Difference Between Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan (With Table)

There are several migraine therapy options. Both Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan are ‘triptan’ or 5HT1 medications that are used to treat acute migraine symptoms and cluster headaches. 5HT1 medications cause blood vessels to constrict and pain to diminish by stimulating serotonin receptors in the brain. This constriction, in particular, prevents pain from being transmitted through the sensory neurons that feed the skin and facial tissues.

Rizatriptan vs Sumatriptan

The main difference between rizatriptan and sumatriptan is that in comparison to sumatriptan, rizatriptan takes a significantly shorter time to reach the bloodstream and become accessible to the tissues. In comparison to sumatriptan, which takes roughly 2-2.5 hours, rizatriptan is accessible within an hour. Even when provided, rizatriptan has a higher availability of medication molecules.

Rizatriptan is a prescription medicine that is used to relieve migraine headaches once they have begun. Rizatriptan belongs to a class of medications known as serotonin-receptor agonists, or “triptans,” that work by restricting blood arteries surrounding the brain to reduce pain. This drug is available in two forms: regular tablets and orally disintegrating tablets.

Migraines are treated with sumatriptan. It relieves headaches, discomfort, and other migraine symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and light or sound sensitivity. Triptans are a kind of medication that includes sumatriptan. It may also help to reduce pain by influencing particular brain nerves. Sumatriptan does not reduce the frequency of migraine attacks or prevent future headaches.

Comparison Table Between Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan

Parameters of Comparison



Chemical structure

Does not contain sulphur.

Contains sulphur.

Forms of availability

Pills and orally disintegrating tablets.  

Pills, injections and nasal sprays.



50 or 100 mg.


Takes less time to relieve pain.

Takes more time to act in comparison to rizatriptan.


Provides longer-lasting effects.

Does not provide longer effects in comparison to razipatran.

What is Rizatriptan?

In adults and children aged 6 to 17, rizatriptan is used to treat migraine symptoms with or without aura. Rizatriptan is available as a tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet for oral use. It is normally given as soon as a migraine headache appears. The individual suffering from pain may take a second pill if your symptoms improve after taking rizatriptan but return after 2 hours or longer.

If the symptoms do not improve after taking rizatriptan it is advised to see the doctor before taking another pill. The maximum amount of pills one can take in 24 hours will be determined by the doctor. Rizatriptan should be taken precisely as prescribed. Do not take more or less of it, or take it more frequently than the package label or your doctor recommends.

Flushing, tingling, numbness, prickling, feeling heat, weariness, weakness, sleepiness, or dizziness are all possible side effects. Consulting the doctor or pharmacist right away if any of these side effects continue or worsen is highly recommended.  The patient should tell the doctor or pharmacist about anything that he or she is allergic to rizatriptan or if they have any other allergies before taking it.

Inactive chemicals may be included in this product, causing allergic reactions or other issues. Rizatriptan works by raising levels of a beneficial molecule known as serotonin, which is low in migraine sufferers. Low levels of this chemical, which also transmits messages in the brain, are regarded to be the major cause of intense pain in migraine occurrences. This drug gives pain relief by controlling its levels.

What is Sumatriptan?

Migraine headaches are treated with sumatriptan. Sumatriptan is sometimes used in conjunction with other medications. Sumatriptan is a kind of medication known as a serotonin-1 receptor agonist. A drug class is a set of pharmaceuticals that all operate in the same manner. These medicines are frequently used to treat illnesses that are similar to each other.

Sumatriptan is available in tablet, nasal spray, and injectable form. Migraines and cluster headaches are treated with a nasal spray and injection. The medications are solely intended to treat migraines. On prescription, sumatriptan pills, nasal spray, and injections are available. An individual may also purchase packs of two 50mg pills without a prescription from a drugstore, but only if they have already been diagnosed with migraines.

The pills normally take 30 to 60 minutes to act. Sprays and injections are more efficient. Feeling or being nauseous, feeling drowsy or dizzy are all common side effects. Sumatriptan pills or injections can be used by most individuals who suffer from migraines. However, the nasal spray is only licensed for use by adults under the age of 65. Sumatriptan’s safety and effectiveness in youngsters have not been established.

It is recommended not to be used by anyone under the age of 18. When using this medication, always follow the doctor’s directions.  As soon as the pain begins, the first dose should be taken.  Do not take the medication before the migraine starts or at the warning stage. This results in some people experiencing “aura” symptoms.

Main Differences Between Rizatriptan and Sumatriptan

  1. Rizatriptan lacks the sulphur group found in sumatriptan’s fundamental chemical structure.
  2. Sumatriptan can be used as pills, injections, or nasal sprays. Rizatriptan can be used as pills or as orally disintegrating tablets.
  3. A rizatriptan dose of 10 mg is far more effective than a sumatriptan dose of 50 or 100 mg.
  4. Rizatriptan relieves pain more quickly than Sumatriptan. A 10mg Rizatriptan dose taken as a pill might take action within a short time such as 30 minutes. The Sumatriptan dose is significantly higher at 100mg, and it often takes closer to an hour to provide good migraine relief.
  5. Compared to sumatriptan, rizatriptan is a quicker and better medication with longer-lasting effects.


Migraine is a type of headache that affects mostly one side of the head and is often accompanied by additional symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. The person is symptom-free in between migraine attacks. The Triptans class of medications includes sumatriptan and rizatriptan, which are used to treat migraines.

Sumatriptan was the first triptan, and additional triptans such as rizatriptan were developed later in the time. When compared to sumatriptan, rizatriptan is more quickly acting. Sumatriptan includes sulphur, which may trigger an allergic reaction. Both Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan should be taken only when migraine symptoms arise, not as a migraine preventative.


  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/594291
  2. https://headachejournal.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1526-4610.1998.3810748.x