different…so much better.

    I’m very worried that this generic Maxalt is going to put me back to my previous state. So far, following the generic with Advil is some what working, but it certainly isn’t the same as taking Maxalt. Will see my doctor in 2 months and will discuss my options.

    Just wanted to post my experiences with the generic for others. Also, I think it has some what changed my headaches to the Vertigo non painful type at times. I’m not sure which is worse! The Vertigo makes me sick at my stomach.

    Hard to think binders and fillers can have this type of effect on whether a drug works or not.

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  • By Kerrie Smyres Moderator

    Rhoeffner,

    If the generic Maxalt isn’t working for you, please call your doctor’s office for assistance. There’s no need to wait until your appointment, especially if the generic isn’t working as well as the name brand did and you’re worried about the increase in your migraine severity. Your doctor may need to write to your insurance company to request that they cover brand name Maxalt or it could be that a generic from a different manufacturer than what you just got will be as effective as the brand name.

    Best of luck in getting this sorted out quickly.

    Kerrie

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  • By Myakka12

    I also arrived here via searching “generic maxalt doesn’t work.” I have used Maxalt for many years and it has always worked withing 30 minutes. Yes, sometimes I do get totally exhausted after wards (as asked above) but it could be just from having a migrane.

    Now I am getting the generic. It doesn’t work. Not at all. It doesn’t make sense–its the same chemical. I don’t understand. But Maxalt always worked and this pill does not.

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  • By rhoeffner

    I have just returned from my doctor and mentioned to him about the generic not working. While he said he would write a new prescription for non-generic only, he said not to get my hopes up, that it just wasn’t working with insurance any more.

    In the mean time, the last 2 times that I took the generic,I took an Aleve at the same time rather than waiting until I saw the generic wasn’t going to work. Wow! I got the same sensations as with taking the Maxalt and my headache was gone within 30 min.

    When I took the combo at the same time, everything was exactly as though I had taken a Maxalt. Might give that a try.

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    • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

      Rhoeffner,
      Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) has definitely been helpful for patients in managing their Migraines. In fact, the drug Treximet is a triptan that also has naproxen sodium in it. If it’s working for you, that’s great! But make sure to mention it to your doctor in case there are any contraindications with taking other meds you might be on.
      -Katie

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  • By kris_sumser

    Hi, I am not sure if I am using the generic of maxalt or the brand name, but it seems go work excellently for me. However, since I started, I do have the most vivid and unsettling dreams. Not quite nightmares, just unsettling. From what I’m reading it sounds like I’m on the generic, the brand name must work wonders if I feel like the generic is the first break in the clouds I’ve ever had.

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    • By rhoeffner

      My Maxalt has always come in a little white mylar (silver lined) type packet with a small slit at the top used for opening it. And it has Maxalt printed on the outside.

      My generic have come 2 different ways. One is in a blister-type peel back pack. They are the hardest ever to get open. So much so, that when I get them, I sit down and separate the blister packs and start the opening process – not to the point where I break the seal, but I separate the backing from the plastic so that when I’m suffering from a horrid migraine I’m not exacerbating the pain by trying to open the medication that I need in order to get rid of the pain! It’s so frustrating.

      I’ve not had the other generic in a while, but I believe it came in blister packs where you just pushed the pill out from behind – not so hard, but definitely not as handy and convenient as the Maxalt individual packs that you can just throw in your purse and know that no matter what they go through in there, the pill is still going to hold it’s integrity.

      My doctor wrote the last prescription for non-generic and while I get fewer pills and pay $20 more – I’m just fine with it. The anxiety of wondering if what I have in the cabinet is even going to work coupled with the anxiety of swallowing a pill and laying there waiting and wondering if it is going to kick in – has been totally alleviated.

      I’m not a worry wort either and was so surprised when this kind of anxiety kicked in. Since being placed on Rizitriptan several years ago, my migraines have reduced not only in severity but also in frequency to the point that I almost forget I have migraines. My life has been totally different – so I’ll gladly pay the extra for the real stuff!

      I’ve never had any side effects from taking it, no odd or bad dreams. Very soon after I take it and it starts kicking it, I have a sense of calm flow over my body – I assume it’s the meds entering my bloodstream and a slight numbing of the face for only a few seconds and then the pain slowly but steadily leaves – it’s quite amazing!

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    • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

      Kris,
      You mentioned that you seem to have vivid dreams when you take Maxalt. I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one I’ve heard of who has this side effect. It happens to me when I take Percoset. I don’t have a solution for you, but you’re not alone!
      -Katie
      Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By mev

    I am taking Maxalt for migraine and struggling with bouts of depression afterward. It used to be that I would be very blue the afternoon/evening after a migraine (I usually awake with them), but recovered the next day. This occurred with Relpax as well. Lately, the depression has lingered for days. Not just tired or lethargic, but totally hopeless feelings, nearly suicidal. I really don’t think I would take my life; I know the feelings are temporary and caused by the meds.

    I’ve scoured the web looking for depression as a side effect of Maxalt — and other triptans — but have only seen a few references to it being a “rare” side effect.

    Does anyone else experience this with Maxalt?

    thanks.
    mev

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    • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

      Mev,
      I read through an FDA summary on the clinical study on Maxalt. It states that less than 1% of people in the trial had “suicidal idealations or attempted suicide.” It seems to be a very rare side effect, but not unheard of. You could be one of those rare people who cannot tolerate it. I’m really glad you recognize that this is an issue. And I worry that this could become a bigger issue.

      Definitely talk to your doctor. Since you’ve experienced this on Relpax too, it could be that your system does not like Triptans. Another option for you would be to try DHE as an abortive med. Here’s some info on DHE if you are not familiar with it:
      https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/dhe-45-for-migraine-headaches/

      Please don’t let this issue continue. And if you ever do feel suicidal and need help, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

      Best wishes!
      -Katie
      Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By ada

    I was getting intense rebound migraines from taking too much maxalt. I was getting about 4 or 5 migraines a week at the beginning of the year. Eventually I went cold turkey and my headaches reduced to 1 every 4 weeks which was a dream! Recently though I felt myself getting a migraine on a day I had a lot of work to do, so I took my first maxalt since February. The next week I did the same thing and the week after that the same. So my migraines slowly increased to once a week and I’ve since stopped taking them, though i’m still getting more migraines than usual. Is it possible that I’m so sensitive to triptans that the effects of a rebound headache affect if I take just one?

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  • By tgraham

    adamcc, this is my first ever response to the migraine.com forums but your entry caught my eye. I’m in the same boat as you! Same boat, same page, same, same! I had to “detox” from Maxalt because I was having rebound headaches and according to my rheumy can’t take the meds more than every 3 days… but when I do take it as directed I still have migraines.

    I don’t understand the craziness. I’m taking topamax for preventative morning and night and alternate between Maxalt and Frova for migraine treatment.

    I wish I knew what questions to ask or what other meds I could take to make them decrease!!

    Tricia 🙁

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    • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

      @graham06,
      Are you taking any medications on a daily basis to prevent Migraines? If not, talk to your doctor about it. This could reduce the number of days you feel you need to use Maxalt or Frova. You mentioned Topamax, but sometimes taking an additional preventative can help. I’m definitely not saying you need more meds, but if the Topamax isn’t helping there are a ton of other preventatives to try.

      On another note, if you feel like taking Maxalt gives you horrible rebound headaches, there is another class of abortive drugs called ergotamines. Most popular is one called DHE. It’s not a triptan like Maxalt so you may react differently to it. Here’s more info on DHE:
      https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/dhe-45-for-migraine-headaches/

      -Katie
      Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Ron Reich

    I’m a long term Maxalt brand user. I’ve never had an adverse reaction. Not so with generics. In fact, I’ve never had a satisfactory experience with generic rizitriptan. Not even close. Any advice on which manufacturers of generic come the closest to brand Maxalt?

    Also, since brand and generic differ so much, everyone posting here should be specific about which they are taking when reporting side effects, efficacy, etc. I am always amazed when health-care experts say generic vs. brand is a non issue because the FDA makes sure the molecule is the same. My experience says otherwise. How about yours?

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    • By Katie M. Golden Moderator

      @1ri2adj,
      Sorry, I don’t know which manufacturers produce a generic that is closest to Maxalt.
      I wanted to suggest that when your doctor writes your prescription, it’s clear that you need the original and not generic. With your insurance it may cost a little extra to get the name brand. Sorry, I don’t have any better solutions. Hopefully someone else will chime in.
      Best Wishes,
      -Katie
      Migraine.com Moderator

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  • By Marisa

    I’ve been a migraine sufferer for 25 years, since age 5 which is pretty rare. Being prescribed Maxalt MLT was a life saver!! I’ve been using it for years. It’s the only thing that will touch the pain. Getting rid of my migraine is worth the side effects – a strange feeling in my head and throat.

    And then they came out with a generic. I get my medicine from a mail order pharmacy and the first generic they sent me worked nearly as well. The manufacturer was Par Pharm. Well my most recent order was a generic from Breckenridge. I hate it! If it works at all, it takes a half hour to an hour to kick in. Several times it hasn’t worked or the headache came back.

    I’m so frustrated, but it has helped so much to see that I’m not alone. I’m thinking of calling the mail order company (Express Scripts) and asking if I can get the other generic. If not I might just pay the extra money and get it at a local pharmacy. I saw above that you can ask the pharmacy to order a specific brand for you. I’ll keep that in mind.

    Thank for all the great info! While this won’t help my current headache I’m going to look into going back to the Maxalt MLT from Par Pharm.

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  • By Kerrie Smyres Moderator

    Marisa,

    Please do contact your pharmacy. They should be able to order the specific brand that worked for you. If you have trouble finding the right generic, you can also see what your insurance requires to cover brand name drugs. Usually it’s a letter or form that your doctor has to fill out. You’ll probably have to pay more for the co-pay than with a generic, but that may be less than using a local pharmacy rather than mail order.

    Kerrie

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  • By rhoeffner

    Great advice – I should have said to check with your physician. I asked mine when I was in as I had ‘thought’ you weren’t supposed to take NSAIDS with Rizitriptan but he confirmed that it was okay. He never even mentioned anything about contraindications with my other med…which is only Atenolol – used as a beta blocker since I don’t have high blood pressure.

    I was just amazed at how it now works exactly like Maxalt in this combo. Oddly, I still have anxiety over this issue; however…which isn’t really like me. I woke up at 3am with a screaming headache this morning and wouldn’t relax and return to sleep until I made sure the combo was going to work. With Maxalt, I would have relaxed and tried to go back to sleep immediate after taking it, knowing the pain would be totally gone upon waking for the day.

    I’m glad my doctor is going to try and request non-generic, but I am happy knowing I can at least mimic the Maxalt.

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