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Dose Range-Finding Studies With Frovatriptan in the Acute Treatment of Migraine


Address all correspondence to Dr. Alan Rapoport, The New England Center for Headache, 778 Long Ridge Road, Stamford, CT 06902-1251.


Objective.—To determine the optimum dose of frovatriptan for the acute treatment of migraine.

Background.—Frovatriptan is a new triptan developed for the acute treatment of migraine. The dose-response characteristics and safety of frovatriptan have been investigated across a broad range of doses from 0.5 to 40 mg.

Design.—Two randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group trials, with a total of 1453 patients, were performed to determine the optimal dose of the 5-HT1B/1D agonist, frovatriptan, for the acute treatment of migraine. The dose ranges studied were 2.5 to 40 mg in the high-dose study and 0.5 to 5 mg in the low-dose study.

Results.—At 2 hours postdosing for initial moderate or severe headache (International Headache Society grades 2 or 3), there was an approximate two-fold difference in the proportion of patients taking frovatriptan doses of 2.5 to 40 mg with mild or no headache compared to placebo. Frovatriptan doses of 0.5 mg and 1 mg were not more effective than placebo at 2 hours postdose, and 2.5 mg was identified as the lowest effective dose for the relief of migraine and accompanying symptoms. Above 2.5 mg, no dose-response relationship was observed for any efficacy parameters. There was an increase in the incidence of adverse events from 10 mg and above, but the vast majority were rated as mild in severity and did not impact upon tolerability in a significant manner.

Conclusions.—Frovatriptan was well tolerated throughout the dose range of 0.5 to 40 mg. The 2.5-mg dose confers the optimal balance of efficacy and tolerability for the acute treatment of migraine.