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Keywords:

  • eletriptan;
  • sumatriptan;
  • triptan;
  • migraine;
  • acute treatment;
  • headache;
  • safety

Objective.—To provide a comprehensive review of the tolerability and safety of eletriptan.

Background.—Eletriptan is a potent and selective 5-HT1B/1D agonist that has demonstrated significant efficacy in the acute treatment of migraine in doses of 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg.

Design.—This review reports the tolerability and safety of eletriptan across a broad spectrum of preclinical studies and clinical trials that collectively included treatment of more than 11 000 subjects and more than 74 000 migraine attacks.

Results.—In clinical trials, eletriptan was well tolerated and safe across its dosing range of 20 mg to 80 mg. The adverse event profile of eletriptan 20 mg was similar to placebo, while the most commonly used dose, eletriptan 40 mg, has an adverse event profile that is only marginally higher than placebo. Eletriptan was safe and well tolerated regardless of age or gender, and for both short- and long-term treatment. Eletriptan is metabolized primarily by the CYP3A4 enzyme. Coadministration of potent CYP3A4 inhibitors was not associated with clinically meaningful change in eletriptan tolerability or safety in the population included in these clinical trials. The margin of cardiovascular safety for eletriptan was also confirmed by a well-controlled clinical study in which intravenous eletriptan in excess of an 80-mg dose was rapidly infused in patients undergoing coronary angiography; nonetheless, it is recommended that eletriptan not be coadministered with a limited list of 7 potent CYP3A4 inhibitors; in addition, the triptan class in general (including eletriptan) is contraindicated in patients with symptoms or findings consistent with ischemic heart disease or other significant underlying cardiovascular disease.

Conclusions.—This comprehensive review found that eletriptan is safe and well tolerated, and that relatively large changes in dose and plasma concentration result in minimal changes in tolerability.