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Sumatriptan (intranasal route of administration) for acute migraine attacks in adults

Sumatriptan is one of the triptan family of drugs used to treat migraine attacks. It is available as a nasal spray, and this route of administration may be preferable for individuals experiencing nausea and/or vomiting, although absorption of the drug occurs primarily in the gut rather than the nasal mucosa. This review found that a single intranasal dose was effective in relieving migraine headache pain and associated symptoms of nausea, sensitivity to light, and sensitivity to sound. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no pain by two hours in approximately 2 in 10 people (24%) taking sumatriptan 10 mg, compared with about 1 in 10 (10%) taking placebo. Pain was reduced from moderate or severe to no worse than mild pain by two hours in 5 in 10 people (50%) taking sumatriptan 10 mg, compared with approximately 3 in 10 (32%) taking placebo. In addition to relieving headache pain, sumatriptan also relieved symptoms of nausea and sensitivity to light and sound by two hours in about half of those who took it, compared with about one‐third of those who took placebo. The 20 mg dose had greater efficacy, but may be associated with more adverse events, most of which were of short duration and mild or moderate in severity.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Sumatriptan (all routes of administration) for acute migraine attacks in adults

Migraine is a complex condition with a wide variety of symptoms. For many people, the main feature is a painful, and often disabling, headache. Other symptoms include disturbed vision; sensitivity to light, sound, and smells; feeling sick; and vomiting. Migraine affects about 1 person in 8, mainly women, and mainly in the age range of 30 to 50 years.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Triptans for acute cluster headache

Cluster headaches are excruciating headaches of extreme intensity. They can last for several hours, are usually on one side of the head only, and affect men more than women. Multiple headaches can occur over several days. Fast pain relief is important because of the intense nature of the pain with cluster headache.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Comparing Triptans

How do triptans compare in treating migraines?

PubMed Clinical Q&A [Internet] - National Center for Biotechnology Information (US).

Version: October 1, 2010

Medication for migraines

Migraine attacks can be treated with painkillers or migraine medication. If needed, medicine for nausea and vomiting can be taken as well. But if painkillers are taken too often they themselves may cause headaches.Lying down in a dark, cool room may be enough to relieve mild migraines. Migraines are usually very painful, though, so most people take medication to get through them. Over-the-counter painkillers may be effective enough for moderate pain. Stronger medication is sometimes needed for severe migraines.  If you often have migraines, it is a good idea to have different kinds of medicine on hand.The following medications can be used to treat migraine:The group of painkillers known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and acetaminophen (paracetamol)Anti-nausea medication Special migraine medication (triptans and ergotamines)

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 19, 2015

Zolmitriptan for acute migraine attacks in adults

Migraine is a complex condition with a wide variety of symptoms. It affects about 1 person in 8, mainly women aged 30 to 50 years. For many people, the main feature is a painful, and often disabling, headache. Other symptoms include feeling sick, vomiting, disturbed vision, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smells.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Drugs for the acute treatment of migraine in children and adolescents

Migraine is a painful and debilitating disorder that is common in children (under 12 years of age) and adolescents (12 to 17 years of age). Common symptoms reported during a migraine attack are headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Many treatments for migraine are available, of which the most common are paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen), ibuprofen and other anti‐inflammatories, and triptans. Not all triptan medications are approved for use in children or adolescents, and approvals vary from country to country.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

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