Objective.-To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of naratriptan, a novel 5-HT1 agonist, in the acute treatment of migraine.
Design/Methods.-Six hundred thirteen migraineurs, diagnosed according to International Headache Society criteria, treated a single migraine attack with naratriptan tablets (2.5 mg, 1 mg, 0.25 mg, or 0.1 mg) or placebo in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study conducted at 54 United States centers. At dosing and at predetermined intervals beginning 30 minutes postdose, patients recorded migraine pain severity, clinical disability, and presence of associated migraine symptoms. Safety measures included adverse events, physical examinations, vital signs, ECGs, and clinical laboratory tests.
Results.-Headache relief (moderate or severe pain at dosing reduced to mild or no pain) 4 hours postdose was reported in 60% of patients receiving naratriptan 2.5 mg compared with 50%, 35%, 32%, and 34% of patients receiving naratriptan 1 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.1 mg, and placebo, respectively ( P < <0.05 naratriptan 2.5 mg and 1 mg versus placebo, 1 mg versus 0.1 mg, and 2.5 mg versus 0.1 mg and 0.25 mg). Clinical disability 4 hours postdose was reported as mild or none for 70% of patients receiving naratriptan 2.5 mg compared with 63%, 47%, 48%, and 48% of patients receiving naratriptan 1 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.1 mg, or placebo, respectively ( P <0.05 naratriptan 2.5 mg and 1 mg versus placebo, 1 mg versus 0.1 mg, and 2.5 mg versus 0.1 mg and 0.25 mg). Four-hour efficacy for absence of nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia was similar to efficacy for headache relief at each dose. The adverse event profile of each dose of naratriptan was similar to that of placebo. No clinically relevant change in any safety measure was reported.
Conclusions.-Naratriptan is effective and well tolerated for the acute treatment of migraine. The 2.5-mg dose appears to offer the optimum ratio of efficacy to tolerability.