Sumatriptan succinate, a 5-HT1D receptor agonist, constricts human cranial arteries. Two parallel-group trials for treatment of acute migraines were conducted in the United States. Adult patients were randomized and given either 6 mg of sumatriptan succinate subcutaneously (n = 734) or placebo (n = 370). At 1 hour, sumatriptan was significantly more effective than placebo in reducing moderate or severe headache pain to mild or no pain (70% vs 22%), in completely relieving headaches (49% vs 9%), and in improving clinical disability (76% vs 34%). Sumatriptan also reduced nausea and photophobia significantly better than placebo. Patients with residual migraines received another injection; those who had originally received sumatriptan received either a second active injection (n = 187) or placebo (n = 178), while those who had received placebo received a second placebo injection (n = 335). Statistical evidence for benefit of second sumatriptan injection is absent. Adverse events associated with sumatriptan were tingling, dizziness, warm-hot sensations, and injection-site reactions. Sumatriptan is effective and well tolerated in patients with acute migraine.
Cady RK, Wendt JK, Kirchner JR, Sargent JD, Rothrock JF, Skaggs H. Treatment of Acute Migraine With Subcutaneous Sumatriptan. JAMA. 1991;265(21):2831–2835. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460210077033
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