Open Access

Treatment preferences and the selection of acute migraine medications: results from a population-based survey

  • Richard B. Lipton1Email author,
  • Joshua Liberman2,
  • F. Michael Cutrer3,
  • Peter J. Goadsby4,
  • Michel Ferrari5,
  • David W. Dodick6,
  • Douglas McCrory7 and
  • Paul Williams8
The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches5:80

Received: 25 November 2003

Accepted: 14 January 2004


Seven oral triptans are available for treating acute migraine. We surveyed US migraine sufferers on the relative importance of treatment attributes for choosing among oral triptans. A multiattribute decision model was used to combine data on the relative importance of efficacy, consistency, and tolerability of acute treatment (determined by 206 triptan-experienced and 209 triptannaive subjects) with data on the performance of the triptans across the attributes (derived from a recent meta-analysis). Efficacy was considered significantly more important than tolerability and consistency: tolerability was significantly more important than consistency for triptan- naive but not triptan-experienced subjects. The multiattribute decision model found that almotriptan, eletriptan, and rizatriptan were significantly closer to the hypothetical ideal triptan than the reference product, sumatriptan 100 mg, for both triptan-naive and triptan-experienced migraine sufferers. Almotriptan, eletriptan, and rizatriptan were the preferred triptans selected on the basis of patients’ own priorities and product performance data.

Key words

Meta-analysisMigraineSurveysTreatment attributesTRIPSTARTriptans