RizaFilm - Revolutionary Migraine Treatment with Oral Thin Film Technology

RizaFilm is a proprietary oral thin film formulation of rizatriptan benzoate, designed for the treatment of acute migraines.

As an oral soluble film, it quickly dissolves in the mouth without the need for swallowing with water, making it a suitable option for patients who experience migraine-related nausea or have difficulty swallowing.

The active ingredient, rizatriptan, is a serotonin receptor agonist that helps in constricting blood vessels, reducing migraine-associated swelling and inflammation.

RizaFilm, an innovative oral thin film medication for acute migraine treatment.

Development and Approval

RizaFilm was developed by IntelGenx, a leading company in pharmaceutical film technology, leveraging their expertise in creating next-generation pharmaceutical products.

The FDA approved RizaFilm for the treatment of acute migraines in April 2023, marking it as the first oral thin film of its kind in the U.S. market.

Significance in Migraine Treatment

Migraine affects approximately 39 million people in the U.S. and is considered the second leading cause of disability nationwide.

The introduction of RizaFilm represents a significant advancement in migraine treatment, providing a new, convenient administration method for patients, especially those affected by nausea during migraine attacks.

Comparison with Existing Treatments

Before RizaFilm, rizatriptan was available in an oral tablet form under the brand name Maxalt since 1998. RizaFilm's unique delivery system sets it apart from traditional tablet forms.

The market for migraine drugs is continuously evolving, with RizaFilm joining other recent FDA-approved migraine treatments that address administration challenges.

Future Prospects and Availability

With a patent protection until July 2034, RizaFilm is set to be a key player in the migraine treatment market, which is projected to grow significantly in the coming years.

IntelGenx has partnered with Gensco Pharma for the commercialization of RizaFilm in the United States.

What diseases does RizaFilm treat?

Primary Indication: Migraine

RizaFilm is primarily indicated for the acute treatment of migraine, with or without aura, in adults and in pediatric patients aged 12 to 17 years weighing 40 kg or more.

Migraine is characterized by recurrent attacks of moderate to severe pulsating headache pain, typically on one side of the head.

Scope of Treatment

The treatment targets dural vasodilation and inflammation associated with migraines by binding to serotonin receptors.

RizaFilm's effectiveness extends to symptoms like migraine-associated nausea, photophobia (sensitivity to light), and phonophobia (sensitivity to sound).

Clinical Studies and Efficacy

The bioequivalence of RizaFilm was established through a comparative study with Maxalt-MLT and Maxalt-Lingua, demonstrating its safety and effectiveness for migraine relief.

The study results showed that RizaFilm's pharmacokinetic parameters were within the acceptable range for bioequivalence with existing migraine medications.

A Growing Need for Migraine Treatment

The global prevalence of migraine is significant, affecting approximately one billion people worldwide, highlighting the need for effective treatments like RizaFilm.

The migraine treatment market is expanding, with new options continually emerging to address different patient needs.

Impact on Patients' Lives

The convenience and quick relief offered by RizaFilm's unique delivery system can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from migraines, particularly those with nausea or difficulty swallowing.

In What Forms Is RizaFilm Available?

Formulation and Administration

RizaFilm is available as an oral thin film, which is a distinctive delivery form compared to traditional tablets or capsules.

The film is designed to dissolve rapidly in the mouth, releasing the active ingredient rizatriptan, without the need for water.

Convenience and Accessibility

This form of administration is particularly beneficial for patients who experience nausea or have difficulty swallowing during migraine attacks.

The ease of use facilitates rapid administration and offers a convenient alternative to pills.

Packaging and Storage

Details regarding the packaging and storage conditions of RizaFilm, like temperature requirements and shelf-life, are typically included in the product labeling and packaging.

Dosing Flexibility

RizaFilm's dosage form allows for precise dosing and ease of use, especially in settings where water isn't readily available.

Availability in Pharmacies

RizaFilm is expected to be available through pharmacies across the United States, following its FDA approval.

What's the Difference Between RizaFilm and Maxalt?

Active Ingredient

Both RizaFilm and Maxalt contain the active ingredient rizatriptan, which is effective in treating migraines.

Form of Administration

Maxalt was first approved in 1998 as an oral tablet, while RizaFilm, approved in 2023, is an oral film that dissolves in the mouth.

Target Patient Population

RizaFilm is specifically designed for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills or experience nausea during migraines, making it a more suitable option for these individuals.

Speed of Relief

The oral film form of RizaFilm may offer quicker relief due to its rapid dissolution and absorption in the mouth.

Patent and Market Presence

While Maxalt has been a long-standing treatment option for migraines, RizaFilm brings innovation to the market with its unique delivery system and is patent-protected until 2034.

RizaFilm VS Maxalt Comparative Patient Experiences

Formulation and Ease of Use:

RizaFilm, being an oral thin film, rapidly disintegrates under or on the tongue without needing water, making it highly convenient and beneficial for those who experience nausea with their migraine attacks, or have difficulty swallowing.

Maxalt, in contrast, is an orally disintegrating tablet. While also designed for ease of use, it may not be as convenient as RizaFilm for those with swallowing difficulties or nausea.

Bioequivalence and Effectiveness:

Both RizaFilm and Maxalt contain rizatriptan as their active ingredient. A study showed that RizaFilm is bioequivalent to Maxalt, meaning it should be equally effective in treating acute migraines.

Patients may experience similar effectiveness in migraine relief from both medications, as they work in the same way to narrow the blood vessels in the brain.

Patient Preferences:

The choice between RizaFilm and Maxalt may come down to individual preferences regarding the mode of delivery. Some patients might prefer the novel and convenient film form of RizaFilm, especially if they have issues with nausea or swallowing.

Others may continue to prefer the more traditional tablet form of Maxalt, especially if they are accustomed to it and have found it effective.

Advantages of RizaFilm:

RizaFilm's film form is reported to have a neutral flavor and does not require swallowing a pill or consuming water, which can be advantageous for patients experiencing nausea and vomiting during migraine attacks.

The film formulation offers rapid relief and is particularly suitable for patients who experience migraine-related nausea or have difficulty swallowing.

Considerations for Switching or Choosing a Treatment:

Patients considering switching from Maxalt to RizaFilm, or vice versa, should consult with their healthcare provider. Factors like individual response to treatment, ease of use, cost, and insurance coverage may influence this decision.

Both RizaFilm and Maxalt offer effective migraine relief with rizatriptan. The main differences lie in their formulation and administration, which can significantly influence patient preference and convenience. For those with nausea or swallowing difficulties, RizaFilm's thin film technology may offer a more suitable and convenient option.

How to Take RizaFilm

Administration Guidelines

RizaFilm should be placed on the tongue and allowed to dissolve, without the need for water.

It's important to follow the dosing instructions as provided by a healthcare professional or as indicated on the product label.

Dosage Recommendations

The usual adult dose is 10 mg, with repeat doses separated by at least two hours. The maximum cumulative dose in a 24-hour period is 30 mg.

For pediatric patients aged 12 to 17 years and weighing 40 kg or more, the recommended dose is also 10 mg.

Precautions During Administration

Patients should avoid activities requiring mental alertness, like driving, if they experience dizziness or weakness after taking RizaFilm.

Adjustments for Specific Populations

Dosing adjustments may be necessary for certain populations, such as individuals with renal or hepatic impairment. Consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended in these cases.

Instructions for Missed Doses

If a dose is missed, patients should take it as soon as they remember, but not close to the time of the next scheduled dose to avoid double dosing.

How Long Does RizaFilm Take to Work?

Onset of Action

The specific onset time for RizaFilm's effectiveness in relieving migraine symptoms can vary among individuals.

As an oral film, RizaFilm may offer a quicker onset of action due to its rapid dissolution and absorption in the oral cavity.

Factors Influencing Onset Time

The time it takes for RizaFilm to work can be influenced by factors such as the severity of the migraine, individual metabolism, and whether the medication is taken on an empty or full stomach.

Patient Experiences

Individual experiences with the onset of RizaFilm's action may vary, and it is recommended to monitor one's response to the medication for a precise understanding.

Comparison with Other Forms

Compared to traditional tablets, the oral film may provide faster relief, although this can depend on individual response and the nature of the migraine attack.


If RizaFilm does not provide the expected relief, or if symptoms persist, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider for further guidance.

How Long Does RizaFilm Last?

Duration of Effectiveness

The duration of RizaFilm's effectiveness in alleviating migraine symptoms can vary based on individual responses and the characteristics of the migraine episode.

Average Duration

The specific duration for which RizaFilm provides relief is not explicitly stated, but it is generally expected to be similar to other forms of rizatriptan.

Factors Affecting Duration

The lasting effect of RizaFilm can be influenced by factors such as the dosage taken, individual metabolism, and the severity of the migraine.

Re-dosing Guidelines

If symptoms persist or recur, a second dose may be taken at least two hours after the first dose, with a maximum of three doses in a 24-hour period.

Monitoring and Adjustment

It's important to monitor the effectiveness of RizaFilm and consult with a healthcare provider if adjustments in dosing or frequency are necessary.

Do I Need a Prescription for RizaFilm?

Prescription Requirement

RizaFilm is a prescription medication and requires a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.

Regulatory Approval

As a medication that has been approved by the FDA, RizaFilm is subject to prescription regulations and controls.

Consultation with Healthcare Professionals

Obtaining RizaFilm involves consultation with a healthcare provider to ensure its appropriateness for the patient's condition and to determine the correct dosage.

Pharmacy Dispensing

RizaFilm is dispensed through pharmacies, and a valid prescription is necessary for its purchase.

Importance of Medical Supervision

The requirement of a prescription ensures that RizaFilm is used under medical supervision, considering its indications, potential side effects, and interactions with other medications.

How to Choose the Right RizaFilm Dosage

Individualized Dosage

The appropriate dosage of RizaFilm varies based on individual factors such as the severity of the migraine, patient age, and medical history.

It's crucial to follow the healthcare provider's prescription for the right dosage.

Standard Dosage Guidelines

For adults, the standard dose is 10 mg, and it can be repeated if necessary, following specific intervals.

In pediatric patients (12 to 17 years and weighing 40 kg or more), the recommended dose is also 10 mg.

Adjustments for Health Conditions

Dose adjustments might be required for patients with certain health conditions like renal or hepatic impairment. It's important to disclose all health conditions to the prescribing physician.

Overdose Risks

In case of an overdose, immediate medical attention is necessary. The maximum cumulative dose in a 24-hour period should not exceed 30 mg.

Consultation with Healthcare Provider

Regular consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended for ongoing assessment and dosage adjustments, if necessary.

Possible Side Effects of RizaFilm

Common Side Effects

The most commonly reported side effects of RizaFilm include asthenia/fatigue, somnolence, pain/pressure sensation, dizziness, and nausea.

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects may include heart attack, stroke, gastrointestinal ischemic events, peripheral vasospastic reactions, hypersensitivity reactions, medication overuse headache, and serotonin syndrome.

Immediate Medical Attention

If any serious side effects or symptoms of a heart attack or stroke are experienced, immediate medical attention should be sought.

Reporting Side Effects

All side effects should be reported to the healthcare provider, as they can provide guidance and adjust the treatment if necessary.

Individual Variability

It's important to remember that side effects can vary among individuals, and not everyone will experience the same side effects or intensity.

What Adverse Reactions Can Occur When Taking RizaFilm?

Cardiovascular Reactions

Adverse reactions can include myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, Prinzmetal's angina, arrhythmias, and other heart-related problems.

Neurological Reactions

Possible neurological reactions may include cerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and stroke.

Gastrointestinal and Peripheral Reactions

Gastrointestinal ischemic events and peripheral vasospastic reactions are also potential adverse effects.

Allergic Reactions

Hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis and angioedema might occur in some patients.

Medication Overuse Headache

Overuse of RizaFilm can lead to medication overuse headache, a condition where frequent use of headache medications exacerbates headaches.

Where to Buy RizaFilm and How Much Does It Cost?


RizaFilm is expected to be available through pharmacies across the United States, following its FDA approval.

It can be obtained with a prescription from a healthcare provider.

Cost Considerations

The exact cost of RizaFilm is not specified in the available sources. Prices may vary based on insurance coverage, pharmacy location, and any applicable discounts or patient assistance programs.

For the most accurate pricing, it is recommended to check with local pharmacies or healthcare providers.

Insurance Coverage

Coverage for RizaFilm by health insurance plans and payers may vary. Patients should consult their insurance provider for information on coverage and potential out-of-pocket costs.

Potential Discounts and Assistance Programs

Some pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs or discounts for eligible patients. Information about such programs for RizaFilm may be obtained from the manufacturer or healthcare provider.

Online Pharmacies

RizaFilm may also be available through online pharmacies. Patients should ensure they use reputable and licensed online pharmacy services.

How Does RizaFilm Improve Quality of Life?

Convenient Administration

The oral film formulation of RizaFilm provides a convenient and easy-to-use option, especially for patients who experience nausea or difficulty swallowing during migraine attacks.

Quick Relief

As an oral film, RizaFilm may offer faster relief from migraine symptoms due to its rapid dissolution and absorption, improving the response time in acute migraine situations.

Reducing Migraine-Related Disability

By effectively treating migraine symptoms, RizaFilm can reduce the disability and disruption caused by migraines in daily life, which is particularly significant given the high prevalence of migraine.

Addressing a Wider Patient Population

RizaFilm's formulation makes it a suitable option for a broader range of patients, including those who have migraine-related nausea or difficulty swallowing, thus improving accessibility to effective migraine treatment.

Overall Impact on Migraine Management

The introduction of RizaFilm represents a significant advancement in migraine management, potentially improving treatment adherence and overall patient outcomes in migraine care.

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