WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – In a comparison study of two triptan drugs, zolmitriptan was preferred over sumatriptan by most migraineurs, according to a report in the journal Cephalalgia.
Dr. Juan Pascual of the University Hospital in Santander, Spain and colleagues performed an open-label, crossover study to determine whether migraine patients would show a preference between the two widely used triptans in the treatment of acute migraine attack.
Ninety-four migraineurs from two hospital clinic populations participated, agreeing to treat three consecutive migraines with each medication and then fill out a preference questionnaire. At the end of the study, 42 patients stated zolmitriptan as their preference, 27 preferred sumatriptan, and 25 had no preference.
The general reasons indicated for preference of either triptan were, in order of importance: speed of onset, longer duration of effects, fewer adverse events, and, for a small number of patients, lower price. Significantly more patients were able to gain relief by taking "just one tablet of zolmitriptan 2.5 mg compared with sumatriptan 50 mg," the researchers report (p = 0.001).
The researchers conclude that these results are significant, as "only one quarter of the studied migraine population thought that sumatriptan 50 mg and zolmitriptan 2.5 mg were equivalent, which suggests that most migraine patients differentiate between triptans."