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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


BIGAL, Marcelo E.; BORDINI, Carlos A.; ANTONIAZZI, Ana L.  and  SPECIALI, José G.. The triptan formulations: a critical evaluation. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2003, vol.61, n.2A, pp.313-320. ISSN 0004-282X.

The migraine-specific triptans have revolutionized the treatment of migraine and are usually the drugs of choice to treat a migraine attack in progress. Different triptans are available in different strengths and formulations including oral tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, nasal sprays and subcutaneous injections. In Europe, sumatriptan is also available as a suppository. Specific differences among the triptans exist as evidenced by different pharmacological profiles includingT½, Tmax, Cmax, AUC, metabolism, drug-drug interaction profiles, amongst other parameters. How or whether these differences translate to clinical efficacy and tolerability differences is not well differentiated. Clinical distinctions among these agents are subtle and proper choice of triptan requires attention to the specific characteristics of each individual patient, knowledge of patient preference, accurate history of the efficacy of previous acute care medications as well as individual features of the drug being considered. Delivery systems may play an important role in the onset of action of triptans. The selection of an acute antimigraine drug for a patient depends upon the stratification of the patient's migraine attack by peak intensity, time to peak intensity, level of associated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, time to associated symptoms, comorbid diseases, and concomitant treatments that might cause drug-drug interactions. The clinician has in his armamentarium an ever-expanding variety of medications, available in multiple formulations and dosages, with good safety and tolerability profiles. Continued clinical use will yield familiarity with the various triptans, and it should become possible for the interested physician to match individual patient needs with the specific characteristics of a triptan to optimize therapeutic benefit.

Keywords : triptans; migraine treatment; acute treatment.

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