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Neurol Sci. 2011 May;32 Suppl 1:S95-8. doi: 10.1007/s10072-011-0551-2.

Frovatriptan versus other triptans in the acute treatment of migraine: pooled analysis of three double-blind, randomized, cross-over, multicenter, Italian studies.

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Clinica Neurologica, Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche, Università di Bologna, Via Ugo Foscolo, 7, 40123 Bologna, Italy.


The objective of the study is to systematically review the efficacy and safety of frovatriptan (F) versus rizatriptan (R), zolmitriptan (Z) and almotriptan (A), through a pooled analysis of three individual studies. 414 subjects with a history of migraine with or without aura (IHS criteria) were randomized to F 2.5 mg or R 10 mg (study 1), F 2.5 mg or Z 2.5 mg (study 2), and F 2.5 mg or A 12.5 mg (study 3). The studies had an identical multicenter, randomized, double blind, cross-over design, with each of the two treatment periods lasting not more than 3 months. The number of pain free (PF) and pain relief (PR) episodes at 2 h, and the number of sustained pain free (SPF) and recurrent episodes within the 48 h were the efficacy endpoints. 346 patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. Rate of PF episodes at 2 h was 30% with F and 34% with comparators (p = NS). PR episodes at 2 h were 55% for F and 59% for comparators (p = NS). SPF episodes at 48 h were also similar between the two groups (22% F vs. 21% comparators). Rate of recurrence was significantly (p < 0.001) lower under F (27 vs. 40% comparators). Drug-related adverse events were significantly (p < 0.05) less under F, particularly cardiovascular symptoms. Our systematic analysis of individual studies suggests that F has a similar immediate efficacy, but a more sustained effect and a better tolerability than R, Z and A.

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