Rizatriptan vs. rizatriptan plus trimebutine for the acute treatment of migraine: a double-blind, randomized, cross-over, placebo-controlled study


Abouch Valenty Krymchantowski MD, MSc, PhD, Rua Siqueira Campos 43/1002 Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tel. + 55 21 2255 1055, fax + 55 21 2491 3657, e-mail abouchkrym@globo.comhttp://www.dordecabeca.com.br


Gastroparesis frequently happens during migraine attacks, postponing the onset of action of orally administered drugs. Furthermore, triptans seem to work better in the earlier phases of the migraine attacks. Therefore, associating a gastrokinetic drug with a triptan may translate into better efficacy and higher consistency of response. Trimebutine is an opioid derivative with exclusive action on receptors of the Meissner and Auerbach plexus throughout the digestive tube. It has no absorption or central penetration. Herein we contrast the combination of rizatriptan plus trimebutine with rizatriptan alone in the acute treatment of migraine. Forty patients with migraine consecutively seen in our clinic were randomized to treat two consecutive moderate or severe attacks with one tablet of 10 mg rizatriptan plus one capsule of 200 mg trimebutine and two attacks with the same triptan and placebo, in counterbalanced order. We collected information on the severity of the attack, as well as presence of nausea and photophobia at the time of drug intake, and after 1, 2 and 4 h. Recurrence and adverse events were also contrasted. Sixty-four attacks were treated with each drug regimen. At 1 h postdose, 30 (46.8%) of 64 attacks treated with the combination resolved completely, vs. eight (12.5%) of the rizatriptan-treated attacks, a difference of 34% (< 0.01). At 2 h postdose, 47 (73.4%) attacks treated with the combination vs. 20 (31.2%) of those treated with rizatriptan alone resolved completely, a difference of 42% (95% confidence interval 26, 58, P < 0.001). Regarding nausea and photophobia, the combination was also associated with significantly better response. Recurrence was similar among the two drug regimens, as well as adverse events. The combination rizatriptan and trimebutine is more effective than rizatriptan alone. The combination does not increase adverse events or recurrence of pain.