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Keywords:

  • General practice;
  • migraine;
  • sumatriptan

Objective. To evaluate the therapeutic response to sumatriptan in the acute migraine attack. Material and methods. Two hundred and thirty migraineurs diagnosed by their general practitioners in accordance with their usual practice were included in the study. The patients treated two migraine attacks at home by subcutaneous injection of sumatriptan or placebo for the first attack and the alternative medication, i.e. placebo or sumatriptan, for the second attack (crossover). Following treatment, a neurology resident interviewed and examined the patients, Results. When sumatriptan was compared to placebo, significantly more of the 209 evaluable patients reported headache relief at I h (56% vs 8%, p < 0.001) and 2 h (62% vs 15%, p < 0.001) after the first injection. Resolution of nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia was significantly more common in patients on sumatriptan than in those on placebo (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). The adverse events were usually transient and of mild or moderate severity; however, three patients withdrew due to adverse events. Ninety-five percent of patients evaluated by a neurology resident met the IHS criteria for migraine. Conclusion. In general practice, sumatriptan taken subcutaneously using an autoinjector at home was an effective and well tolerated acute treatment for migraine.