Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
N Z Med J. 1993 May 12;106(955):171-3.

Subcutaneous sumatriptan in acute treatment of migraine: a multicentre New Zealand trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of General Practice, University of Auckland School of Medicine.



To assess the effectiveness of subcutaneous sumatriptan (4 mg) in the acute treatment of migraine.


A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study was conducted in four New Zealand centres. On developing an acute attack of migraine, patients attended a centre where they were given either sumatriptan 4 mg or placebo by subcutaneous injection. Headache severity and clinical disability were measured over a 2 hour period.


Fifty-one patients, aged 19-58 years with common or classical migraine were treated. Twenty-eight patients received 4 mg sumatriptan and 23 patients received placebo. Pretreatment headache severity was graded moderate in 76% and severe in 24%. Thirty-two percent of patients were sufficiently disabled to require bed rest and a further 48% had severe impairment of working ability. Sumatriptan was significantly more effective than placebo in relieving or reducing headache severity after 30 minutes. Sixty-four percent improved on sumatriptan compared to 27% on placebo. Functional disability, nausea, vomiting and photophobia were also greatly reduced. Adverse effects occurred in 17% of patients receiving placebo, and 82% receiving sumatriptan, the commonest being injection site reactions.


Subcutaneous sumatriptan 4 mg is an effective and well-tolerated acute treatment in adult patients with moderate to severe common or classical migraine. The efficacy rate of 64% is lower than that found in recent controlled studies using a higher dose.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk