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December 1994

Clinical Experiences From Sweden on the Use of Subcutaneously Administered Sumatriptan in Migraine and Cluster Headache

Author Affiliations

From the Gothenburg Migraine Clinic, Sodala Huset, Uppg D, Gothenburg, Sweden (Dr Dahlöf); the Department of Neurology, Söder Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden (Dr Ekbom); and the Department of Neurology, Sahlgren's Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden (Dr Persson).

Arch Neurol. 1994;51(12):1256-1261. doi:10.1001/archneur.1994.00540240100023

This article reviews, from the practitioner's point of view, more than 1 year of clinical experience of the use of subcutaneously administered sumatriptan succinate in the shortterm treatment of migraine and cluster headache with regard to advantages and disadvantages of the drug. In accordance with the results of clinical trials, subcutaneous sumatriptan, also in the practitioner's hands, was found to relieve migraine headaches and all other symptoms associated with migraine in most patients and within a reasonable period. Adverse events, however, are common and were perceived by about 70% of the patients. The most common adverse events were pressure/stiffness in the neck and throat (32%), general tiredness (22%), pressure/tightness over the chest (21%), injection site reactions (16%), and tingling sensations in the head and arms (14%). Headache recurrence within 24 hours is a clinical problem not only for the patient but also for the prescribing physician. About every second (53%) migraineur using subcutaneous sumatriptan reports headache recurrence. Headache recurrence appears to be effectively treated by a second injection. Pending valid information about effects, adverse events, headache recurrence, and how to handle the autoinjector, the compliance and tolerability of subcutaneous sumatriptan appear to be most satisfactory among eligible patients with migraine.

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