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Keywords:

  • sumatriptan;
  • withdrawal;
  • Doppler

SYNOPSIS

In a pilot study (5 patients) we investigated the effects of subcutaneous sumatriptan, a 5-HT1-like receptoragonist, on headache experienced during the withdrawal period of drug-induced headache. The pilot studyindicated that the substance was effective mostly in patients who originally suffered from migraine. In a patientwith tension headache the substance was less effective. In a second double-blind study on six migraine patientswith severe drug-induced headache, the drug was highly effective in ameliorating headache and autonomicdisturbances. Blood flow velocities measured in extracranial parts of internal and external carotid arteries byduplex-sonography and in middle cerebral and basilar arteries by transcranial Doppler showed no changes afteradministration of sumatriptan or placebo. This result suggests sumatriptan does not act primarily via constrictionof the large cerebral arteries.