Determinants of patient satisfaction with migraine treatment are not well understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate which treatment outcomes influence patient satisfaction with treatment. Analyses were performed on data from 1506 migraineurs from two clinical trials of rizatriptan for treatment of migraine. Satisfaction with treatment was assessed 2 h after initial treatment and prior to use of rescue therapy. Over 90% of patients who were pain-free at 2 h were at least somewhat satisfied with treatment compared with < 10% of patients with moderate or severe pain. Only 60–70% of patients with mild pain at 2 h experienced some level of satisfaction with treatment. For patients with mild pain at 2 h, results showed subjects who reported severe pain at baseline, absence of associated symptoms at 2 h and pain relief within the first 90 min had at least a 76% probability of being at least somewhat satisfied. This probability decreased with the presence of associated symptoms, slower pain relief and moderate baseline pain intensity. Fast, complete pain relief is one important factor in determining short-term patient satisfaction with treatment.