Open Access

A comparison of preference for and efficacy of tablet formulations of sumatriptan (50 mg and 100 mg), naratriptan (2.5 mg), rizatriptan (10 mg), and zolmitriptan (2.5 mg) in the acute treatment of migraine

The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches5:79

DOI: 10.1007/s10194-004-0079-4

Received: 22 October 2003

Accepted: 10 December 2003

Abstract

This randomized, multicenter, open-label, five-way crossover study was conducted to assess patients’ preference for tablet formulations of sumatriptan (50 mg and 100 mg), naratriptan (2.5 mg), rizatriptan (10 mg), and zolmitriptan (2.5 mg) in the acute treatment of migraine and to identify determinants of preference. Patients treated one mild, moderate, or severe migraine with each triptan. The results show that sumatriptan 100 mg was significantly preferred over the random preference rate of 20% (p<0.001) whereas sumatriptan 50 mg, naratriptan, rizatriptan, and zolmitriptan were not. Patients’ primary reason for preferring a medication was best relief of migraine pain, and the treatment that patients preferred corresponded to the medication that was most likely to confer for them a pain-free response 2 hours postdose. Across all patients, efficacy 2 hours postdose was comparable among triptans with the exception of naratriptan, which was slightly less effective than the other medications (pain-free response 2 hours postdose: 40% sumatriptan 100 mg, 37% sumatriptan 50 mg, 28% naratriptan 2.5 mg, 38% rizatriptan 10 mg, 36% zolmitriptan 2.5 mg). The medications were also similarly well-tolerated. These data demonstrate that information on patients’ medication preference supplements and does not duplicate data from traditional efficacy measures. Patient preference data are useful in tailoring migraine therapy to the needs of the individual patient.

Key words

Migraine Headache Preference Sumatriptan Naratriptan Zolmitriptan Rizatriptan Triptan