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J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 Jul;40(7):687-700.

Current and emerging second-generation triptans in acute migraine therapy: a comparative review.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Sultanate of Oman.


Sterile neurogenic inflammation within cephalic tissue, involving vasodilation and plasma protein extravasation, has been proposed as a pathophysiological mechanism in acute migraine. The action of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT1B/1D) agonists--so-called triptans--on receptors located in meningeal arteries (5-HT1B) and trigeminovascular fiber endings (5-HT1D) has an inhibitory effect on this neurogenic inflammation. Recently, a series of second-generation 5-HT1B/1D agonists (almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, and zolmitriptan) have been developed and are reviewed in this article. Their in vitro pharmacological properties, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, drug interactions, and adverse effects are evaluated and compared to the golden standard in the treatment of acute migraine, sumatriptan.

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