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Neurology. 2004 Aug 10;63(3):520-4.

Predicting the response to sumatriptan: the Sumatriptan Naratriptan Aggregate Patient Database.

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Dept. of Neurology, University of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany.



The efficacy and tolerability profiles of sumatriptan and other 5HT(1B/1D) agonists (triptans) have been well established. However, the determinants for optimal response to sumatriptan are unknown. The Sumatriptan Naratriptan Aggregate Patient (SNAP) database contains data from 128 clinical trials including 28,407 migraine sufferers treating over 130,000 attacks. The authors analyzed these data to identify factors predicting response (headache relief and pain-free response) to sumatriptan.


The authors assessed 24 possible univariate predictors of headache response in 3,706 patients (18 years and older) receiving sumatriptan tablets 100 mg or placebo in a double-blind study using recursive partitioning and logistic regression techniques.


The authors found seven predictors of headache relief 2 hours postdose. Moderate pain at baseline was the strongest predictor (adjusted p = 3.32 x 10(-35)), followed by absence of a disability requiring bedrest (adjusted p = 3.11 x 10(-18)). Other predictors included absence at baseline of vomiting, pulsating pain, nausea, or photophobia/phonophobia, and onset of headache during daytime hours. Logistic regression confirmed that treatment with sumatriptan was the strongest predictor of headache relief, with significant baseline covariates being pain severity, level of disability, and presence or absence of vomiting. A similar pattern of results was reported for predictors of pain-free response 2 hours after taking sumatriptan.


Pretreatment pain severity is the most important predicting factor for response to sumatriptan in migraine attacks: the lower baseline severity, the better.

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