Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Ther. 2000 Aug;22(8):981-9.

Comparison of naratriptan and sumatriptan in recurrence-prone migraine patients. Naratriptan International Recurrence Study Group.

Author information

Klinik fur Neurologie der University Kiel, Germany.



This randomized, double-blind, crossover study was undertaken to compare the incidence of headache recurrence after treatment with naratriptan or sumatriptan in migraine patients with a history of frequent headache recurrence (recurrence in > or =50% of successfully treated attacks).


Although the selective 5-hydroxytryptamine, (5-HT1) agonist sumatriptan is effective and well tolerated for acute treatment of migraine in most patients, headache recurrence within 24 hours of initial successful treatment with sumatriptan and other medications has been reported in approximately 35% of patients. The novel 5-HT1 agonist naratriptan possesses pharmacologic and pharmacokinetic characteristics that may address the issue of headache recurrence.


Men and women aged 18 to 65 years with a > or =1-year history of migraine with or without aura were randomly assigned to treat 1 moderate or severe migraine attack in a nonclinical setting with one 2.5-mg naratriptan tablet and 1 attack with one 100-mg sumatriptan tablet. A pain-free interval of > or =24 hours was required between attacks. At 4 hours, patients not using rescue medication and experiencing headache recurrence could take a second, identical dose of study medication to treat recurrence. No more than 2 tablets of study medication were permitted in any 24-hour period.


A total of 253 patients treated > or =1 migrane attack and were included in the safety analysis; the 225 patients who treated both attacks were included in the efficacy analysis. Of the 164 naratriptan-treated and 181 sumatriptan-treated patients experiencing headache relief after > or =1 attack, headache recurrence 4 to 24 hours after treatment was reported by 74 naratriptan-treated patients (45%) and 101 sumatriptan-treated patients (57%; not statistically significant). (One naratriptan- and 3 sumatriptan-treated patients who experienced headache relief did not record recurrence status and were not included in the denominator for the percentage calculation.) In a subset of patients experiencing headache relief after 2 attacks, headache recurrence 4 to 24 hours after initial dosing was reported by 55 naratriptan- and 77 sumatriptan-treated patients (41% and 57%, respectively; P = 0.005). The overall incidence of adverse events was 22% after treatment with naratriptan and 33% after treatment with sumatriptan. This incidence did not increase after use of a second dose of naratriptan (20%) or sumatriptan (31%).


These data suggest that naratriptan is a long-acting and well-tolerated addition to currently available medications for the treatment of acute migraine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center